Amanda Booth to Parents of Children with Down Syndrome: “I Share this Award with You.”
Amanda Booth, supermodel and social influencer, was presented the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award on November 2, 2019, by Quincy Jones at the annual Be Beautiful, Be Yourself event hosted by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
Amanda and her husband, Mike Quinones, have used their platforms to openly share their journey as parents, their joys and struggles, with a strong focus on acceptance for their son, Mikah, and all people with Down syndrome.
Mikah is too young to walk the runway, however, he did join his mother on the pre-event red carpet for several press interviews.
Amanda believes that familiarity is a key component to building acceptance and is thankful to have a platform in which to grow this familiarity. She shared with the audience of 1400 plus that her “greatest hope for Micah is that he feel welcomed.”
This event is powerful for many reasons. Global brings together people with Down syndrome, their families, friends, and allies, in addition to many people (all with unique circles of influence) who are new to recognizing the potential of people with Down syndrome and their struggles for civil rights, appropriate health care, and opportunities within their communities. Perhaps it was to the latter audience segment, to which Amanda spoke and emphasized her hopes for Mikah and his future. Her mother’s plea for a welcoming society.
She followed with gratitude and support to families:
“To the parents who came before me that fought so that my child could have an education. And the parents who came before them, that fought to take their babies home from the hospital. To the parents who show up to therapy, to the parks, and to the classroom with no award, I share this award with you.”
After her speech, came the “main event” which is the joyful, international spotlight on the models with Down syndrome who confidently walk, strut, and dance down the runway. Here Amanda Booth escorted Archie Eicher and Sevy Eicher, sibling advocates born in Bulgaria, now from Houston Texas.
Actress and entrepreneur Megan Bomgaars also received the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award at this year’s event; more on her work and acceptance speech here.
Most importantly to note that the proceeds from Global’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show help underwrite life-changing and life-saving research and medical care at Global’s affiliates — the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and Rocky Mountain Alzheimer’s Disease Center, both at the Anschutz Medical Campus, and the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado.