2017 Intersections 10th Anniversary Gala
Intersections International celebrated its 10th Anniversary and bid farewell to its founding director, The Rev. Robert Chase, at a fundraising gala at Cipriani’s 42nd Street, here in New York City. The event, held on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017, honored individuals who have long been supporters of the organization’s work in areas of global peacemaking, LGBTQ rights, support for veterans, and the arts for social justice.
The evening highlights included performances by Indigenous American drummer and vocalist duo Luis Ramos and Irma LaGuerre, singer/songwriter Brandon Mills, spoken word poet Timothy DuWhite, and Intersections’ own Farid Johnson. Touching video tributes to Intersections’ work in Pakistan and Kazakhstan illustrated the organizations’ impact on future collaboration between our countries, and a 10-Year highlight reel showcased our varied scope of work, highlighting a decade of commitment to social justice.
Honorees were TD Bank, Riaz Siddiqi, Wendy McClinton, Randall Miller, and Bibi Russell. A Special Recognition Award went to His Excellency Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, for his work in strengthening the relationship between Kazakhstan and the United States.
The Intersections Award for Enduring Support
For counsel, collaboration and support at the intersection of corporate responsibility and community building for a sustainable future
WENDY C. McCLINTON
President/CEO, Black Veterans for Social Justice
The Intersections Award for Exceptional Service to the Veterans’ Community
For consistent work in veterans’ empowerment while bridging the military/civilian divide with "tender loving care and a listening ear”
Wendy Charece McClinton is a native daughter of NYC. This decorated Veteran served during the Desert Storm Persian Gulf Era, and was assigned to the United States Army Information Systems Command Pentagon, Washington, DC; the 118th Detachment Postal Unit, Pusan, Korea and the 25th Infantry Division Light Mechanized, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Numerous citations and awards mark her tenure with the military, Black Veterans for Social Justice, Inc, the National Association for Black Veterans, and the National Association for Black Military Women. McClinton is also an inductee to the NYS Senate Veterans Hall of Fame, and was appointed as National Vice Commander of the National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS).
McClinton is a graduate of the United States Army Logistical Management College, with a BA in Theology from the Andersonville Baptist Seminary, and an MA in Theology from the Rehoboth Theological Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
McClinton serves as an active board member with the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, NYC Mayors Veterans Advisory Board and Black Agency Executives.
Director of Global Religions Arcus Foundation
The Intersections Award for Courage in Pursuit of Social Justice
For pioneering work at the intersection of global religions and LGBT equality
Randall Miller is Director of the Global Religions Program at Arcus, a global funder supporting pro-LGBT religious advocacy in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities around the world. A seasoned social justice leader, Miller has worked for almost thirty years in a variety of nonprofit sectors, including academic, philanthropic, religious, and social justice settings.
Immediately prior to Arcus, Miller served as core faculty for the Pacific School of Religion. In addition to teaching, he was the first director of the Changemaker Fellowship, and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean. Before this, Miller led a $10M national faith initiative for the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund. In this capacity, he helped rally religious communities to support marriage equality, advocate for inclusive policy reforms within mainstream Protestantism, and embrace greater LGBT acceptance.
Other senior leadership posts have included Associate Director of Philanthropic Services at Tides, Executive Director of the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, and National Coordinator for LGBT Issues for the Jesse Jackson ’88 Campaign for President.
Miller holds a PhD in Ethics and Social Theory from the Graduate Theological Union and currently lives in both New York and California with Glenn Eagleson, his spouse of twenty-five years.
International Fashion Designer Founder, Bibi Russell Fashion for Development
The Intersections Award for Social and Economic Transformation
For selfless dedication at the intersection of economic independence, empowerment and compassion
Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh and graduated from London College of Fashion, Bibi Russell was a world famous model. Having returned to Bangladesh in 1994, she pursued her career as a designer and created her own company “Bibi Productions.” Committed to the crafts people of Bangladesh, Russell strives to develop hand woven textile industry of Bangladesh worldwide with her program “Fashion for Development.” Her social involvement has been recognized with several international and national awards.
In her own words, she says, “When people see my collections, I want them to understand and appreciate all the work and effort that has gone into them. I want to preserve the heritage of my country, foster creativity, provide employment, empower women and contribute towards the eradication of poverty. That’s what I’m committed to do.”
Russell shares her fashion for development philosophy and practice in Asia, Latin America and Africa through her role as UN Goodwill Ambassador. Most recently, she has been with working with the silk-producing Bodo tribes in Assam, India. Her design inspiration comes from the villages where she works, whether that is in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India or elsewhere. She believes that the product has to be relevant to the community in which she is working.
Founder and Managing Partner, Denham Capital
The Intersections Award for Community Advancement
For dedicated public service at the intersection of economic justice and human development across lines of faith and national borders
Riaz Siddiqi brings over 35 years of experience to Denham Capital in the energy and asset management fields. Prior to joining Denham, Siddiqi was President and CEO of Capstone Global Energy, and held executive positions at other Cinergy companies. He has also served as Manager, Market Management Research, for the Electric Power Research Institute, and in various professional capacities with Georgia Power Company, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern Company, after spending some time as a project engineer in Pakistan.
Siddiqi is Chairman of the Board of the American Pakistan Foundation and is also a member of the Board of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a volunteer pilot for Grace Flight of America, Pilots for Patients, and Veterans Airlift Command, and is a recipient of the Asia Society Houston Center’s award for leadership in business and philanthropy. He is a member of BENS, Business Executives for National Security, an organization of private sector leaders that offer their expertise pro bono to the U.S Government on National Security matters. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Mining Ventures Brazil, Endeavor Energy Holdings, LLC, and Greene’s Energy Group, all Denham portfolio companies.
Siddiqi received a Bachelor of Science from Pakistan University of Energy & Technology, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Graduate School of Business at Mississippi State University.
HE KAIRAT UMAROV
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Nations
For his country’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, peace building and employing interreligious cooperation as an antidote to extremism
Ambassador Umarov presented his credentials to President Barack Obama in January 2013 after serving as Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister since 2009. Prior to the Deputy Foreign Minister's post, Dr. Umarov was Ambassador to India & Sri Lanka for five years.
The cornerstone of the Kazakh – U.S. strategic partnership is nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security. Under Ambassador Umarov’s leadership, the Embassy is also active to build political, economic, as well as people-to-people, ties between the two countries.
Currently, the Kazakh – U.S. relationship is experiencing a new stage of growth driven by common strategic goals: regional security and economic prosperity. Ambassador Umarov focuses on public diplomacy, investment and commercial, science and technology cooperation, as Kazakhstan pursues a position as a trade and logistics hub for the entire New Silk Road region.
Ambassador Umarov is actively promoting American involvement in the Astana Economic Forum and the 2017 world’s fair, Astana EXPO 2017, that will showcase innovative companies and new technologies consistent within the expo’s theme: Future of Energy.