Scouting De Lier is the winner of the John Blankenstein Prize 2017, the annual LGBTI emancipation prize of the city of The Hague. Alderman Karsten Klein (Urban Economy, Care and Ports) presented the prize this morning in the COC Haaglanden building. According to the jury, the initiative of Scouting De Lier shows courage to put the social acceptance of LGBT people in scouting on the map, both in the municipality of Westland and nationally.

In addition to Scouting De Lier, Eveline van de Putte has been nominated for her activities such as Tour d'Amour, Stormachting Stil and Love = Love, with which she reaches a wide audience from young people to the elderly, as well as professionals and volunteers. Luuk Wessels has been nominated for the successful Popcake party he initiated. With this he has created a permanent place where LGBTI people from The Hague and surroundings can be themselves.
The winner
Like John Blankenstein, Scouting De Lier has made a visible statement by speaking openly in favor of sexual diversity within the organization. In addition, scouting is a low-threshold organization with a wide reach, through all layers of society, regardless of social, cultural or religious background. The jury is of the opinion that the initiative of Scouting De Lier can serve as an inspiring example for other scouting associations in the five Regenboog municipalities and elsewhere in the Haaglanden region.
With the award of the John Blankenstein Prize 2017, the jury therefore wants to instruct Scouting De Lier to assume the ambassadorial role for social acceptance of LGBTI people in the Haaglanden region. In particular, they can encourage other scouting associations to follow their example and join the slogan 'proud to be (sc)out!' The jury is in any case 'Proud of the scouts!'

Prize made by The Hague Artist Mickey Yang
The prize includes a cash prize of EUR 2.500 and a statue of the Hague artist Mickey Yang. She made the statue on behalf of COC Haaglanden. It is made of solid bronze that has been sandblasted and has a dynamic shape. It has a weight between 2-3 kg. With this, Yang emphasizes the necessity of the award.
The artwork was designed in the workshop of Beeldenstorm in Eindhoven during her period of Artist in Residence in this city – a unique place for an artist from The Hague!
The prize money is intended to promote LGBTI emancipation.

The John Blankenstein Prize
The John Blankenstein Prize is the annual LGBTI emancipation prize of the city of The Hague for an organisation, person or group of people who have contributed to LGBTI emancipation in The Hague. The award is named after the referee John Blankenstein. The former referee openly admitted his homosexual orientation and has meant a lot to LGBT people within sport and society. With this prize, the municipality wants to contribute to the social and societal acceptance of LGBTI people in and around The Hague.
Joint ceremony Rainbow municipalities region Haaglanden
For the first time, the five Regenboog municipalities in the Haaglanden region – Delft, The Hague, Leidschendam-Voorburg, Westland and Zoetermeer – jointly award the John Blankenstein Prize. It remains a prize from The Hague, but with this collaboration the Municipality of The Hague is reaching a wider audience and a broader (supported) approach. This expansion also offers a stage to LGBTI initiatives outside The Hague.
The success of this has also become immediately visible this year: not only through the winner – from Regenbooggemeente Westland – but also through the registrations. Candidates have been nominated from every rainbow municipality.
The abbreviation LGBTI stands for: lesbian women, gay men, bisexual people, trans people and people with an intersex condition.
Previous winners of the John Blankenstein Prize were:
2016: Primary school De Kleine Keizer, because of the integrated approach to discussing sexual and gender diversity in the upper years.
2015: Hindustani Foundation, because the foundation has been setting various taboos, including sexual diversity, within the Hindustani community in The Hague for years.
2014: Peer to Peer project, a collaborative project between The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Leiden University, aimed at training HHS students of foreign origin to teach Sexual Diversity lessons as peer educators at two Special Education schools in The Hague.
2013: Foundation ADO Den Haag in de Maatschappij, because of making homosexuality a topic for discussion within the sports club, thereby contributing to the emancipation of the LGBTI group in the sports world.
2012: Anita Chedi Shiwally, a contemporary activist who uses every means to achieve her goal.
2011: Roze in Blauw Haaglanden, the Hague branch of the network within the Dutch National Police that is involved in combating anti-LGBTI violence and supporting its victims.
2010: Omroep West, because of positive reporting about sexual and gender diversity in the Haaglanden region.
2009: the late Fred Kleian, born in 1943 in Indonesia, who remained committed to making homosexuality a topic of discussion within ethnic circles until his death in 2011.

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