WARREN – On June 29, the following people will be recognized for their service to the LGBT community at the 17th annual Pride Banquet.
Avalon International Breads
Avalon, a Detroit bakery owned by Jackie Victor and her partner Ann Perrault, has stimulated neighborhood redevelopment and growth.
Ballou is the director of One Voice Chorus, Metro Detroit’s LGBT Chorus.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Murphy is a longtime community member who has been active since the 1960s. His involvement includes Affirmations, the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, Triangle Foundation, and Soulforce.
Michael has been a writer for Between The Lines for six years, covering Michigan’s LGBT news.
Jenkins was president of Detroit Black Gay Pride, helped lead the African-American LGBT community against Proposal 2 with town halls on homophobia, and participates in ongoing political work with DBG pride, both locally and nationally.
Motor City Pride Planning Committee
For their work in coordinating the downtown Ferndale pride festival, the largest LGBT event in the state.
Rising Star Award
Christiano (Chris) Ramazzotti
Ramazzotti, who is known in the community by his middle name of Ayoub, heads up programs for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social services targeting gay and bisexual Arab men with HIV education. His programs have gained the attention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a national model.
Rachel Crandall, MSW
The founder and current executive director of TransGender Michigan, Crandall also works with Triangle, the Lansing Association for Human Rights, the Lansing Area AIDS Network, Affirmations and the ACLU’s LGBT Project.
Clark has been a steady and reliable volunteer Affirmations’ HIV test site since February of 2003.
Jeannero is a valued volunteer for both Triangle Foundation and Affirmations.
Spirit of Detroit Awards
Brown currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, she co-chaired the Coalition for a Fair Michigan in the heated and sad battle against Proposal 2, she’s an active member of DBG Pride, the oldest black gay pride in the country, and she serves on the Board of Directors for Affirmations.
Rhaesa has been a coordinator with Motor City Pride for four years, and has also volunteered in a lead capacity at Reel Pride Michigan GLBT Film Festival, the Michigan Lesbian and Gay Comedy Fest, Triangle Foundation’s annual dinner event, as well as at Lansing Pride for the past four years.
In her position as the Victim Advocate for Triangle Foundation, Witt’s job is to assist people during some of the darkest times in their lives.
Spiro’s business, Mejishi Martial Arts in Ferndale, has trained many members of the community in self-defense/martial arts.
Community Service Awards
Anderson is the youth program coordinator for the National Conference for Community & Justice. He has also worked with several programs specifically addressing LGBT issues within the challenging climate of the Detroit Public Schools.
Chastain has been a volunteer with Lesbian-A-Sisters since July of 2000 and serves on LAS advisory board.
Cho is a “star volunteer” with the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project.
Clark is a young activist – he’s under 25, “but showing amazing leadership,” according to Kathleen LaTosch, special events and marketing director for Affirmations. Clark is or has been involved with the Stonewall Democrats at Wayne State University, DBG Pride, HRC’s Michigan steering committee, and work against Proposal 2.
Cuttle is an active volunteer for both Affirmations and the Triangle Foundation, focusing mainly on family programs.
Davidson is president of the Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality since its inception in 2002.
Antonio David Garcia
Garcia founded the Carol Burgess scholarship fund through PFLAG Genesee county. He also founded the Rowan Educational Network, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide community programs for the betterment of LGBT youth and allies, and currently serves as founding director of that organization.
Grandy, 19, is one of Triangle Foundation’s most valued volunteers. He serves on the Motor City Pride Planning Committee and was recently appointed to the Triangle Foundation Board of Directors.
Newman is events coordinator for the Triangle Foundation. In her position she is in charge of producing some of Michigan’s largest LGBT events, including Reel Pride Michigan and Motor City Pride, both of which have an attendance in the thousands.
Oumedian has given a great deal of his time and resources to both Affirmations and the Triangle Foundation.
Vaughn is one of MAPP’s shining star volunteers and is in charge of preparing Christmas baskets for WAGS clients – both for the pets and the people.
Voorheis is being honored for her dedicated leadership of Team Affirmations – Affirmations’ softball team, which is a member of the Metro Detroit Softball League.
Wolfson is being thanked for his tireless and inspiring work with the Coalition for a Fair Michigan.
This year’s Pride Banquet will begin at 6 p.m. at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren on June 29.