An all-star cast of Arizona entertainers came together on July 5, 2020 to host Many Voices: One Community, a virtual benefit show raising funds for the Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund.
The show; organized and hosted by 2019-2020 Tucson Pride Royalty, Lucinda Holiday and Justin Deeper-Love, brought together a diverse line-up of talent. Many Voices, Once Community included title holders and representatives from various Arizona LGBTQ+ organizations including; Tucson Pride, Phoenix Pride, Diné Pride, the Imperial Court of Arizona, Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association (AGRA). The show featured the talents of:
- Eddie Broadway: Mr. Trans USA
- Felicia Minor
- Gray Matter
- Té. D. Diamond: Miss Supreme Pride 2020
- Eva Angelica Stratton: Miss Arizona Continental 2020
- Tyra Marie: Miss Phoenix Pride 2020
- Owen Michael Parker: Mister Phoenix Pride 2020
- Kristopher V. Lee
- Miss Nature
- Sister Navi Ho: Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
- Edward Michael
- Freddie Prinze Charming: Mister USofA MI Classic
- Shannon McKenzie Perkins: Miss AGRA 2020
Participating entertainers submitted pre-recorded numbers which were broadcast via “Twitch” an online broadcast platform. As a result of each of these entertainer’s donated time and talent, the benefit raised $505 in virtual tips and a $500 match from Tucson Pride. In all, $1,005 was transferred to the official Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund.
According to the fund’s webpage, “The Navajo Nation COVID-19 Fund has been established to help the Navajo Nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Donations to the fund address immediate medical and community needs of various isolated communities throughout the 27,413 square mile territory. The fund is managed by the Navajo Nation’s Attorney General Doreen N. McPaul.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19; indigenous communities, particularly the Navajo Nation have been hit especially hard. The Navajo Nation or Diné Bikéyah, which extends through Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah is home to over 173,000 indigenous people. By May 19, 2020, the Nation had surpassed New York and New Jersey with most infections per capita in the United States. A grim milestone that resulted in the dispatch of a team from Doctors Without Borders to the Nation to supplement the Indian Health Service and the Navajo Department of Health.
According to the Navajo Times, as of July 14th, the Nation has confirmed 8,243 cases of COVID-19 of which 5,866 patients have recovered, 1,976 patients are still undergoing treatment, and 401 individuals have died.
While it does appear that the curve has begun to flatten for the time being, a resurgent COVID-19 outbreak in the State of Arizona threatens the progress made by tribal health officials and community volunteers. As a result, the Navajo Nation will require on-going assistance.
Individuals wishing to contribute to the relief fund may do so at https://www.nndoh.org/donate.html. A comprehensive list of the Nation’s needs can be found there.