The Esteem Awards

Since 2007,’s Esteem Awards has honored over 200 local and national organizations and individuals for their continued efforts in supporting the African-American and LGBT communities in the areas of activism, entertainment, media, civil rights, business and the arts.

The award finalist are selected by a committee of past honorees who reviewed an array of nominations. Here is a list of all awardees. For more information visit

2007 – 2020 Honorees

5 Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

About Face Theatre; Artistic Expression

The Advocate magazine “40 Under Forty”; Outstanding Magazine Reporter or Columnist/ Feature

Affinity Community Services; Outstanding Social Services/CBO; Outstanding Website

AIDS Foundation of Chicago; Outstanding Social Services/CBO

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago; Institutional Award

Gloria Allen; Outstanding Service – Transgender

B.BLYSS! Productions; Outstanding Promoter – Female

B-Boy Blues – The Play Stanley Bennett Clay, Director; Artistic Expression

B-Boy Blues – The Play James Earl Hardy, Author; Artistic Expression

The Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition (BRC); Outstanding Social Services/CBO

Be–All Conference; Outstanding Service – Transgender

BEAM (The Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective);

 Outstanding Social Services/CBO

Between Women; Outstanding Web Series

Bklynboihood; Outstanding Blog

BLACK Actress (Andrea Lewis creator); Outstanding Web Series ;Outstanding Blog

Jerry Boles of Jerry Boles Photography, Artistic Expression

Aaron Bowen Schindler; Outstanding Youth – Male

Keith Boykin; Outstanding Service – Male

Lora Branch; Outstanding Service – Female

Brave Space Collective; Outstanding Social Services/CBO

Russell Brewer; Outstanding Service – Male

David Bridgeforth; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Sharon Bridgeforth; Outstanding Service – Female

Kylar Broadus; Outstanding Service – Transgender

DJ Kevin Brock, Special Recognition

Brown Girls creator Sam Bailey; Outstanding Web Series

Brown Girls creator Fatimah Asghar; Outstanding Web Series

Chris Brown; Outstanding Service – Male

Jericho Brown; Artistic Expression

Michelle E. Brown; Outstanding Service – Female

ButtaFly Soul; Spoken Word

Tristan Cabello; Outstanding Newspaper Feature Reporter The Windy City Times

Can We Talk For Real; Outstanding Podcast

Mandy Carter; Outstanding Service – Female; Outstanding Website

Clay Cane Live, WWRL1600AM via Equality Pride Radio; Outstanding Podcast

Jasmyne Cannick; Outstanding Service – Female

Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post; Outstanding Newspaper Reporter or Columnist

The Family of Cartell; Outstanding Youth Service/Gay Family

Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame; Special Recognition

Chicago History Museum for “Out at CHM”; Special Recognition

Chicago House; Outstanding Social Services/CBO

The Chicago Reader (Mike Dumke and Ben Joravsky) for News & Commentary – Politics;

Outstanding Newspaper Column

Derrick Clifton; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Clik Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

Cathy J. Cohen; Outstanding Service – Female; Outstanding Website

Center on Halsted; Outstanding Social Service Org/CBO, Outstanding Blog

Da Doo–Dirty Show; Outstanding Podcast

Andrew Davis of the Windy City Times; Outstanding Newspaper Reporter

Herndon Davis; Outstanding Service – Male

Wade Davis; Outstanding Service – Male

St. Sukie de la Croix of Gay Chicago Magazine; Outstanding Magazine Reporter or Columnist

The Anna DeShawn Show; Outstanding Podcast

Dance for Life Chicago (Keith Elliot); Institutional Award

Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) Chicago; Institutional Award

Dining Out For Life – Chicago; Institutional Award

Amir Dixon; Outstanding Service – Youth

DJ Sedrick Drayton; Special Recognition

Jamal Edwards; Outstanding Service – Male;Outstanding Website

The Ruth Ellis Center; Outstanding Social Services/CBO

Isobel V. English; Outstanding Newspaper Feature Reporter

The Boston Globe

Equality Forum; Institutional Award

Equality IL; Institutional Award

Escada; Outstanding Voguing Ball/House

eta Creative Arts Foundation; Artistic Expression

Kenyon Farrow; Outstanding Service – Male

Feast of Fun (formerly Feast of Fools); Outstanding Podcast

For Ourselves Reworking Gender Expression (FORGE); Outstanding Service – Transgender

Jamie Frazier; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

FreeFall The TV Series; Outstanding Web series

Scott Free; Artistic Expression

Steven G. Fullwood; Outstanding Service Male

Ka’riel Gaither; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); Institutional Award

Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Institutional Award

Gay Chicago Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

Gay Life Baltimore; Outstanding Newspaper

GMHC; Outstanding Social Services/CBO

GMAD (Gay Men of African Descent); Outstanding Social Service Org/CBO

Gay Parent Magazine; Outstanding Magazine; Outstanding Podcast

Sanford Gaylord;Special Recognition

Gerren Keith Gaynor; Outstanding Newspaper/ New Website Reporter or Columnist; Outstanding Website

Gender Odyssey; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Gerber/Hart Library; Institutional Award

Go Guide by the Chicago Free Press; Outstanding Magazine

Jewelle Gomez;Outstanding Service – Female

Erik Glenn; Outstanding Service – Male

Vernita Gray; Outstanding Service – Female

William W. Greaves, LGBT Rights Advocate; Special Recognition

Dale Green; Outstanding Service – Male

Keith Green; Outstanding Service – Male

Logan Grimes; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Alexis Pauline Gumbs; Outstanding Service Female

Heavy Diva Productions (Otis Mack); Outstanding Promoter – Male

Maria Hadden; Outstanding Service – Female

Trisha Lee Halloway; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Sharon Lettman-Hicks; Outstanding Service – Female

Jessica Holter; Spoken Word

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters; Outstanding Blog

Coquie Hughes; Artistic Expression

Chuck Hyde; Special Recognition

iCandy Productions (Tracy Hill); Outstanding Promoter – Female

“In the Life TV”; Special Recognition

Charles Jackson of Charles Jackson/Mike Stone Productions; Outstanding Promoter – Male

Maurice Jamal; Outstanding Service – Male

Jermikko; Artistic Expression

Craig Johnson; Outstanding Service – Male

E. Patrick Johnson; Outstanding Service – Male

Lanita Joseph; Outstanding Service – Female

Christina Kahrl; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Lisa Keen of Keen News Service;Outstanding Feature Reporter Newspaper

Patrick Kelly, Emory Univ. Hope Clinic; Outstanding Service – Male; Outstanding Blog

D’Ontace Keyes; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Erik Sosa–Kibby; Outstanding Magazine Feature Reporter GRAB Magazine

Antonio V. King; Outstanding Service Male

KOKUMO, Next Generation Leader; Outstanding Services – Youth

Simone Koehlinger; Outstanding Service – Female

Rev. Deborah Lake; Outstanding Service – Female

Lambda Legal; Institutional Award

Lambda Literary Foundation; Institutional Award

June LaTrobe, Transgender Rights Activist; Outstanding Service – Transgender

The Legacy Project; Institutional Award

Lesbian Community Care Program (LCCP) at Howard Brown Health Center;

Outstanding Social Services Org/CBO

Kenny Leon, Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre, Artistic Expression

Let’s Talk, Let’s Test Foundation; Outstanding Social Services/CBO

Curtis Lipscomb; Outstanding Service – Male

Will Lockett; Special Citation – One to Watch

Loftwerk Productions (Craig Loftis); Outstanding Promoter – Male, Outstanding Website

Love Works with Juan and Gee; Outstanding Website

MadMan Productions (John Fleming); Outstanding Promoter – Female

Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice; Institutional Award

Bishop Terry Angel Mason; Outstanding Service – Male

Tarell Alvin McCarney for The Brothers/Sisters plays; Artistic Expression

Sampson McCormick; Special Recognition

Renee McGee; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Kimberley McLeod; Outstanding Magazine Feature Reporter

Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical; Artistic Expression

Tiq Milan; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Andre Mitchell; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun– Times; Outstanding Newspaper Reporter or Columnist

MOCHA Center, Inc; Outstanding Social Services Org/CBO

Janet Mock; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Rev. Irene Monroe; Outstanding Service – Female

Darnell L. Moore; Outstanding Service – Male

Joy Morris; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Mary F. Morten; Outstanding Service – Female Civic Action; Institutional Award

My True Colors Festival; Artistic Expression

N’DIGO (Lennox McGhee Writer); Outstanding Magazine Story

NAACP; Institutional Award

National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities (NAESM); Outstanding Social Services/CBO

National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC); Outstanding Social Services Org/CBO

National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA); Outstanding Social Services Org/CBO

The National LGBTQ Task Force; Outstanding Social Services/CBO

National Minority Council on AIDS (NMAC); Outstanding Social Services/CBO

Charles E. Nelson II; Outstanding Service – Male

NewCity mag; Outstanding Magazine

The Night Ministry; Special Recognition

No H8 Campaign; Artistic Expression ; Outstanding Podcast or Web Series

Angelina Nordstrom;Outstanding Service – Transgender

Mona Noriega; Outstanding Service – Female

Renae Ogletree; Special Recognition

ONE Archives at the USC Libraries; Institutional Award

One Archives Foundation, Inc.; Institutional Award

Opus Chicago; Outstanding Newspaper or News Reporter

Bob Yeaworth & Karl Grant of OTDL / Urbano & Smooth Productions;

Outstanding Promoter – Male; Outstanding Website

OUTspoken!; Outstanding Spoken Word

Alicia Ozier; Outstanding Service – Female

Pam’s House Blend; Outstanding Website

Channyn Lynne Parker; Outstanding Service Transgender:

Performers or Writers for Women on Women POWWOW;

Outstanding Promoter – Female

Dr. Wilhemenia Perry; Outstanding Service – Female

Hope Pickett; Outstanding Service – Female

PINK; Outstanding Magazine

Patrik–Ian Polk; Artistic Expression

Positively Aware Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

Poz Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

Dr. Eric Prichard; Outstanding Service – Male

Project SYNCERE; Special Recognition

Quare Square (M. Shelly Conner); Spoken Word

Rails Marketing Group (Ariq Cabbler & Bernard Johnson); Outstanding Promoter – Male (Ray Cunningham); Outstanding Blog

Reeling The Chicago LGBTQ International Film Fest; Special Recognition Award

Real Health Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

Remimakou Media; Special Citation – Outstanding Service

Monica Roberts; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Lamont Robinson, Jr; Outstanding Service – Male

Rod 2.0; Outstanding Blog

Angel L. Brown-Ross; Outstanding Service – Female

Angelica Ross; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Imani Rupert-Gordon; Outstanding Service Female

Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition;Outstanding Social Services Org/CBO

Jane M. Saks;Outstanding Service – Female

James Saunders; Outstanding Promoters – Male

Dan Savage for “Savage Love”; Outstanding Newspaper Columnist

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Special Recognition

Alexander Sewell; Outstanding Service – Youth

Perre L. Shelton; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Vanessa Sheridan; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Anthony Singleton;Outstanding Service – Youth

The Sip; Outstanding Podcast

Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago;

Special Recognition

State of Black Gay America (SBGA) Summit; Special Recognition

Strange Fruit Musings on Politics, Pop Culture, and Black Gay Life; Outstanding Podcast

South Side Health Association’s Luck Care Center; Outstanding Social Services Org/CBO

South Side Health Center; Outstanding Social Services Org/CBO

Southern Comfort Conference; Outstanding Service – Transgender

The Southern Poverty Law Center; Institutional Award

SOVO: The Southern Voice; Outstanding Newspaper

Strong Arm Productions (Anthony Winn); Outstanding Promoter – Male

SWERV Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

John Sykes; Outstanding Service – Male

Wanda Sykes; Outstanding Service – Female

Talents of Chicago, Outstanding Promoters – Male

Jackie Taylor; Artistic Expression Award (David A. Wilson); Outstanding Website

Kevin Tindell; Outstanding Service – Male (Andy Towle & Micheal Goff); Outstanding Blog

Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois; Institutional Award

Traxx Atlanta; Outstanding Promoter – Male

Traxx Girls; Outstanding Promoter – Female

The Trevor Project; Institutional Award

Until There’s A Cure; Special Recognition

Urban Socialites Magazine; Outstanding Magazine

The Village Voice; Outstanding Newspaper

Vital Bridges; Outstanding Social Services/CBO; Outstanding Podcast

Eboni Warren Watts; Outstanding Youth – Transgender

The Washington Blade; Outstanding Newspaper

Laura Washington, of the Chicago Sun– Times; Outstanding Feature Reporter Newspaper

Wassup N ATL (Mario Harris); Outstanding Promoter – Male

Tim’m West, Artist & Activist; Outstanding Service – Male

Meagan Williams; Outstanding Youth – Female

Edward Wyckoff Williams; Outstanding Newspaper or News Reporter

Z. Jae Williams; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Isaiah Wilson; Future Leaders / Outstanding Millennial Award

Windy City Queercast (Amy Matheny); Outstanding Podcast

The Windy City Times; Outstanding Newspaper

WOLFE Video; Special Recognition

Derrick Woods-Morrow; Artistic Expression

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP); Spoken Word

Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler; Outstanding Service – Transgender

Sharon Zurek for Dykes Delicious Film Series; Artistic Expression