About 100 people attended the eighth annual PrideIndex Esteem Awards at Sidetrack July 5. The awards honor the contributions of African-Americans and the LGBTQ community in the arts, business, civil rights, entertainment, and media realms and are one of a number of events held during Chicago's annual Black Gay Pride celebration.
Following introductory remarks from Phil Esteem, editor and founder of Prideindex.com and TheEsteemAwards.com, emcees M. Shelly Connor and Langston Smith introduced and presented each awardee with their award.
Recipients included: Outstanding Service ( Male ) Craig Johnson, Outstanding Service ( Female ) Simone Koehlinger, Outstanding Service ( Transgender ) Gloria Allen, Future Leader David Bridgeforth Jr., Artistic Expression About Face Theater ( Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff accepted the award for the organization ).
Other honorees included Special Recognition for Sanford Gaylord, Outstanding Social Service Organizations The South Side Help Center ( with Executive Director Vanessa Smith accepting ) and The Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition ( Lawrence Shine accepted the award for the organization ), and Outstanding Podcast "Can We Talk For Real" ( the show's hosts Michelle E. Brown, Ina Anthony and Terry Boi accepting ).
The event featured performances by spoken-word artist and awardee Brown and comedian Sampson McCormick as well as a tribute performance by a member of the Lanita Joseph Dance and Cultural Center.
A number of awardees were unable to attend, including Outstanding Service Male Terry Angel Mason, among others.
Raffle drawings featuring gift baskets and a 10-speed bike took place throughout the awards ceremony and performances.
See www.theesteemawards.com for more information.