The 2021 Esteem Award Honorees

Chicago, April 27, 2021 – Today,™ announced the five organizations and ten individuals that have been selected to be honored at the 14th Annual Esteem Awards. The honorees were selected by a committee of past honorees. Due to Covid-19 this year’s reception has been cancelled. The Esteem Awards will return to an in-person event in the summer of 2022.

Following is a list of Esteem Awards finalist:  


  • Outstanding Service, Male: Mike Simmons, Illinois State Senator from the 7th district.
  • Outstanding Service, Female: Jackie Boyd, LGBTQI advocate and founder of The Care Plan. 
  • Outstanding Service, Transgender: Myles Brady-Davis, Husband. Parent. Human Rights Activist.
  • Future Leaders: Kevin Morrison, Cook County Commissioner from District 15.
  • Outstanding Social Services/CBO: Chicago Therapy Collective. CTC is a Chicago based social services organization mobilizes to create safe, just, and inclusive neighborhoods for T/GNC individuals and communities.
  • Institutional Award: Pride Action Tank.  Pride Action Tank is a project incubator and think tank that is focused on action that leads to improved outcomes and opportunities for LGBTQ+ communities in the Chicago region. It is a project of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
  • Artistic Expression: Sisters in Cinema.  Sisters in Cinema is a Chicago based 501(c)3 non-profit with an inclusive mission to center and celebrate Black girls, women, and gender nonconforming media makers, providing programs designed to educate, raise visibility, and support and serve our communities.
  • Special Recognition: OTV – Open TV. OTV is a platform for diverse arts and artists, developing original series by and about queer, trans and cis-women and people of color.


  • Outstanding Service, Male: Dr. Ravi Perry.  Dr. Perry, Department of Political Science Professor and Chair at Howard University.
  • Outstanding Service, Female: Adrienne Maree Brown, Author, Women’s Rights Activist, Doula and Black Feminist based out of Detroit, Michigan.
  • Outstanding Service, Transgender: Karen Kendra Holmes, Transgender advocate, award winning public servant (tied)
  • Outstanding Service, Transgender: Celena Morrison, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs.
  • Future Leaders: Biodun Abudu, Author, boutique owner, visual artist and photographer.
  • Outstanding Social Services/CBO: Zami NOBLA National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging. ZAMI NOBLA is a national organization of black lesbians 40 and older promoting positive aging through a social justice framework.
  • Institutional Award: True Colors United. True Colors United is dedicated to ending youth homelessness by focusing on the unique experiences of LGBTQ youth, youth of color, and other impacted groups.
  • Artistic Expression: Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Award-winning author, educator and artist.
  • Special Recognition: Darian Aaron, Journalist and social justice activist. His career in media that spans nearly two decades.

Since 2007,’s Esteem Awards has honored local and national organizations and individuals for their continued efforts in supporting the African-American and LGBT communities in the areas of entertainment, media, civil rights, business and art. is an online entertainment guide to events, bars and parties for the African-American and LGBT communities. It features profiles of activist, authors, club promoters, filmmakers, performance artist, conferences, support groups, and health & wellness resources.