To remember Xulhaz Mannan and his dedication to the SOGIESC community in Bangladesh, Equal partners (Inclusive Bangladesh, Noboprobhaat and Somota Foundation) have come together to initiate the Xulhaz Mannan Memorial Award of Diversity from 2021. Xulhaz Mannan was an employee of the United States embassy in Dhaka, who founded the first and only LGBT-themed magazine named Roopbaan. On April 25, 2016, he was killed along with his LGBTQ activist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy in an attack by Islamist Extremists. Xulhaz is remembered by the youth and LGBTQ activists with respect.
The award value for 2021 was BDT 10000/= and a certificate. There was only one winner in 2021.
EQUAL partners envision a just and equitable Bangladesh for the SOGIESC community and ask for everyone’s support.
The 1st award was presented to Manisha Meem Nipun. Manisha, 25, is a youth trainer, human rights, and transgender rights activist from the southern part of Bangladesh. She identifies herself as a trans-woman and prefers she/her as pronounces. She has been working for more than seven years to promote the rights of SOGIESC people and has been working as the representative of the transgender community of the remote areas of Bangladesh including the Chattogram hill tracts. She has worked collaboratively with several organizations as well as independently, contributing to the rights of transgender people.
In 2021, She founded "PathChola-Walking the way" to support the marginalized transgender community during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has received many awards for her contributions to the community including, Youth Champion Bangladesh 2018, Best Field Facilitator Award in 2019, Volunteer Activism Award in 2020, and Dhurbotara Youth Development Foundation.