Jeremy O. Harris of ‘Zola’ attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25, 2020, in Park City, Utah.
Jeremy O. Harris of ‘Zola’ attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25, 2020, in Park City, Utah.
Photo: Rich Polk (Getty Images for IMDb)

The fight for equality is ongoing, but the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)—the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization—continues to honor those doing the work. Ahead of its 19th Annual HRC Greater New York Gala on Saturday, Feb. 1, the advocacy organization has announced it will be awarding one of two 2020 HRC Equality Awards to Slave Play playwright and 2019 Root 100 honoree Jeremy O. Harris.

Harris, 30, is also co-writer of the highly-anticipated Twitter-inspired film, Zola and a consultant on HBO’s groundbreaking hit Euphoria, among other projects in development (including an HBO pilot of his own). He will join fellow playwright Matthew Lopez (The Inheritance) in receiving a 2020 Equality Award. Also set to receive honors are award-winning actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth, who will receive the Ally for Equality Award; PVH Corp., which has earned the HRC Corporate Equality Award, and activist and supermodel Naomi Campbell, who will be honored with the Global Advocacy Award.

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Harris’ explosive Slave Play, which moved from New York Theatre Workshop to Broadway last fall, has been one of the most buzzed-about productions of the past year—and the most contentiously debated (particularly here at The Root). But in spite of the hype and controversy—or perhaps, because of it—HRC President Alphonso David contends (via a statement):

Jeremy O. Harris’s brilliant Slave Play is a compelling and raw exploration of race, sex, gender and identity. A vital voice for the LGBTQ community, Harris constantly challenges us to rethink the power dynamics within all of our relationships and how our shared past influences our present struggle for justice. We are honored to award Jeremy O. Harris with our Equality Award for his work on and off Broadway.

Also on deck to be honored an HRC Equality Award this year? 2019 Root 100 honoree Janelle Monáe, who will be honored at HRC’s first Los Angeles gala in late March.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.

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