While COVID-19 has changed the ways we gather, celebrate, and honour one another, it has not changed the way our communities step up to support each other in times of crisis. From making essential grocery trips for immunocompromised neighbours to conducting wellness phone call checks for seniors or even helping newcomer families access the support services they need, volunteers have come together when we need them the most.
Early in the summer of 2020, in collaboration with Apt613, United Way East Ontario sent out a call for nominations to honour local volunteers who stepped up in this time of need. Together, we recognized five outstanding COVID Heroes with Community Builder Awards to honour the incredible work they did to support their communities and the most vulnerable people within them throughout the pandemic.
With our host and former Community Builder Award recipient Davy Sabourin, we were joined by our friends at Capital Pride for a very special edition of our Community Builder Awards, recognizing five more incredible community builders who have worked tirelessly to make our communities safer, healthier, and more accepting for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. These people are community leaders, fearless advocates, and supporters of the Queer community, and have stepped up and demonstrated a local love that has not gone unnoticed.
We thank everyone who took the time to nominate these everyday heroes and we thank you, community builders, for your exceptional contributions.
Read below for a post on Community Builder Osmel B. Guerra Maynes. Check out our other Community Builder posts here.
Osmel B. Guerra Maynes
As the executive director of Capital Pride, Osmel B. Guerra Maynes is a proud Afro-Latino Queer man who’s known by his colleagues, peers, and friends as patient, kind, and always willing to take the time to listen and impart wisdom.
Osmel is a social justice activist with a focus on enhancing the inclusion of marginalized voices. A natural leader and mentor, Osmel cares immensely for his community and is tirelessly looking for new ways to engage with his community, and always ensures that he provides a voice to all marginalized people, especially 2SLGBTQ+ folks.
Osmel has created and fostered inclusive spaces for the 2SLGBTQ+ community in our region. From organizing the summer and winter Pride programming to creating the first-ever Queering Black History Month engagement, Osmel’s done it all. He also creates anti-oppression and Queer/Trans competency training, which he provides to schools, businesses, and organizations to help make their spaces more inclusive and equitable.
Outside of Capital Pride, Osmel has also done a great deal of work to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community, including serving as the chair of the All Blood is Equal campaign, the Diversity and Inclusion Board Member of the Ottawa Festival Network,Executive Director of QMUNITY, British Columbia’s Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Resource Centre, and General Manager of the Pride in Art Society Queer Arts Festival.
Do you know a community builder who has gone above and beyond to support their communities through COVID-19? Our Community Builder Awards program accepts nominations year-round. Nominate your Community Builder today!