On hand for the 2022 HRC North Carolina Dinner and Silent Auction, held July 30, was long-term HRC member Joni Madison, who is currently serving as the HRC interim president.

Guest performers for the evening’s presentation included the legendary Thelma Houston, a Grammy winning recording artist responsible for such hits as “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning,” and Shea Diamond, a singer-songwriter and transgender rights activist who has received accolades for her Asylum Records EP “Seen It All,” and the single “I Am Her.”

On the list of honorees: Michael R. Jackson, an American playwright, composer and lyricist best known for his musical “A Strange Loop,” which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2022 Tony award for Best Musical.

Originally from Detroit, he was honored with the Visibility Award for his work with “A Strange Loop,” a stage production that follows a young black queer writer known as Usher, who is writing a musical about a black queer writer writing a musical about a black queer writer.

North Carolina’s state honoree, Shelly Schoenfeld, is a Charlotte based LGBTQ+ activist and credit review executive at Bank of America. 

A graduate of Miami University, she holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and has remained actively involved with Charlotte’s LGBTQ+ Community for the past 20 years. Currently she serves as the lead chair of the Plus Collective board of directors and previously served in a leadership role with the former artistic festival known as Out Charlotte.

At BOA, she is an executive sponsor of the Carolinas chapter of the LGBTQ+ pride employee network and a member of the company’s LGBTQ+ executive leadership council.

The recipient of the Dan Mauney Equality Award is the organization Hearts United for Good, previously known as the Hearts Beat As One Foundation.

Despite some financial and management challenges the organization has faced recently, Hearts United for Good was chosen for the many acts of service and positive accomplishments it has provided to the Charlotte Metro region’s LGBTQ+ community and others in need, which includes providing resources, assistance, items and supplies.

This year’s presentation was held at the Le Méridien Hotel in center city Charlotte on McDowell Street.

The theme for the event was “Join Us!” and presenting sponsor for the dinner was Bank of America. 

North Carolina sponsors are as follows:

Platinum sponsors: Compass, Honeywell, Lowe’s and Trane.

Gold sponsors; Ally, Diageo, Food Lion, House Wine and Truist.

Silver sponsors: Belk, Cargo Transporters, Cisco, Geico, K &L Gates and Synchrony.

At the Bronze level sponsors were Cap Tech, Dawn Pugh Team Real Estate, Dudley’s Place, Fifth Third Bank, Live Laugh Love, Moore & Van Allen, NoDa, Novant Health, PNC, Queen City Animal Hospital, Silver Monkey, Troutman Pepper and Womble Bond Dickinson.