2017 Champions of Pride

The Charlotte Pride Executive Committee was pleased to honor these Champions of Pride Award recipients in 2017.

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 honor exceptional leadership, service to the community and those who champion LGBTQ causes that impact the Charlotte community and beyond.

The Hon. Al Austin, former Charlotte City Councilmember

Alvin “Al” Austin was recently appointed as the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Outreach Director for the North Carolina Department of Transportation by the Deputy Chief Secretary. He is a former member of Charlotte City Council representing District 2 covering Uptown, north and northwest Charlotte. Former Councilmember Austin is recognized this year for his outspoken leadership on behalf of the LGBTQ community during Charlotte’s debates on public accommodations and non-discrimination ordinances, as well as his steadfast support of the ordinances during debates on HB2 and its replacement bill in the legislature.

Click here to learn more about Al Austin

Alvin “Al” Austin was recently appointed as the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Outreach Director for the North Carolina Department of Transportation by the Duty Chief Secretary. He is a former Charlotte City Council representing Council District 2 covering uptown, north and northwest Charlotte. He served on the Council’s Environment Committee, Vice Chairman of Public Safety Committee and Vice Chair of the Housing and Neighborhood Development Committee. Al also served at the Director of all Development at Johnson C. Smith University where is charged to complete a $150 Comprehensive Campaign for the university.

Identified as one of Charlotte’s Emerging Minority Leaders by Access Charlotte; honored with the PEARL Award from the Alpha Lamda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated as an outstanding community leader; Honored by the Powerhouse Project with their 2015 Power of One Community Award.

He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the Almetto Alexander Labyrinth Foundation Board of Managers; S.T.A.R.S. Board of Managers and former Board of Trustees for the Penn Center in Beaufort South Carolina. He has a B.S. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Sociology and Criminal Justice Administration.

Al is extremely health conscious and believes exercise, nutrition and prayer are keys to a long and successful life.

The Hon. LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte City Councilmember

LaWana Mayfield is currently seeking her third term representing District 3 on Charlotte City Council. Since 2011, when she was elected as the city’s first openly LGBTQ public official, she has made affordable housing, job creation and public safety her priority. In 2014, she was awarded the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellowship and completed the Harvard Kennedy School of Government program. Councilmember Mayfield is recognized this year for her outspoken leadership on behalf of the LGBTQ community during Charlotte’s debates on public accommodations and nondiscrimination ordinances, as well as her steadfast support of the ordinances during debates on HB2 and its replacement bill in the legislature.

Click here to learn more about LaWana Mayfield
LaWana Mayfield is currently seeking her third term representing District 3 on Charlotte City Council. Since 2011 she has made affordable housing, job creation and public safety her priority.

In 2014, she was awarded the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellowship and completed the Harvard Kennedy School of Government program. LaWana serves on the National League of Cities (NLC) REAL Race, Equity and Leadership Committee, as Immediate Past-President of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Local Officials (LGBTLO), @nd Vice-President National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) and as board member of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. She also serves as Chair-Centralina Economic Development Committee.

She believes that every citizen should have equal access and be free from discrimination. Her support of a Charlotte that protects all of its citizens without regard to race, gender, religious affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity will continue as she serves District 3.


Outstanding Ally Award

Given annually 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.

Diane Troy

Call Diane Troy a PFLAG Mom and watch her face light up with pride. Her heartfelt message of hope and acceptance to families with LGBTQ loved ones defines her work as a mentor and community volunteer. Diane is recognized for her outstanding community work on behalf of LGBTQ youth and families. She is the former president of PFLAG Charlotte and currently serves on their board while also volunteering as PFLAG National South Atlantic Regional Director.

Click here to learn more about Diane Troy
Call Diane Troy a PFLAG Mom and watch her face light up with pride. Her heartfelt message of hope and acceptance to families with LGBTQ loved ones defines her work as a mentor and community volunteer.  This proud and supportive mom is passionate about the role allies must embrace to push our communities to become more inclusive and accepting.Diane’s volunteer work includes coaching parents of LGBTQ loved ones, working with community organizations to advocate for LGBTQ people and their families, working with faith communities to offer ally instruction and resources, and working with Charlotte Pride and PFLAG Charlotte to offer Pride’s Family Zone. As a regional director, she has the opportunity to expand these efforts to include other PFLAG Chapters in NC, SC, TN, and KY
Diane Troy is the former president of PFLAG Charlotte and current PFLAG National South Atlantic Regional Director also serving on the PFLAG Charlotte Board. When not visiting her son in California or her Jersey family, she enjoys time at home with her rescued pets, a Golden Doodle and TV-watching cat.

Young Catalyst Award

Given annually 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.

Vinnie Holt

Vinnie Holt is a 15-year-old queer trans person of color from Charlotte. He is passionate about rights for all humans, no matter who they are, who they love, and where they come from. He is an artist and musician, and is passionate about the intersectionalities of activism and art. Being a queer youth, he strives to advocate for rights and representation of LGBTQ+ young people. Vinnie is recognized this year for his brave advocacy at his school and in the wider community. He recently appeared in the VICE documentary “Youth Interrupted.”

Rebby Kern

Rebby Kern currently serves at the Assistant Director of School Outreach at Time Out Youth Center in Charlotte, NC. Rebby works directly with students, school personnel, administrators and district-level administrators to provide youth leadership programs and educate school systems and educators on best practices and policies for more inclusive schools for LGBTQ youth across the region. Rebby previously served as Executive Assistant the President and CEO of the Victory Fund & Institute in Washington, D.C. Rebby previously served three years as Media, Communications and Programs Manager at Campus Pride, a Charlotte-based, national organization creating safer, more LGBTQ-friendly college campuses. Over the past year Rebby participated in the Community Builder’s Initiative Leaders Under 40 Program. This year-long program developed young leaders to engage deeper in the Charlotte community to identify root causes and conditions of systemic barriers and create pathways to new solutions and amends to these barriers. Rebby also spends countless hours engaging with the recovery community in Charlotte serving individuals who have been affected by substance and alcohol abuse. If you look closely around Charlotte, you may even find the face of this young catalyst on the side of AerialCLT in Uptown Charlotte. Rebby is recognized for their outstanding service for LGBTQ young people and the broader LGBTQ community.

Past Champions of Pride:
Inaugural Champions of Pride, 2013
Second Annual Champions of Pride, 2014
Third Annual Champions of Pride, 2015
Fourth Annual Champions of Pride, 2016