. Miami Beach do not only exemplify Schwartz’s success,
but also help us understand the new challenges we face
as a community.

As Schwartz mentions, “equal rights under the law” is the
dominant concern for our community as a whole.
However, “our mission now is broader,” suggesting that
we must expand our reach and coalition building
between local non-profits as well as the community at large.
I strongly agree with Schwartz in one respect – “that those outside the gay community
will only understand us if they know us.” Much like a piece I wrote not too long ago,
assimilation and understanding on both ends is contingent on being ourselves,
wholeheartedly. This may be the best way to expand the GLBT mission to the
community at large – by true representation of who we are as OUT individuals.

While Schwartz does not consider the GLBT to be internally divided (between lesbians
and gay men), she does agree that lesbians in Miami “have a tendency to create a life
that is somewhat insular” – something many of us consider a disservice to achieving
accurate representation within local organizations. While the divisiveness may not exist,
from a policy-making standpoint, women’s voices are seldom heard because so few us
are involved.

Luckily, women like Schwartz have to reign in their visibility within the community.
Professionally, her goals are humble, but as community leader, she is ambitious and
well aware of the challenges that lay ahead.  Schwartz looks forward to enjoying her life
while at the same time, encouraging those around her to
www.ambiente.us  JULY | JULIO 2009

Community Spotlight|Robin Schwartz
by Vanessa Brito

There’s something to be said about a gay woman whose involvement has given our
entire community something to be thankful for – a lot of
somethings actually. Robin
Schwartz is an advocate as much as she is a leader.  She wears several hats in Miami’
s gay and lesbian community – a founding member and current board member of the
Aqua Foundation for Women, Young Founder at Mount Sinai Hospital, Vice Chair of the
Miami Beach Gay Business Committee, Vice Chair of Miami Beach Gay Pride, and
contributing force to Save Dade, The National Task Force, NCLR and Pridelines.

Without her efforts, I would have nothing to write about and magazines like this one
would be seldom. Without her efforts, women would still be looking for their niche in
the Magic City. Even so, Schwartz has invested her time and effort to push the entire
GLBT community forward – not just women.

Schwartz has done a remarkable job in building coalitions for the GLBT community –
particularly her role in devising Miami’s first Gay Pride. “I think so many felt for the first
time a true sense of community that day,” she said. This, along with the
implementation of the Gay Business Committee in the City of
.
.
.
.
become more involved.

Recognizing the increasing need for GLBT leadership, Schwartz serves as one of the
best role models. She’s encouraged the consolidation of GLBT efforts and designed a
blueprint for successful leadership. According to Schwartz, we need new leaders and
contributors to confront the lack of and access to quality healthcare, especially for
women.

Schwartz has garnered her own support through her activism and involvement from
other strong leaders in our community. Babak Movahedi says, “Robin is a true activist.
She is passionate about our community and the direction it takes and above all she
truly cares. It has been a privilege for me to have worked with her and I look forward to
working with her in the future.”

Shwartz has been part of the same group of GLBT leaders for
over 10 years and while their leadership has been great, they
cannot continue to do it alone. We are all hopeful for a better
quality of life and access to resources. This motivation should
push more of us to stand amidst the chaos, the differences, and
the decision-making process.

Schwartz has paved the way for women to have solid ground to stand on as we face
rising challenges in the GLBT community. Her struggle has led to significant changes
and recognitions we would otherwise STILL be fighting for today. We need to thank her
by strengthening OUR cause through activism and leadership.


CLICK HERE for more Vanessa Brito


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