Resource Center recognizes supporters, LGBT allies with 5 Factor Awards


Dale Hansen, left, Phillip Kingston, middle, Abraham Salum, right.


DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

Since Resource Center began honoring people who’ve supported the agency with the 5 Factor Awards, the categories have changed. What hasn’t changed is how a variety and combination of talents blend to make Resource Center successful.

“We couldn’t do our jobs effectively without strong community support,” said Resource Center Communications and Advocacy manager Rafael McDonnell.

This year, Resource Center honors three people, one company and a philanthropic organization. The categories are media, government, commerce, culinary and philanthropy.

Dale Hansen is this year’s media honoree. Earlier this year, his commentary about Michael Sam and the NFL draft went viral.

“In Dale’s career here in Dallas, he’s never been afraid to speak his mind on any topic,” McDonnell said. “It didn’t surprise me he chose to speak so forcefully on behalf of Michael Sam.”

What may have been surprising is that Hansen was the only sports commentator in the country who said anything about the outrageous amount of discrimination Sam faced.

McDonnell wasn’t that surprised.

“We rarely see commentary on the air,” McDonnell said.

He said Hansen, who’s been on the air in Dallas since 1980 — such longevity in itself a rarity — was in just the right position to be that one, lone voice to speak up for Sam. And while Hansen’s work wasn’t specifically aimed at Resource Center, McDonnell said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Hansen will be honored by the LGBT community a number of times this fall. He’ll be the special guest at the Gay World Series opening ceremony on Monday, Sept. 22, and he’s a guest speaker at Black Tie Dinner in November. Although he was asked to be an honorary grand marshal for the Dallas Pride parade, the Cowboys are in St. Louis on Sunday, Sept. 21, when the parade takes place, so Hansen will be out of town.

The other four 5 Factor honorees are more directly linked to Resource Center.

City Councilman Philip Kingston is being honored in the government category. His district ends several blocks from Resource Center, since Cedar Springs Road is the dividing line between his and Councilman Adam Medrano’s districts.

“Philip reached out to us very early during his campaign,” McDonnell said. “He made it clear he wanted to work with us and the LGBT community.”

Kingston was one candidate in a crowded field of newcomers.

McDonnell said he’s worked with Kingston on a number of nondiscrimination issues affecting various governmental agencies and Kingston proactively reached out to Resource Center on the Dallas Federal Reserve’s lack of nondiscrimination protections.

Abraham Salum is the culinary category honoree and the only one who will be working during the event. Salum owns two restaurants — Salum and Komali on Cole Avenue at Fitzhugh in Uptown.

“He’s helped us with every major event,” McDonnell said. “And we’re not the only organization he supports.”

Salum has participated in Toast to Life, 5 Factor and Lone Star Ride. For this year’s 5 Factor, he’s one of eight restaurant stations offering food along with Trulucks, Bridge Bistro, The Palm, Wendy Krispin, Starbucks, RND Kitchen and the Original Cupcakery.

McDonnell described Whole Foods as a company that’s always been there for Resource Center but last fall made a special effort to help the Food Pantry through a real problem. Last September, during the government sequester, a slowdown of donations before Pride and a lack of donations to the North Texas Food Bank combined to cause the shelves at the pantry to be bare.

A number of groups stepped up with food drives and Whole Foods came through with a donation of $5,000 worth of food. That was just part of a broader partnership, McDonnell said.

“They’ve been steadfast supporters for many years,” he added.

Salads and unsold produce from Whole Foods have been part of the hot meals program for years.

DIFFA is the design industry’s AIDS fundraising organization. Since the Dallas branch opened in 1988, it’s donated more than $7 million to Dallas AIDS agencies. Last week, McDonnell said, DIFFA contributed $22,500 to the nutrition program.

Over the years, DIFFA has funded a number of projects at Resource Center. One of the earliest donations it made was to outfit the kitchen so Resource Center could begin its hot meals program.

McDonnell said tickets to 5 Factor as well as sponsorship opportunities are still available on the website. Raffle tickets form a chance to win a $1,000 American Airlines gift certificate can also be purchased online.

5 Factor takes place at 7 for Parties, 150 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 107. 7–9 p.m. $50.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 19, 2014.