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Cincinnati is a place where upstanders shine. Join us for the 2024 Upstander Awards as we celebrate Cincinnati’s best and brightest upstanders. Enjoy a gala-style event in historic Union Terminal’s breath-taking rotunda featuring a three-course meal, music, art experiences, and a moving awards ceremony. This year’s Celebrity Upstander Emcee is Debra Messing, Emmy Award-winning actress, producer, and social justice & human rights advocate.

Together, let’s illuminate Cincinnati as a beacon of courage, compassion, and positive change.

Festive formal attire encouraged. Valet included in ticket price.

More about the Speaker 

Debra Messing is an Emmy Award-winning actress, producer, and social justice & human rights advocate. She is best known for her Emmy & SAG Award-winning role as “Grace Adler” on NBC’s Emmy Award winning comedy series “Will & Grace,” and starred in “The Mysteries of Laura,” and “SMASH,” both on NBC. Notable film credits include the award-winning “Searching,” “Along Came Polly,” “The Wedding Date” “Nothing Like The Holidays,” “The Women,” and “The Dark Divide.”

Messing has been honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Women In Film’s Lucy Award, The Gracie Allen Award, American Comedy Award, among 50 more nominations. Most recently, Messing filmed the Warner Brothers mob drama, “Wise Guys,” opposite Robert De Niro.

Messing has worked as Global Health Ambassador for PSI focusing on HIV/AIDS, and has traveled extensively in Africa in support of the organization. She has testified before the House Foreign Affairs sub-committee on Africa and Global Health and spoke at the International AIDS conference. She is now on the founding board of a new organization called The Body Agency Collective, a non-profit that drives healthcare accessibility for women, education, job creation, advocacy, and innovation around the world.

Messing supports the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Moms Demand Action, ERA Coalition, ACLU, ADL, The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Marley’s Mutts, amongst many other organizations. She has been honored by the HRC as one of the world’s greatest supporters of the LGBTQ+ community both on screen and off screen, and by The Trevor Project with The Trevor Life Award in recognition of her contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Messing is also a founding member of the nonpartisan civic engagement organization, i am a voter, and co-hosted the activism-focused podcast, “The Dissenters,” which spotlighted 22 individuals who have made an impact.

The Cohen Family Cincinnati Upstander Month is presented by Duke Energy, the Mayerson Family Foundation, and Procter & Gamble in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center. For more information and to purchase tickets to events, visit www.cincyupstander.org.

Please Note: Tickets for the Upstander Awards are now sold out. To be added to our waitlist, please contact Director of Development Robyn Lamont at [email protected]

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