Tequila shots, reggaeton performances, ruffled ball gowns, and some juicy chisme over dinner? It had to be a Latino function. Indeed, last night’s We Are All Human Gala, a splashy event at Gotham Hall in New York City celebrating outstanding Latino contributions, was as much a fiesta as it was a charity fundraiser for a good cause.
It was the third time the organization held the gala, which drew out some notable figures in the community, including actress Géraldine Bazán, singer-songwriter Mario Bautista, Ambassador Alicia Buenrostro Massieu, chef Alfredo Oropeza, designer Raúl Peñaranda, and newly-crowned Miss Universe Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua.
“We are igniting massive change,” said We Are All Human Foundation founder Claudia Romo Edelman, who looked striking onstage in a scarlet red skirt and top combo by Anne Fontaine, one of the night’s honorees. “And it’s thanks to all of our allies who intentionally support the advancement of our community.”
Fontaine, the Rio de Janeiro-born designer and reforestation activist, was presented with her award from none other than ELLE editor-in-chief Nina Garcia. “Nothing inspires me more than Latinas who are writing their own stories and changing the perception of our community,” said Garcia, who noted that just this year the magazine had five Latinas grace the cover.
And for Fontaine, who has been living in Paris for years, the evening was also about reclaiming her Latinidad in public and accepting an award as a Latina for the first time. “It feels amazing to recognize my Latinidad,” she told the crowd. “Out loud and at this wonderful event. I am Latina. There was a time when Brazilians did not think of themselves as Latinos and the community wasn’t entirely certain we belonged either. Tonight, it feels wonderful to be here [and be] part of the community.”
As the night was geared towards highlighting, championing, and uplifting Latinos, there was no shortage of inspirational rags-to-riches success stories, including those from Abelardo Campuzano Jr., the actor and internet personality who acted as master of ceremonies, and the singer Abby Anderson, who delivered a moving performance of her song “Heart On Fire In Mexico.”
Another lively part of the night was the live auction, where guests bid on everything from Bad Bunny and Pitbull VIP lounge experiences to luxury getaways in Cabo San Lucas, allowing the organization to reach its fundraising goals. After the final two honorees—actor John Leguizamo and El Gordo y La Flaca star Raúl De Molina—were given awards, artist RMAND closed out the night and got the crowd on their feet.
“I am deeply impressed by the massive success of our third gala,” Romo Edelman added. “Thank you to all the incredible talent who joined us last night and showed their support.”
Mario Abad is a fashion writer and editor based in Brooklyn. He was previously the fashion editor at Paper and has contributed to Vogue, W, Robb Report, Fashionista, V magazine, and Forbes. He can also recite every Miranda Priestly line by heart.