Chicago, April 24, 2018 PrideIndex.com has announced the seven organizations and 12 individuals that have been selected to be honored at the 11th Annual Esteem Awards. The honorees were selected by a committee of past honorees who reviewed an array of nominations. This year's cocktail reception will take place in Chicago on Saturday, June 30 at Sidetrack 3349 N. Halsted from 1PM-4PM. The event is free and open to the public.
Following is a list of Esteem Awards finalist:
* Outstanding Service, Male: Lamont Robinson, Jr, Business Owner. Mr. Robinson made history as the first openly gay African-American person to win a primary for the Illinois General Assembly. He's currently running for the 5th Congressional District.
* Outstanding Service, Female: Maria Hadden, Social Activist. Ms. Hadden is currently the Executive Director of Our City Our Voice, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to support civic engagement processes.
* Outstanding Service, Transgender: Vanessa Sheridan, Author and Advocate. Ms. Sheridan is the Director of Transgender Relations and Community Engagement at The Center on Halsted.
* Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award: Derrick Clifton, Journalist and Communications Consultant. His work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Windy City Times. He's the currently working in Public Relations for a Pulitzer-winning, non-profit newsroom.
* Outstanding Social Services/CBO: AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Founded in 1985 by community activists and physicians, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a local and national leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
* Artistic Expression: eta Creative Arts Foundation was incorporated in 1971 as a non- profit, tax exempt organization to provide training and performance opportunities for youth and adults. In the past 47 years, eta has evolved to become a recognized cultural treasure not only in the city of Chicago, but nationally and internationally.
* Special Recognition Award: Reeling The Chicago LGBT Film Fest is the second-oldest festival of its kind in the world. Each year, Reeling showcases a variety of LGBTQ+ films, including both features and shorts. Reeling is a production of Chicago Filmmakers, a not- for-profit media arts organization that serves the independent film community in Chicago.
* Outstanding Podcast/Internet Based Video or Audio Show: The Sip unites three gay black men from diverse occupations and life journeys to embark on a quest to discover and report on everything from world headline news to pop culture; all from a Black LGBTQ perspective. The show airs Friday nights from 6pm - 8pm ( CST ) on Urban Broadcast Media.
* Outstanding Service, Male: Dr. Eric Prichard, Author. Dr. Eric Darnell Pritchard is an assistant professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He writes and teaches about literacy, rhetoric and their intersections with fashion, beauty, popular culture, identity, and power.
* Outstanding Service, Female: Dr. Wilhemenia Perry, Activist. Dr. Perry is the Cofounder of LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent, and has worked with other churches to provide space for homeless LGBTQ young people
* Outstanding Service, Transgender: Christina Kahrl, Writer and Activist. Ms. Karhl is currently writing and editing for ESPN.com . She is an avid activist on civil rights issues for the transgender community.5
* Future Leaders/Outstanding Millennial Award: D'Ontace Keyes, Artist and Philanthropist. Mr. Keyes is currently the content producer for Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative ( MOBI ), where he works to promote health and wellness in Black gay and transgender communities.
* Outstanding Social Services/CBO: The National LGBTQ Task Force: the uncompromising voice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer freedom, justice and equality for over 40 years.
* Institutional Award: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries is the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer ( LGBTQ ) materials in the world.
* Artistic Expression: My True Colours Festival's mission is to fight for social justice and to promote cultural diversity through the arts by promoting works by and for LGBTQIA+ ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual ) individuals and persons of color.
* Artistic Expression Spoken Word: Jessica Holter, Orator and Activist. Jessica Holter is best known as founder of The Punany Poets. She created the group in 1995 after the untimely death of Eric "Eazy E" Wright of AIDS. Her theater group, The Punany Poets, has appeared on HBO's Real Sex, Black Entertainment Television, Playboy TV, London's Channel 5 and Cinemax.
* Outstanding Web Series: Brown Girls is an American comedy web series created by Fatimah Asgher and Sam Bailey it follows two friends, Leila and Patricia, who pursue their dreams in Chicago. Two women of color, a queer Pakistani-American writer and an African-American musician, lean on each other to get through the difficulties of their mid-twenties.
* Outstanding Newspaper/ New Website Reporter/Columnist: Gerren Keith Gaynor, Journalist. Gaynor is currently Homepage Editor at Fox News digital. He is formerly the Homepage/Opinion Editor and Digital Host for theGrio.com . He has been published in the New York Times, ESSENCE magazine, EBONY.com, and other publications.
Since 2007,PrideIndex.com's Esteem Awards has honored local and national organizations and individuals for their continued efforts in supporting the African-American and LGBT communities in the areas of entertainment, media, civil rights, business and art.
PrideIndex.com is an online entertainment guide to events, bars and parties for the African-American and LGBT communities. It features profiles of activist, authors, club promoters, filmmakers, performance artist, conferences, support groups, and health & wellness resources.