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
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.
Candis Cox is a gender and sexuality educator, lecturer, and advocate for the LGBTQ community in Raleigh. Candis is recognized this year for her tireless work as an educator and her advocacy for the LGBTQ community, especially during the debate over HB2. She is a member of the Equality North Carolina Board of Directors.
Matt Hirschy joined Equality NC in July 2014 and currently serves as Director of Advancement. Matt is recognized this year for his deep commitment to the Charlotte LGBTQ community and his tireless work with members of the business community, city government, other elected officials and diverse stakeholders to advance non-discrimination protections in Charlotte.
Outstanding Ally Award
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.
The Hon. Jennifer Roberts, Mayor of Charlotte
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts has a deep commitment to the local LGBTQ community. Her tireless efforts helped to ensure equality during the city’s debate on local non-discrimination protections and in the aftermath of HB2. Her support of a safe and welcoming Charlotte for all who call our city home has been an inspiration to many.
Young Catalyst Award
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.
Ashley Williams has been diligently involved in the Movement for Black Lives by centering the experiences of queer and trans people of color and holding police accountable. In March of 2016, Ashley received a Human Rights Advocacy Residency at Trinity College and was recently awarded a Fellowship with Spirit in Action in Asheville. Ashley believes in the power of communities to protect and serve themselves and will continue to work to exist in a world free from capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy.
Given to acknowledge longstanding and dedicated service to Charlotte Pride or other Pride events and activities in Charlotte.
Presented to Riley Murray for her 10 years of dedicated volunteer service to Charlotte Pride. The Stonewall Award is a special recognition honoring those who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the spirit of Pride in Charlotte. Charlotte Pride thanks Riley for her many years of service and commitment — and hopes to get at least another year out of her 🙂
Legacy Award – Inaugural Recipients
Given to an individual or couple to honor a lifelong commitment of outstanding leadership and service to the Charlotte LGBTQ community for an extended period of years; this special award may be presented from time-to-time by the board of directors.
Dr. Rhett Brown
Dr. Rhett Brown graduated with a degree in economics from Davidson College and completed his medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Brown has served the LGBTQ community since the 1990s. He is a past board president of Time Out Youth, a former board member for Planned Parenthood and a founding member of the Charlotte Transgender Healthcare Group. Through his community work, medical practice at Novant Health Midtown Family Medicine, community education efforts and more, Dr. Brown is an unsung advocate for the equality, health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ community.
Sue Henry moved to Charlotte in 1988 and opened Rising Moon Books and Beyond in September 1991. She was involved in a variety of early LGBTQ community organizations. In 1995, Sue became the first openly LGBTQ person to run for mayor of Charlotte against two anti-LGBTQ opponents, Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Hoyle Martin. Sue’s work has left a defining mark on our local LGTBQ community. The Donaldson Wells King-Sue Henry-Blake Brockington Community Archive at UNC-Charlotte is named partly in her honor.
Blake Brockington — In Memoriam: 1996-2015
A 2014 graduate of East Mecklenburg High School, Blake Brockington was active in his school’s band and, in February 2014, was named East Meck’s homecoming king, becoming what is thought to be the first transgender homecoming king in Charlotte. After graduation, Brockington was an outspoken activist for trans visibility and in the Black Lives Matter movement. The Donaldson Wells King-Sue Henry-Blake Brockington Community Archive at UNC-Charlotte is named partly in his honor.
Donaldson Wells King — In Memoriam: 1942-2014
Don King was a long-time employee of The Charlotte Observer and, beginning in the mid-1970s, was one of the earliest outspoken voices for LGBTQ equality in the city. He was a co-founder of Queen City Quordinators and the first editor of QNotes. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he advocated against police entrapment and harassment of gay men and others. The Donaldson Wells King-Sue Henry-Blake Brockington Community Archive at UNC-Charlotte is named partly in his honor.
Last updated: Feb. 8, 2017