Bill Miles, 52, a board member and longtime organizer for Capital Pride, D.C.’s annual LGBT Pride event, died April 10 from complications associated with cancer, according to the group’s president, Michael Lutz.
Miles served as a leader of the volunteer committee that organized Capital Pride events when the events were produced by the Whitman-Walker Clinic. He was a founding board member of the Capital Pride Alliance, the non-profit organization that now produces the 10 days of events each year associated with Pride.
“Bill was a key part to our start-up success,” said Lutz. “He served for years as the main stage manager and co-chair of security, and most recently as a trusted adviser on non-profit organization and development.”
A native of Connecticut, Miles moved to the D.C. area more than 20 years ago and became active in LGBT community causes and projects, Lutz said. He had a doctorate degree in education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and worked until the time of his death as director of programs for the National Education Association Foundation.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and earned his master’s degree in education from Harvard University.
Prior to joining the NEA Foundation, Miles served as director of policy and programs at the National Public Education Network, a national network of local education groups. He also served as a consultant on educational programs and development. He began his career as a middle and high school teacher and administrator.
In addition to his involvement with Capital Pride, Miles was an active volunteer with AIDS Walk Washington, one of the Whitman-Walker Clinic’s main fundraising events.
Lutz said Miles also designed and managed lighting for local venues and parties, including the annual Cherry Fund dance party and shows at the D.C. LGBT nightclub Ziegfeld’s-Secrets.
“His passion for the community, and especially for Pride, was contagious,” said Lutz. “He brought stability and balance when we needed it most. We have lost a much-valued part of our program, our community, and our lives … but I also know Bill will want us to carry his passion forward, and that we will do.”
Information about a memorial service will be announced later this month on the Capital Pride web site, capitalpride.org.