Yesterday, the Capital Pride Alliance announced this year’s award recipients for their annual Heroes Gala. The recipients are nominated each year by members of the community, based on the criteria of having advanced the causes of LGBTQ rights.
“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 Bernie Delia, President of the Board of Directors of the Capital. “This year was a particularly difficult selection process, with so many outstanding individuals from whom to choose. We are truly grateful and honored to announce and celebrate these individuals.”
This year’s Capital Pride Heroes are founder of Empowerment Liberation Cathedral Bishop Allyson Abrams, LGBTQ activist and journalist Kathleen Matthews, HIV/AIDS activist Rayceen Pendarvis, and racial justice champion Peter Rosenstein. For 25 years, Matthews was a reporter and news anchor at WJLA-TV where she covered education, women in the workplace, and the fight for LGBTQ equality, including the first Pride Day celebrations. She is known as a true progressive and has been a lifelong advocate for equality and human rights in her community and throughout her career as a journalist, business executive, and most recently as a candidate for U.S. Congress.
The Engendered Spirit awards are given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the transgender community. This year’s recipients are transgender activist Julius Agers and human rights advocate Jeri Hughes. Agers is a two-spirited and transgender advocate who is currently living in Washington D.C. Throughout his life he has dedicated himself to volunteerism and civil service with a focus on improving the health and well-being of the LGBTQ community. He currently works at the D.C. Fire and EMS Department and serves on Mayor Bowser’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee.
The Bill Miles Award was created to acknowledge outstanding volunteers who contribute to the annual Capital Pride celebration. This year’s recipients are union and labor movement advocate Chelsea Bland and sign language interpreter Michael Creason. Bland serves as the volunteer co-producer for the Capital Pride Alliance. She has volunteered with the organization since 2012, and stepped into the volunteer co-producer role in 2015.
All recipients will be honored at the Capital Pride Heroes Gala presented by Hilton at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, June 1 at 7 p.m., in the iconic Carnegie Library, 801 K Street NW. For more on the Capital Pride Heroes Gala and other pride related events, visit www.capitalpride.org.