Mobirise

RAYCEEN PENDARVIS



QUEEN OF THE SHAMELESS PLUG
ENTERTAINER • SPEAKER
HOST • EMCEE • MODERATOR

Bookings: AskRayceen@gmail.com




“I feel that I am walking in my purpose and standing in my light.”

- Rayceen Pendarvis


Rayceen Pendarvis is an emcee, entertainer, activist, SWERV magazine columnist, former ANC Commissioner, and lifelong Washingtonian.  Over the years, Pendarvis has hosted numerous fundraisers, pride festivals, arts festivals, talent showcases, fashion shows, balls, and other events.  Furhermore, the Queen of the Shameless Plug frequently moderates panels and appears as a panelist at various conferences dealing with social justice and LGBTQ equality.  In addition to a regular column in SWERV, Pendarvis also has written articles for Tagg, Unite Virginia, and TUV magazines.


The Goddess of DC has been honored by the community many times over the past several years, including awards from NYC’s Latex Ball, The DC Center for the LGBT Community, Casa Ruby, Empowerment Liberation Cathedral Church, and the Community Church of Washington, DC.   In 2016, Capital Pride selected Pendarvis to be a recipient of the Heroes Award and appear in the annual Capital Pride Parade. 


Later that year, despite not being ordained or ministering in a traditional capacity, Pendarvis was voted Best Clergy in the Washington Blade’s 2016 Best of Gay DC Awards.  A tireless advocate, promoter, and champion of various causes, Pendarvis has earned the monikers “Queen of the Shameless Plug” and the “Goddess of DC.”


Rayceen Pendarvis can be seen regularly as the host of The Ask Rayceen Show, a free, monthly, live event on first Wednesdays (March-November) in DC.  In addition to live music, show segments include panel discussions, interviews, competitions, improv comedy, and audience participation games.  All are welcome and admission is always FREE.


Follow Rayceen Pendarvis, Team Rayceen, as well as

The Ask Rayceen Show on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


To further explore the extraordinary life and career of Rayceen Pendarvis, click below.

HONORS

Acknowledgment of a job well done will always reaffirm the meaningful work a person performs on behalf of their community.  In this regard, Rayceen Pendarvis has had the great fortune to have been honored on numerous occasions for a variety of social, humanitarian, and philanthropic efforts.  Without question, all of these well deserved awards and honors have been accepted not only on there individual merit, but also in recognition of the many trailblazers who have tirelessly worked in the past to organize “Game Changing Movements”. In a 2015 interview with BrightestYoungThings Pendarvis states “I know that the work I do would not be possible without the efforts of all those who came before me and laid the foundation.”

That strong foundation, coupled with a personal vow by Pendarvis to keep the torch lit, will continue to ensure that darkness will forever be ILLUMINATED WITH LIGHT as long as Pendarvis is standing guard.  Those who benefit geatly from this meaningful work will ultimately reap the rewards of an overall better society, thereby making each honor and recognition, WELL WORTH THE EFFORT!

Below are several of the many honors bestowed upon the overwhelmingly humble and gracious Rayceen Pendarvis.

AWARDS AND HONORS
INDEX (1998 - PRESENT)

Click on an Award or Honor for more information, or click the Next and Previous buttons to browse through the entire listing.

2017 AWARDS AND HONORS

IMPACT AWARD 

Presented by
Omega Lambda Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Honored at the annual R. Christian-Isaiah Littleton Awards.

The ceremony was one of many events which took place during the 1st Annual Omega Lambda Phi LeaderSHIFT Conference. The festivities were held at the Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town South at Carlyle in Alexandria, VA.

Reuben Christian-Isaiah Littleton (1979 – 2016) was a former member and one of the Founding Fathers of Omega Lambda Phi Fraternity, Inc..  As its National President, Littleton served as visionary to its fifty plus chapters and lead the Executive Board and Council in supporting its mandated initiatives of: HIV/AIDS Awareness, Adopt-A-Veteran Program, Empowering Entrepreneurs, Mentoring Men, and Anti-Bullying/Violence Campaign.

Omega Lambda Phi Fraternity, Inc. is a Greek Lettered Social Organization of minority men, which was established as a 'Great United Brotherhood' of like-minded men with a dedicated commitment to service on the core principles of Integrity, Brotherhood and Unity.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

PERSON OF THE YEAR  

Presented by
Go Gay DC

Honored as the first influential Washington, DC socialite named Person of The Year by Go Gay DC.

Go Gay DC is a revolutionary use of new media, dedicated to keeping the public in the know 24/7.  Founded by TJ Flavell, the social platform bills itself as the most popular LGBTQ Meetup Group in the Washington, DC, area.  In addition to hosting signature events, the social platform provides the public with the latest on what's happening in the community with an informative calendar and prides itself on connecting with the gay community both virtually and in person.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

OUT, BLACK & PROUD 

Created by
RizeUp! Magazine

Honored alongside national and internationally renowned LGBT luminaries in RizeUp! magazine's list of Out, Black & Proud.

RizeUp! magazine, which is officially produced by the staff of National Youth Pride Services, is promoted as a creative, urban, intellectual & socially forward publication.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Presented by
Casa Ruby

Honored at The DC Trans Ball, by members of the Transgender community and one of its premiere organizations.

Casa Ruby is a non-profit multicultural LGBT Center for transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming gay, lesbian and bisexual people.  The bilingual center staff are also active in immigration and homeless issues.  They provide hot meals, support groups, clothing assistance and emergency housing referrals to some of the city’s most disadvantaged members.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

100 OUTstanding LGBTQ Personalities & Leaders of Color In 2016 

Created by
The G-List Society (currently known as G-Listed)

Honored with inclusion in The G-List Society’s annual list of “100 OUTstanding LGBTQ Personalities & Leaders of Color In 2016”.

The second annual list was compiled by Waddie Grant, owner, blogger and executive producer of The G-Listed.  He describes the list as “an acknowledgment of men and women who have exercised their talents and voices throughout the past 12 months that put an image of excellence, leadership or notoriety for people of color who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, same-gender-loving, queer and transgender”.  Based in New York City, the blog has an average readership of more than 100,000 audience impressions yearly.

The G-List Society (currently known as G-Listed) celebrates Black entertainment and excellence in pop culture, spotlights LGBTQ-SGL influencer's and events in exclusive features, and honors the achievements of LGBTQ-SGL people of color.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

HEALTH EDUCATION AWARD  

Presented by
Empowerment Liberation Cathedral

Honored by Bishop Allyson D. Nelson Abrams  and Empowerment Liberation Cathedral under the banner #MightMenofELC during the church's G.A.Y. (God Affirms You) Sunday.

Empowerment Liberation Cathedral is a welcoming and affirming, radically inclusive, LGBTQIA celebrated congregation, where ALL of God's children are welcomed.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

JANICE DAVIS AWARD OF MERIT  

Presented by
Dee Curry

Honored by Dee Curry, a long-time HIV/AIDS activist, Ryan White Planning Council Member, Transgender rights spokesperson, founder of the Solutions to Wellness Conference, and Casa Ruby employee.

Janice Davis is fondly thought of as an early leader of the transgendered community.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

50 WINNERS WHO ARE HELPING OTHERS WIN 

Created by
RizeUp! Magazine

Honored with inclusion in RizeUp! magazine's third annual list of 50 Winners Who Are Helping Others Win.  The publication utilized its national membership of youth and young adults across the U.S. to select the honorees for their annual list.

RizeUp! magazine, which is officially produced by the staff of National Youth Pride Services, is promoted as a creative, urban, intellectual & socially forward publication.

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

15th Annual Washington Blade Best of Gay DC Readers’ Poll Honoree 

Presented by
The Washington Blade

Honored by officially being voted “Best Clergy” in the 15th Annual 2016 Washington Blade Best of Gay DC Readers’ Poll.

The highly competitive competition culminated with over 25,000 votes being casted by Washington Blade readers for their favorite organizations, businesses, and individuals in ninety-nine categories.  The awards ceremony was officially presented by Whitman-Walker Health and held at Town Danceboutique in Washington, DC.

The Washington Blade is an award-winning LGBT news source with a large online following.  Readers locally and around the world rely on its unmatched coverage of LGBT issues, earning the paper the moniker “Newspaper of Record for the LGBT Community.” 

2016 AWARDS AND HONORS

CAPITAL PRIDE HERO AWARD 

Presented by
Capital Pride Alliance

Honored at the annual Capital Pride Alliance Heroes Gala.

The ceremony honors dedicated individuals whose body of work has had a positive, significant, and lasting impact on the LGBTQ+ community.  Established by Capital Pride Alliance, the gala was presented by Hilton Worldwide, hosted by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and held at the iconic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square in Washington, DC.

Capital Pride Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTA community and its partners through educational events, entertainment, community outreach, and celebrations of diversity, including the annual celebration of Pride in the Nation's Capital.

2015 AWARDS AND HONORS

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD 

Presented by
The DC Center for the LGBT Community

Honored at the 10th Annual DC Center Fall Reception.

The DC Center’s annual signature fundraising event reflects on The Center’s contributions to the community over the past year as well as honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBT Community within the Greater Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area.  Attendance at the celebration helped The Center achieve its mission and goals of providing a safe environment for all LGBT individuals and supported much needed community-based programs and services.  The reception was held on the roof deck of the Warner Building in Washington, DC.

The DC Center for the LGBT Community aims to educate, empower, celebrate, and connect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.  To fulfill their mission, the center focuses on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building.  The staff ultimately envisions communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

2015 AWARDS AND HONORS

14th Annual Washington Blade Best of Gay DC Readers’ Poll
Finalist

Presented by
The Washington Blade

Honored for the second time by officially being voted first runner-up for “Most Committed Activist” in the 14th Annual 2015 Washington Blade Best of Gay DC Readers’ Poll.

The highly competitive competition culminated with 20,000 votes being casted by Washington Blade readers for their favorite organizations, businesses, and individuals in 97 categories (up from 73 the previous year).  The awards ceremony was held at Town Danceboutique in Washington, DC.,

The Washington Blade is an award-winning LGBT news source with a large online following.  Readers locally and around the world rely on its unmatched coverage of LGBT issues, earning the paper the moniker “Newspaper of Record for the LGBT Community.” 

2015 AWARDS AND HONORS

SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD 

Presented by
The Community Church of Washington, DC

Honored at the annual White Out Awards.

The all white formal dinner reception, which is hosted annually by The Community Church of Washington, DC., aimed to honor social justice advocates.  The awards ceremony was held at the Human Rights Campaign Building in Washington, DC.

The Community Church of Washington DC - United Church of Christ is a church for ALL people, regardless of race, creed, color, ability, gender identification, age, sexual orientation, educational level or socioeconomic background.  The open and affirming church is located in the heart of the Anacostia community of Washington, DC.

2015 AWARDS AND HONORS

OUTstanding 100 Personalities of Color In 2015

Created by
The G-List Society (currently known as G-Listed) 

Honored with inclusion in G-List Society’s 2015 list of “OUTstanding 100 Personalities of Color.” 

The annual list was compiled by blogger Waddie Grant who described it as “an acknowledgment of men and women who have exercised their talents and voices throughout the past 12 months that put an image of excellence, leadership or notoriety for people of color who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, same-gender-loving, queer and transgender”.

The G-List Society (currently known as G-Listed) celebrates Black entertainment and excellence in pop culture, spotlights LGBTQ-SGL influencer's and events in exclusive online features, and honors the significant achievements of LGBTQ-SGL people of color.  Waddie Grant. is the executive producer, .owner, and blogger of The G-Listed.  Based in New York City, the blog has an average readership of more than 100,000 audience impressions yearly.

2015 AWARDS AND HONORS

LIMITLESS VISION AWARD  

Presented by
The Iconic Jay Blahnik

Honored by the House/Ballroom community by one of its most legendary members, Jay Blahnik.

The Limitless Vision Award was bestowed to Pendarvis for “providing outstanding and consistent education and needed resources to people and communities across the nation (on a wide-variety of topics), advocating on behalf of those whom are without a voice and for tackling issues/concerns that are too controversial for others, and for creating opportunities where none previously existed.”

Jay Blahnik is a Ballroom commentator, musician, producer, fashion designer, dancer/choreographer, stylist and humanitarian.  Blahnik has been cited by many as one of the greatest performers and runway competitors in the history of the House/Ball community and has received numerous honors and accolades for his revolutionary efforts.

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

13th Annual Washington Blade Best of Gay DC Readers’ Poll
Double Nominee 

Presented by
The Washington Blade

Honored for the first time by officially being nominated for 
Most Committed Activist” and “Local Hero” in the 13th Annual 2014 Washington Blade Best of Gay DC Readers’ Poll.

The highly competitive competition culminated with more than 20,000 votes being casted by Washington Blade readers for their favorite organizations, businesses, and individuals in 73 categories. 

The Washington Blade is an award-winning LGBT news source with a large online following.  Readers locally and around the world rely on its unmatched coverage of LGBT issues, earning the paper the moniker “Newspaper of Record for the LGBT Community.” 

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

GOLDEN HEART AWARD 

Presented by
Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc.

Honored at the annual Golden Heart Awards.

The awards ceremony was established by the brothers of the Lambda Chapter of Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc.  The ceremony recognized significant contributions of community leaders and activists at the Golden Heart Bow-Tie Brunch.

Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc. is an international service organization founded on the campus of Florida State University in 1985.   It is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by gay men of color.  Since its inception, the fraternity has striven to maintain the motto “Service Without Expectation.”  Its membership now also includes gay, bi and progressive men who exemplify its motto through academic excellence, certified leadership skills, and being consistently involved in creating change in the global community through the programs of service embodied in the fraternity’s program goals,

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

BALLROOM VANGUARD AWARD 

Presented by
NYC Black Pride 

Honored at the 18th Annual NYC Black Pride Heritage Awards.

The awards ceremony severed as a kickoff event for the annual NYC Black Pride festivities, and was partially sponsored by both Gay Men of African Descent and AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The prestigious honor was also shared with several members of The House of Pend'avis.  The reception was held at the Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture in New York City.

NYC Black Pride is an annual five day multi-cultural festival of events celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities of color.  Established in 1997, the festival is the first and remains the longest existing event servicing Black and Latino LGBT people in New York City.

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

BLACK GAYS ROCK: Celebrating 100 More Black LGBT Voices of 2014

Presented by
The G-List Society (currently known as G-Listed) 

Honored by being selected for inclusion in G-List Society’s list of African-American LGBT luminaries for “BLACK GAYS ROCK: Celebrating 100 MORE Black LGBT Voices Of 2014”.  Waddie Grant, author of the list, aims to honor prominent men and women in the Black LGBT community for their accomplishments throughout the year.

The G-List Society (currently known as G-Listed) celebrates Black entertainment and excellence in pop culture, spotlights LGBTQ-SGL influencer's and events in exclusive features, and honors the achievements of LGBTQ-SGL people of color.  Based in New York City, the blog has an average readership of more than 100,000 audience impressions yearly.

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

RODNEY TAYLOR COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD 

Presented by
Inner Light Ministries

Honored at the Rodney Taylor Community Service Awards held in Washington, DC.  The award is bestowed upon individuals for significant “LGBTQ support and advocacy.”

Rodney David Taylor (1965-2003) was a beloved former member of Inner Light Ministries.  He become a very active participant in the church’s Voices of Praise and also founded it's Dance Ministry.  Taylor also studied and performed with the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem.  His cosmetology degree from Bennett Beauty Institute afforded him the unique opportunity to also work for BET Studios.  Hard work allowed his professional career to thrive, affording him the opportunity to become a well-known and nationally recognized celebrity stylist.  His a-list clientèle included international music icons Sweet Honey in the Rock, lifestyle expert B. Smith, and recording artist Rachelle Ferrell.  Most importantly, Taylor is very foundly remembered as the longtime partner of Bishop Kwabena Albert Rainier Cheeks, founder and Senior Pastor of Inner Light Ministries in Washington, DC.

Inner Light Ministries aims to empower people to reach for, and achieve, their highest potential and quality of life.  The ministry continually strives for the betterment of all people, with a special emphasis on people of color, LGBTQ, and other marginalized groups and communities.

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

AVIS PEND'AVIS ANGEL AWARD  

Presented by
Gay Men's Health Crisis

Honored at the Gay Men's Health Crisis Annual Latex Ball.

The annual event is widely considered the most successful and largest ball in the world.  The official theme of the ball was "Year of the Legends."  Held at Terminal Five in midtown Manhattan, the event was lauded as one of the most highly anticipated functions for the ballroom scene, which is a culture that encompasses fashion, dance, family, style and competition.

The Avis Pend'avis Angel Award is annually presented in the name of the iconic Avis Pend'avis, founding house mother of The House of Pend'avis.  Mother Avis and Father Kirk originally launched the house in 1979.  Rayceen Pendarvis had the honor of being presented with the The Avis Pend'avis Angel Award on The House of Pend'avis' 25th Anniversary.  

During an interview with local media, Pendarvis stated, “My most cherished award is the Angel Award, in honor of my mentor and mother Avis [Pend'avis], presented to me at the 2014 Latex Ball in New York City by Luna [Pendavis Khan] and Sol Pendavis.  Rayceen Pendarvis also reached out to the legion of social media fans, writing on Facebook “I know AVIS is looking down with all my sisters and brothers smiling. I stand on their shoulders!!!” 

Gay Men's Health Crisis is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy.  Building on decades of dedication and expertise, the organization aims to fight, and eventually end, the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

RED-ERA BALLROOM LEGENDARY AWARD  

Presented by
Arika & Vogue’ology Collective

Honored at the Ballroom's Red Era (1986-90) Icon Awards and Honorary Dinner.

The Red-Era Ballroom Legendary Award is presented to individuals for “outstanding community service”.  Organizers define the “Red Era” as “the era when Ballroom expanded out of New York to Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC; new houses were established; and, many elders were lost to AIDS.”  The awards ceremony was held during Master BallStar Weekend, a series of events officially organized to assist in establishing the Ballroom Freedom and Free School as well as formulate an initial set of propositions for it's curriculum and structure.  The reception was held at the Holiday Inn in New York City.

Arika works to celebrate and support art as it expresses communities’ desires and struggles in creating their lives and worlds together.  The word Arika is a Japanese word, which loosely translates to “a place where maybe you might find the thing you desire.”

The Vogue'ology Collective is committed to the struggles against racism, homophobia, transphobia, and poverty.  For Vogue'ology, these struggles are organized by the radical performance practices of the House/Ballroom scene, a creative movement of gender queer Latino/a and African Americans.

2013 AWARDS AND HONORS

HUMANITARIAN AWARD 

Presented by
Winter Meltdown Inc.

Honored by Winter Meltdown Inc., an African-American LGBT vacation and travel company specializing in winter resort vacations for gay and lesbian people..  The awards ceremony was held at Honor's Heaven Resort & Spa in Ellenville, NY.

Winter Meltdown Inc. is the defacto successor to the hugely popular Winter Explosion. The four-day weekend getaway took great pride in bringing together people of color who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender (LGBT) for entertainment, networking and advocacy.

2013 AWARDS AND HONORS

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD  

Presented by
OASIS Dance Collective 

Honored at the 3nd Annual Alston-Gillard Awards Ceremony -  The Resurrection of Fashion.

Bestowed annually by the OASIS Dance Company, the awards aim to honor individuals who provide distinguished and exceptional service to the LGBTQ Youth of the DC Metropolitan Area.  Pendarvis received the organization's most coveted prize,
The Lifetime Achievement Award.  The reception was held at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus Theater (THEARC Theater) in Washington, DC.  Proceeds from the ceremony were donated to The OASIS Dance Collective & the Wanda Alston House Foundation.

The OASIS Dance Collective is a nonprofit organization committed to making dance a meaningful experience for all. The collective combines all forms of dance to create an eclectic performance that captivates and rouses the senses of audience members.  The dance collective’s success reflects the commitment and enthusiasm of its members, as they use dance to build self-confidence and strength. In doing so, they encourages the hard work and dedication necessary to make outstanding dance performances possible.

2014 AWARDS AND HONORS

GOODLIFE AWARD  

Presented by
The Goodlife Committee

Honored at the The Goodlife Awards. The awards ceremony aimed to honor and celebrate outstanding men and women in various communities who have committed their lives to EXCELLENCE & SUCCESS!  Honorees are selected from a wide range of areas in life, and are chosen for the great work they do. It is hoped that the event inspires people in communities all over the world to continue to strive for their absolute best!

The GoodLife Awards was originally established in 2005 as the Victorious Woman Awards, an awards ceremony honoring outstanding Christian Women.  The ceremony was later restructured to include men and to also celebrate individuals within different communities who strive for EXCELLENCE & SUCCESS.

2012 AWARDS AND HONORS

OUR HEROES 

Presented by
The Max Robinson Center

Honored with inclusion in Our Heroes - a photography collection of over 200 images housed in the permanent collection of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC.

The large scale photo exhibit chronicles the people, places, events and things, that have made a significant impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS within the nation's capital from 1983 to the present.  The collection includes short biographies or statements from each subject that are all written in the first person.  This creates an experience where visitors feel as though the subjects are speaking directly to them and adds a unique personal connection.  The subjects are primarily activists, community leaders, health care providers, religious and spiritual leaders, politicians, and artists.

Our Heroes was originally established by lead organizer Wallace Leo Corbett, Jr. in collaboration with several members of The Max Robinson Center Advisory Board who collectively consider it to be the largest display of its kind in the United States.  “We took the time to document a very long and meticulous journey,” Corbett says.  “Some of the pictures are very emotional, some are self-explanatory and some are artistic.”  The sheer variety of photos makes for a diverse history lesson.

The Max Robinson Center is an official satellite branch of Whitman Walker Clinic serving residents of Washington, DC living east of the Anacostia River, who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

2011 AWARDS AND HONORS

RAIFORD AWARD  

Presented by
Private Brothas

Honored at the First Annual RAIFORD Awards Gala.

The awards ceremony aimed to honor community heroes of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area “who have nurtured our youth and helped build and kept our communities strong and safe.”  Partially funded by Private Brothas, in collaboration with several Private Brothas Alumni, the reception also served as a fundraiser which culminated in a significant scholarship check being donated to a student at Howard University in Washington,
DC.  Pendarvis was specifically honored for significant “Community Impact.”  Yarde Noir served as the host for the evening, while Abdur-Rahim Briggs of the Alsura Organization served as guest speaker.  The awards ceremony was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Washington, DC.

Private Brothas host social and networking events for business professionals as an alternative to the club scene in Metropolitan Washington, DC.  Their events are designed in settings that allow guests to engage in conversation with others, share ideas, have fun and enjoy local and cultural entertainment.

2009 AWARDS AND HONORS

SPIRIT OF LIGHT AWARD 

Presented by
Mascara Illusion

Honored at the annual Spirit Of Light Awards.

The awards ceremony recognizes recipients for “lighting a path for the greater LGBTQ community of Washington, D.C., to follow.”  The reception also served as a special benefit for Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc.

The Mascara Illusion Show is a variety illusion showcase featuring a professional drag performance group.

2008 AWARDS AND HONORS

SYLVIA RIVERA AWARD 

Presented by
World Pride & Power Organization

Honored at the inaugural World Pride Awards.

The awards ceremony was one of many events which took place during the World Pride & Power Conference hosted by the World Pride & Power Organization.  "Unity, Empowerment & Inclusivity," was the official theme of the conference, which aimed to be an international gathering for Two-Spirited, SGLBT People of African Descent, as well as, SGLBT People of Color and their allies.  In addition, the event also aimed to honor 19 SGLBT leaders of color during its inaugural awards ceremony.  Pendarvis received the Sylvia Rivera Award which is bestowed upon individuals for “Unwavering Work in Affirming, Empowering & Healing Trans Communities of Color.  The conference convened at the Olympic Collection Conference Center in Los Angeles, CA., 

World Pride Conference Chair, Ta'Shia Asanti, commented on the honorees by stating “This group of award recipients represent individuals whose work has literally transformed lives, shaped entire communities, empowered families and individuals.  Many have never been publicly recognized for their work but have been diligent in their stand for racial equality, social justice, gender rights, the rights of SGLBT and all people. The World Pride & Power Organization reviewed hundreds of nominations and selected these 19 based on the impact of their work on the community-at-large. These are people who get up in the middle of the night when a call comes in and rise in the wee hours of the morning to support the work of our movement." 

Sylvia Rae Rivera (1951–2002) was an American gay liberation and transgender activist as well as a self identified drag queen. She was a founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance.  With her close dear friend Marsha P. Johnson, Rivera took pride in officially co-founding the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens and trans women of color.

The World Pride & Power Organization is a Project of the National Heritage Foundation's Congressional District Program.  Their mission is to address community issues in the following areas: social justice, media education, health education, collective empowerment, cultural affirmation and community bridge building.

2005 AWARDS AND HONORS

MARVIN E. YOUNG AWARD  

Presented by
Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc.

Honored at the annual Marvin E. Young Awards.

The awards ceremony recognizes recipients for “outstanding volunteer support to address the problem of HIV/AIDS in the African American community.”

Marvin E. Young (1960-1995) was a beloved former member of Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc.

Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc., (UHU), was founded in 1985 by Bishop Kwabena Albert Rainier Cheeks with the support of his friends (all of whom were African-American gay or bisexual men).  Bishop Cheeks' motivation for starting the organization was the experience of losing numerous friends to AIDS, the death of his lover to the illness, and the discovery that he too was HIV-positive.  UHU began as a group of volunteers that provided holistic health information for people living with AIDS.  The strategy was to teach natural holistic techniques – involving the body, mind and spirit – for health maintenance. Currently, UHU is committed to improving the health and well-being of Black gay men through innovative programs and services and through a vision of inclusiveness to reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS in the entire Black community.

1998 AWARDS AND HONORS

WELMORE COOK AWARD 

Presented by
Black Lesbian and Gay Pride, Inc. (now known as DC Black Pride)

Honored at the Black Lesbian and Gay Pride Awards.

The awards ceremony recognized exemplary members and allies of the Black LGBT community who have demonstrated true dedication to uplifting and advancing the community.

The Welmore Cook Award is presented annually to two members of the local Black LGBT community for outstanding leadership.

Welmore Alfred Cook (1924-1992) was one of the co-founders of Black Lesbian & Gay Pride Day which is currently known as DC Black Pride.

DC Black Pride (originally known as Black Lesbian and Gay Pride Day, Inc.) is a program of the Center for Black Equity (CBE). The CBE is a coalition of Black Pride organizers formed to promote a multinational network of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Prides and community-based organizations.  The vision of CBE is to build a global network of LGBT individuals, allies, community-based organizations and prides dedicated to achieving equality and social justice for Black LGBT communities through Health Equity, Economic Equity and Social Equity.

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