CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) North Carolina is seeking nominations for its annual awards to be presented at the Gala on Feb. 20, 2016, at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St.

The three award categories are: Leader/Organization; Person of the Year; and Organization of the year. Deadline for nominations is Dec. 15.

The Leader/Organization Award is presented to an individual or organization that have furthered the progress of civil rights for the LGBT community.

Person of the Year Award is bestowed upon an individual who has contributed efforts to improve the lives and visibility of LGBT people in North Carolina. The recipient should have a consistent and significant list of contributions to the LGBT community and be seen as a role model to others.

Organization of the Year Award is given to an organization that has furthered the progress for civil rights for LGBT people in North Carolina. The organization can be for-profit or not-for-profit and should have created and sustained policies and practices that work to end discrimination against LGBT people and exemplifies the mission and vision of HRC.

“It’s important that we recognize and celebrate the hard work and diverse leadership of our community,” Gala Co-chair Crystal Richardson said. “The Gala committee is excited to open the award nomination process for the 2016 HRC North Carolina Gala. We encourage everyone to nominate a person and organization they feel has made a significant impact over the past year here locally in North Carolina. It’s time to recognize your Hero.”

Fellowship applications are also being accepted for those who demonstrate a need and would otherwise not be able to attend the dinner without financial assistance. The Gala aims to be inclusive, regardless of level of income and other differences. There a limited number of spaces available, so expedience in submission is encouraged. Fellowship recipients can attend the Gala at a reduced dinner ticket price.

To meet the requirements for a fellowship, applicants must complete an application; reside in North Carolina; commit to the HRC mission; volunteer for local initiatives; and demonstrate a limited-income status.

Deadline for application is Jan 1, 2016, or until all spots are filled, whichever comes first. Applications should be sent to fellowships@hrccarolina.org. Download the application here.

The annual Gala tickets are on sale and are available online. The black-tie fundraiser is one of the LGBT community’s highlights of the year. Organizers said that they expect more than 1,400 to attend this year.

info: hrccarolina.org.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988,...