Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert

Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.

Times files

Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.

TAMPA — Equality Florida director Nadine Smith couldn't attend last week's U2 concert in Tampa, but she can tell you which of her friends had great seats for the June 14 show at Raymond James Stadium.

That's because when Smith's photo appeared on the 200-foot-wide high-def video board next to other women leaders, her phone began to fill with snapshots from friends attending the show. In a tribute to women and activism, Smith's photo lit up the screen along with actor/writer Lena Dunham, philanthropist Melinda Gates and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

The chartreuse- and fuchsia-tinted portraits accompanied the band's encore performance of Ultra Violet (Light My Way).

Smith was moved.

"They asked me for a photo the day before," Smith said. "(But) I had no idea my giant head would be beamed next to Oprah's.

"I thought they would include it in some kind of mosaic, not a giant photo."

Smith certainly earned the honor as CEO and founder of Equality Florida, the state organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. She stands as a tireless advocate not just for the LGBTQ community, but for anyone facing discrimination.

"Here's my charge to everybody: Understand we need each other now more than ever," Smith said at Equality Florida's St. Pete Gala in April. "We've seen hate crimes spike. ... We've got to interrupt whoever feels that something happened in American life that empowers bigotry."

Although she didn't attend the concert, Smith vividly recalls going to Tampa Stadium 30 years ago to see the original Joshua Tree Tour.

I'm a big fan of their music and their activism off stage too," said Smith, who may get a chance to see the group in another city before the tour ends. "They sent me a nice photo of it and invited me to any of the remaining tour dates."

Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert 06/22/17 [Last modified: Thursday, June 22, 2017 11:58am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Myeshia Johnson, the wife of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, looks down at his casket during his burial at Fred Hunter's Hollywood Memorial Gardens in Hollywood, Fla., on Saturday. [Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS]
  2. Josbite goes all out, gets results with annual musical, 'The Threepenny Opera'

    Stage

    TAMPA — As the house lights dimmed for the second act, burglars and pickpockets, prostitutes and scam artists weaved between the little tables of the Jaeb Theater, warning customers they'd best wind down their talking and silence their phones. This was done with a wink but the point was made. This is elitism …

    Miscreants in Jobsite Theater's The Threepenny Opera, which runs through Nov. 12, include (from left) Amy E. Gray, Jonathan Harrison, Giselle Muise, Chris Jackson, Fo'i Meleah, and Derrick Phillips. Courtesy of Jobsite Theater.
  3. AHN alum, still shining on stage, returns with 'On Your Feet!'

    Human Interest

    By JOEY JOHNSTON

    Times Correspondent

    TAMPA

    Back when Alma Cuervo was a high-school performer at the Academy of the Holy Names — when AHN students were taken by their talented, charismatic, big-hearted classmate — everyone just knew she was headed for much bigger things in …

    Alma Cuervo as Consuelo (Gloria Estefan’s grand-mother) during On Your Feet in New York, 2015.
  4. Buccaneers-Bills Turning Point, Week 7: How does a receiver get that wide open?

    Bucs

    A lot can go wrong in the time it takes you to walk from your couch to the refrigerator.

    [NFL Game Pass]
  5. McCain issues veiled criticism of Trump's Vietnam deferment, 'bone spurs'

    National

    WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot and prisoner of war during Vietnam, issued a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump's medical deferments that kept him from serving in the U.S. military during the conflict.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, speak to members of the media after their meeting Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [Associated Press]