D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and several high-level officials in her administration joined close to 100 people who turned out Tuesday night for the third anniversary celebration of Casa Ruby, the LGBT community center and social services organization.
Ruby Corado, founder and CEO of Casa Ruby, told the gathering that she was deeply moved by the outpouring of support Casa Ruby has received from volunteers and financial contributors since its opening three years ago on Georgia Avenue in Columbia Heights.
Among its milestones in the past year, Corado said, was the opening of separate houses in nearby locations for homeless LGBT youth and homeless LGBT adults – an endeavor she considers to be a dream come true.
“Three years into this work, we are growing, we are thriving,” Corado told the gathering, which took place at the PEPCO Edison Place Gallery at 702 8th St., N.W. “Today we are the largest employer of transgender people in the city.”
With Spanish-speaking staff members and volunteers, Corado noted that Casa Ruby has also become the city’s first LGBT organization providing services to LGBT immigrants.
“I want to congratulate Casa Ruby on three great years,” Bowser told the crowd. “I don’t quite remember when I first met Ruby, but I’m glad I did,” she said.
“And it’s been quite a trip ever since,” said a smiling Bowser to loud applause. “She tells it like it is. She means what she says. She puts her muscles, sweat, love, and tears behind helping people. And I’m just so grateful she’s doing the work that she’s doing.”
Among those attending the event were Sheila Alexander Reid and Terrance Laney, the director and deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs; Monica Palacios, director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights; Jacki Reyes, director of the D.C. Office of Latino Affairs; and D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At-Large).
Corado presented Casa Ruby’s annual awards to four community activists and one organization that she said have been strong and dedicated supporters of Casa Ruby and the entire LGBT community, especially LGBT people of color.
The awardees included Mally Hatcher with the Ruby Corado Perseverance Award; June Crenshaw, Supporter of the Year Award; Hayden Mora, Supporter of the Year Award; Lane Hudson, Ally of the Year Award; and Transgender Women of Color Collective, Excellence Award of the Year for an Organization.