17th Annual Esteem Awards at Sidetrack in Chicago

The 17th Annual Esteem Awards will honor local and national organizations and individuals in the African American and LGBTQ+ communities in entertainment, media, civil rights, business, and art.

Singer, Poet, and Creative Entrepreneur Storie Devereaux will host this exciting event. Award finalists will be celebrated at an in-person event on Saturday, July 6, at Sidetrack 3349 N. Halsted in Chicago from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 2021 National Spoken Word Awards Best Female Poet Goddess Warrior the Poet will provide the entertainment. This is a free event, and we extend a warm welcome to all who wish to join us in this celebration of honor.


Outstanding Service, Male: Jerome Montgomery 

In 2015, Jerome Montgomery transitioned to Executive Director at Project VIDA, a non-profit organization in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago’s southwest side. Under Jerome’s leadership, the organization expanded from a small group to a team of over 30 dedicated professionals.

Outstanding Service, Female: Stephanie Hart 

Stephanie Hart is the Owner of Brown Sugar Bakery. She has been celebrating for over 20 years with one of the most notable bakeries on the South Side. Stephanie is known for giving back to her community.

Future Leaders: Marvin Thompson 

Marvin Thompson has over 11 years of Human Resources/People and Culture experience and is committed to ensuring his staff’s well-being. He is the Director of People, Culture, & Operations at Brave Space Alliance, merging his purpose for Social Work with his passion for Human Resources.

Outstanding Service Social Services/CBO: Proactive Community Service 

Proactive Community Service is a 501(C) 3 community-based organization founded in 2005 to serve disadvantaged, under-resourced communities. The organization provides services in the south suburbs of Cook County.

Outstanding Healthcare Professional: Dr. Maya Green 

Dr. Maya Green is the Founder and Chief Health Equity Officer of Onyx Medical Wellness. She has previously served as Regional Medical Director for Howard Brown Health.

Dr. Green specializes in family and HIV medicine and is a member of the American Medical Association’s LGBTQ Medical Advisory Committee.

Artistic Expression: Patric McCoy 

Patric McCoy has been collecting contemporary African American art for over five decades. His collection has over 1,300 pieces of fine art. In 2003, he co-founded Diasporal Rhythms, a not-for-profit arts organization of art collectors from Chicago’s African American communities. 

Special Recognition: Art Sims

Art Sims, also known as “Chat Daddy,” is a legendary broadcaster, social media influencer, and voiceover artist who has entertained audiences for 29 years through radio, television, print, stage, and online platforms.


Outstanding Service, Male: Kevin E. Taylor 

Bishop-Elect Kevin E. Taylor is the Senior Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church NewArk and the director of LGBTQ services and development for the North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI). Taylor is the author of 10 books and has lectured worldwide, led workshops, and spoken on panels across the country, North America, and The Caribbean. He is also the Chief Creative Officer of TaylorMadeMultiMedia (TM3), which he founded in 1994.

Outstanding Service, Female: Sr. Bishop Jacquelyn Holland  

Sr. Bishop Jacquelyn Holland is a respected theologian, activist, teacher, mother, and proud lesbian. Bishop Holland now serves as Bishop of Jurisdiction 3, (southern region) In the Unity Fellowship Church Movement which includes: Columbia, Md, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA and Charleston SC.

Outstanding Service, Transgender: Tracee McDaniel 

Tracee McDaniel is a trans human rights advocate who strongly desires to ensure that all trans and Gender non-conforming people receive equity, justice, and civil and human rights protections. In 2007, she founded the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Inc., an agency designed to empower the trans and Gender non-conforming community.

Future Leaders: Fabian Nelson 

Fabian Nelson is a State of the Mississippi House of Representative for District 66. In November 2023, he became the first openly gay person to become an elected lawmaker in the state. His activism is motivated by his parents, who fought to help people in the community.

Outstanding Service Social Services/CBO: SisterLove, Inc.

The mission of SisterLove, Inc. is to eradicate the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS and other reproductive health challenges upon women and their families through education, prevention, support, and human rights advocacy in the United States and around the world. 

Outstanding Healthcare Professional: Dr. David Malebranche

David Malebranche is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician with specific training and expertise in student health, men’s health, correctional health, racial inequities in medicine, LGBTQ health, and the prevention and treatment of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). He is a Senior Director of Global HIV Medical Affairs for Gilead Health.  

Institutional: The T.R.U.T.H. Project 

Kevin D. Anderson founded the Telling Real Unapologetic Truth Through Healing (T.R.U.T.H.) Project in 2013. The 501c (3) non-profit organization’s mission is to educate and mobilize LGBTQ communities of color and their allies through social arts that promote mental, emotional, and sexual health.

Artistic Expression: Donja R. Love 

Donja R. Love (any pronoun said with respect) is Black, Queer, living with HIV, and thriving. They’re the founding executive director of Write It Out! – a playwright’s program, prize, and retreat for people living with HIV. They’re also the co-founder of The Each-Other Project. This digital media platform celebrates and fosters community through art and activism for Black queer and trans communities, through which they’ve produced numerous short films and digital series. 

Special Recognition: Miko Evans 

Miko Evans is the Founder & Executive Producer of Meak Productions, Inc., the World’s 1st LGBTQ EXCLUSIVE Talent Agency & Production Company. In 2003, he founded the company with a mission to provide publicity, representation, and performance opportunities to LGBTQ Talent, as well as create more professional, equal, inclusive, and diverse images of LGBTQ Culture, which in turn will prevent the current stereotypes and discrimination towards the community as a whole.

Visit TheEsteemAwards.com to learn more.