2014 Champions of Pride

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The Charlotte Pride Executive Committee was pleased to honor our second annual Charlotte Pride 2013 Champions of Pride Awards recipients on Aug. 17, 2013, at the Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade and on the Wells Fargo stage at the Charlotte Pride PNC Bank Festival Zone.

The Champions of Pride Awards seek to recognize those whose work and dedication exemplify the spirit of Pride. Our Champions endeavor to empower and unite LGBTQ and allied people through their leadership, service and support. Champions understand the importance of celebrating our past, present and future while advancing LGBTQ rights and visibility.

Harvey Milk Award: Tonda Taylor

tondataylor-singleGiven annually to an individual or a couple to honor exceptional leadership, service to the community and those who champion LGBTQ causes that impact the Charlotte community and beyond.

Tonda Taylor is a Charlotte native who in 1991 founded Time Out Youth, a support and advocacy organization in Charlotte for LGBTQ youth. For the next 14 years she worked as executive director of the organization. With the help of the brave gay and straight Board Members and staff, and the inspiration and courage of the youth members, together they created the organization that Tonda wished had been here when she was growing up.

Outstanding Ally Award: The Rev. Dr. Nancy Kraft

nancykraftGiven annually to an individual or a couple to honor those who do not identify as LGBTQ, but who have stalwartly supported the LGBTQ community with a demonstrated, ongoing passion and commitment to better LGBTQ lives.

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Kraft has served as pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood since 2005. As pastor, she has sought full participation for LGBTQ members on a denominational level and they have been the home for Time Out Youth. Currently, Kraft is challenging religious discrimination against same-gender couples who wish to be married in her congregation as one of the clergy plaintiffs in the General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Cooper lawsuit.

Young Catalyst Award: Andraya Williams

andrayawilliamsGiven annually to an individual or a couple to recognize a young adult leader under the age of 30 who is an “up-and-coming” leader within the community and/or whose contributions to the community have carried significant impact over the last year.

Andraya Williams is a Charlotte native and, at the age of 22, has become a leading voice for change and inclusion, speaking with courage and conviction this year after facing anti-transgender intimidation and discrimination as a student at Central Piedmont Community College, spawning student-led movements to increase inclusion.