The Charlotte Pride Executive Committee was pleased to honor these Champions of Pride Award recipients in 2015.
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: Joshua Burford
Given 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.
Though living in Charlotte for only a short time, Joshua Burford has had a tremendous impact on local LGBTQ community conversations, priorities, leadership, culture and history. In particular, he has nearly single-handedly orchestrated the creation of the first-ever Charlotte LGBTQ Community Archive and has begun collecting and preserving local history that spans over six decades. He is currently organizing a regional project that will connect southern LGBTQ archivists and provide increased access to historical materials. In addition to his community service, he works with LGBTQ students at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in his position as assistant director for sexual and gender diversity at the campus’ Multicultural Resource Center.Read more about Joshua Burford
Outstanding Ally Award: The Hon. John Autry
Charlotte City Council, District 5
Given 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.
First elected to Charlotte City Council in 2011, John Autry has been among the most committed and outspoken straight allies in local government. He has taken time to attend LGBTQ community events, in addition to supporting a wide range of other community organizations in District 5, an East Charlotte constituency that includes portions of the most heavily LGBTQ-populated ZIP code in the State of North Carolina. In the spring of 2015, Autry was the only straight-identified member of City Council to stalwartly oppose a compromise ordinance package that would have left some members of our LGBTQ community less protected in several local non-discrimination protections. In speaking against the compromise proposal, Autry cited his love for his lesbian daughter and stood strong when facing backlash for his vote, telling local media: “I’m comfortable with my position and if faced with the same options tonight, I would do the same thing. In matters of civil rights, who should be excluded?”Read more about City Councilmember John Autry
Young Catalyst Award: Gabby Hubert
Given 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.
A rising junior at Parkwood High School in Monroe, N.C., Gabby Hubert organized her school’s Day of Silence activities in 2014 and, in 2015, helped to expand its observance to two other schools in her school district. Over the past two years, she has engaged nearly 200 students, a significant portion of her school’s population, been featured in local press for her activism, raised money to donate LGBTQ-themed books to her school library, donated portions of her raised money to national and local LGBTQ youth organizations and spoken on LGBTQ issues in class presentations. Additionally, in June 2014, Hubert served as a page for the North Carolina Senate.Read more about Gabby Hubert
Special Recognition — Chosen annually by Charlotte Pride co-directors to honor one or more individuals, organizations or companies who have demonstrated an ongoing and dedicated commitment to the spirit of Pride in Charlotte, either through their support of Charlotte Pride or past Pride organizations or events. These special awards will be presented to award recipients at the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade on Aug. 16.
Last updated: May 25, 2016