HIV/AIDS activist and local entertainment show host Rayceen Pendarvis, journalist and former TV news anchor Kathleen Matthews, and veteran transgender rights advocate Jeri Hughes are among those named as 2016 recipients of the Capital Pride Alliance’s annual LGBT rights awards.
The organization’s Capital Pride Heroes Award, the Engendered Spirits recognition, and its Bill Miles Award, named for the group’s late founding board member, draw attention this year to eight individuals that have distinguished themselves as extraordinary advocates and allies of the LGBT community, Capital Pride officials said in a statement.
The awards will be presented at the Capital Pride Heroes Gala, which takes place at 7 p.m. on June 1 at the Carnegie Library, 901 K St., N.W.
“The Capital Pride Alliance is extraordinarily fortunate to have a community with so many individuals, leaders, and activists dedicated to fighting for and successfully advancing LGBTA rights for all of us,” said Capital Pride board president Bernie Delia.
“This year was a particularly difficult selection process, with so many outstanding individuals from whom to choose,” Delia said. “We are truly grateful and honored to announce and celebrate these individuals.”
The Capital Pride Alliance, among other things, produces D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade and Street Festival.
The Capital Pride Heroes designation was given to these individuals, whose backgrounds and accomplishments are taken from a Capital Pride pamphlet:
• Bishop Allyson Abrams, presiding bishop of the LGBT supportive Pneuma Christian Fellowship, founder of the Empowerment Liberation Cathedral and social justice advocate.
• Kathleen Matthews – LGBT advocate, human rights activist, journalist, TV news anchor, vice president for Global Communications at Marriott International Corporation, and former Maryland congressional candidate.
• Rayceen Pendarvis – HIV/AIDS activist, host of “The Ask Rayceen Show,” emcee of multiple D.C. Black Pride festivals and events, volunteer, equality advocate, and gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.
• Peter Rosenstein – LGBT rights activist, racial justice champion, CEO of national healthcare and education related associations, member of multiple nonprofit boards, and co-coordinator of a group advocating for marriage equality in D.C. He also serves as a Washington Blade columnist.
Engendered Spirits honorees recognized for having made significant contributions to the transgender community:
• Julius Agers – “Two-spirited, transgender activist, volunteer for numerous nonprofit organizations and political campaigns, staff member at the D.C. Fire and EMS Department.”
• Jeri Hughes – “Human rights advocate, volunteer, marriage equality and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal activist,” longtime advocate for banning employment discrimination against transgender people, and LGBT rights activist.
Bill Miles Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service:
• Chelsea Bland – “Labor union and LGBTQ rights activist, volunteer co-producer at Capital Pride for Volunteers, LGBT committee chair for the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2, and freelance photographer.”
• Michael Creason – “Volunteer sign language interpreter for Capital Pride and multiple LGBT organizations, nationally certified sign language interpreter, and producer at Capital Pride for Accessibility.”