The Awards

The awards ceremony will honor three individuals making a difference here in San Diego and across the globe. The awards are named to carry on the legacy of Lincoln Aston, Sunshine Brooks and Richard Geyser, whom each have made an extraordinary impact in the LGBT community.

Each of the awards carry include a grant from The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation to the LGBT/HIV charity chosen by the award recipient. The charities selected will be announced at the Aston-Brooks Awards Gala on April 29, 2017. This is an event that you absolutely won’t want to miss! Tickets can be purchased here.

2017 Honorees:

Lincoln Aston Public Service Award:

Named for the San Diego developer and philanthropist whose murder led to the establishment of The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, the award honors a public figure who uses their celebrity to increase awareness of LGBT issues and encourage equality.

2017 Recipient: Senator Barbara Boxer

barbaraboxerA forceful advocate for Human Rights and LGBT causes, along with HIV funding and research.  Senator Boxer was a leader in pushing for a special envoy for LGBT human rights within the U.S. State Department. Senator Boxer has also been on the front lines pushing for funding in HIV/AIDS research.  For more information about Senator Boxer, please click here.

Past recipients include: George Takei (2014), actor and activist, was selected for this award for his longstanding support of the LGBT community and his use of his public platform to advocate for marriage equality, equal workplace rights and anti-bullying, and Wilson Cruz (2015), actor, who won the hearts of audiences playing “Rickie Vasquez” on “My So Called Life.” It was the first openly gay teenager role to air on network prime time television.


Sunshine Brooks HIV/AIDS Advocacy Award:

Honored for the memory and life of this generous philanthropist whose multi-million dollar legacy gift has benefited HIV/AIDS charities in San Diego County for the last decade, the award recognizes an individual whose efforts have improved the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.

2017 Recipient: Jeanne White-Ginder

In 1984, her son Ryan, a hemophiliac, had contracted AIDS from a tainted blood product. Her family was the target of abuse in her hometown, and school officials did not allow her son to return to school. She turned to the court system and the news wire grabbed the story. Ryan became a reluctant international celebrity, and Jeanne became an educator of the masses.


Past recipients include: Cleve Jones (2014), founder of the NAMES Project and the AIDS Quilt, whose passionate messages have moved millions to action, received this award. Archbishop Rev. Carl Bean (2015), Archbishop Reverend, founded the Unity Fellowship Church of Christ in Los Angeles in 1982 for gay, lesbian, and transgender African Americans.


Richard Geyser Community Leadership Award:

This award bears the name of the Founding President of the Board for San Diego Human Dignity Foundation who was also a champion for ethics in community service.

2017 Recipient: William (Bill) E. Kelly – U.S. Air Force 1970-75

billkellyWilliam (Bill) E. Kelly is U.S. Air Force Veteran and served in the military from 1970-1975.  Soon after his military career ended he moved to Chicago, IL and earned emergency medical technician level I and II and a physician’s assistant licenses caring for inmates at Chicago’s Cook County Jail before enrolling in Chicago’s DePaul University’s MBA program. He soon found himself caring for friends suffering the Gay Plague (HIV AIDS). Since then, he has moved to San Diego and has served as an equality activist, a nationally read journalist and a member of local and national non-profit boards and committees too numerous to name.

Past recipients include: Maureen Steiner (2014), board president of San Diego Lambda Archives, received this award in honor of her tireless efforts to document and store the history of the LGBT Community in San Diego, which has garnered national and international praise, and Kurt Cunningham (2015), who dedicated his life to HIV, LGBT youth and mental health services in San Diego County, with the accompanying grant supporting access to mental health services at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.