The Miami Dolphins have awarded SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, Lima was honored with a trophy and a $2,000 donation to SAVE prior to the Dolphins game against the Oakland Raiders.
Born and raised in Miami, Lima is a first generation Cuban-American. As Executive Director, Lima oversees SAVE, South Florida’s leading organization dedicated to protecting people of the LGBTQ community against discrimination. Since 1993, SAVE has advocated for equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Under his leadership, SAVE has had the biggest wins towards LGBTQ equality in the organization’s 25-year history: in 2015, SAVE successfully sued the state of Florida to legalize same-sex marriage, in 2014, SAVE passed comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals at the Miami-Dade County Commission. During his five-year tenure, the organization has endorsed and helped elect a record seventy-five pro-equality leaders at all levels of government. In 2016, the organization created and implemented a groundbreaking model proven to have a lasting effect on reducing prejudice against the LGBTQ community. It has since become a national model for helping change hearts and minds.
SAVE is a grant recipient of the Miami Dolphins Football Unites program, created by Owner Stephen Ross and players and designed to create opportunities for South Florida-based individuals and organizations to strengthen and expand their impact around community engagement, education and criminal justice reform. Through the launch of the Football Unites Grant Program, the Dolphins are supporting SAVE’s campaign to reduce anti-LGBT prejudice and to identify and build a list of supportive community members.
This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to interview Lima prior to receiving the award on the field. Click the player above to listen to this exclusive interview!