CPA Announces Honorees for the Capital Pride Honors

Capital Pride Alliance Announces Special Hero, Larry Stansbury,

and President’s Awards to be Presented at the Capital Pride Honors hosted by Compass Coffee

LGBTQ+ Community Achievements by Individuals and Groups

will be Recognized at Annual Reception June 11


June 9, 2021, Washington, DC……..The Capital Pride Alliance today announced the recipients to be honored at the 2021 Capital Pride Honors, for special Hero awards — StillWe Advocate, StillWe Inspire, and StillWe Thrive — and awards named for late founding board member Larry Stansbury. Capital Pride Board Chair, Ashley Smith, will present two President’s Awards. The Capital Pride Honors reception, on Friday, June 11 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM will be held at the new Compass Coffee location in Ivy City, 1401 Okie Street, NE and generously supported by presenting host Compass Coffee, and event advocates Accenture, Nissan, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Heineken, and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Occasions Caterers, InStyle Caterers, and Georgetown Cupcake.

Award recipient bios:


StillWe Advocate

 John Clisham-Feng (He/Him) is a college/career counselor at Wakefield High School (Arlington Public Schools) and has been working in the field for almost 25 years.  John is a trailblazer and phenomenal colleague, staff member, and counselor to students. He is always advocating for LGBTQ+ students throughout the school and county. His office is a safe-haven not only to students but also LGBTQ+ staff members. He is a caring and empathetic individual and is not afraid to fight for the rights of our Black/Latinx students, immigrant/DREAMers students, and our LGBTQ+ students.  For his years of service to students throughout the community, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ students and staff, John is awarded the Advocate award.

Nicholas Hatcher (They/Them) is a seasoned organizer and communications strategist and principal of Triple Threat Strategies, a consulting agency for advocacy groups.  A writer, artist, and organizer, Nicholas is dedicated to building spaces and systems for people of color with intersectional identities.  They believe in building intergenerational and multiracial coalitions, storytelling as advocacy, and centering queer and disabled experiences in design. Currently Nicholas also chairs the board of directors of the East Coast Asian American Student Union, serves as political chair for API Queers United for Action DC, and founded Public Access Magazine. They maintain active memberships in the Asian American Documentary Network, the Association for Asian American Studies, and DC Ward 1 Mutual Aid.  For their years of service to the AAPI community, their work in centering queer and disabled people, and advocating for their respective communities, Nicholas Hatcher is awarded the Advocate award.


StillWe Inspire

 Angel Rose Collective (ARAC) A multilingual Two-Spirit (Native American Transgender, Intersex, Asexual, Queer+)-led Collective of artists, healers, educators, and advocates, uplifting Two-Spirit Nation and BIPOC Communities through art & land justice. Named in honor of their late friend, fellow artist, and community member, Angel Rose, who lost her life on December 10, 2019. Throughout the pandemic, ARAC has produced virtual theater productions including:  The Cosmic Twins/Las Gemelas Cosmicas, Yultaketzalis, The Diaz Family Talent Show, and Sijsiwayulu. ARAC has partnered with a team of Nawat Speaking Elders in Witzapan, Gusgatan (Santo Domingo de Guzman, El Salvador), to open up Tamachtiluyan Shuchikisa An Ne Nawat, a Nawat language and culture school for the Trans community and cisgender allies. The ARAC community has been working with the endangered language Nawat in DC for several years, and is a staple in the DC Native American and Transgender communities.  For the ARAC’s contributions to uplifting the stories of the two-spirit and BIPOC communities in the region, including their continued contributions to the arts and humanities during the pandemic, ARAC is awarded the Inspire award.

DC Medical Reserve Corps (DC MRC) supports the DC Department of Health (DC Health) in its role as lead for public health and medical emergency preparedness, response and recovery by recruiting, training, and deploying medical and non-medical volunteers to assist with planned events and emergencies.  During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of volunteers with medical and non-medical experience volunteered to conduct testing, outreach, and support for individuals with possible cases of COVID-19.  For their selfless efforts on the front lines of the pandemic, the DC MRC is awarded the Inspire award.



Tara Chelston (she/her) is the LGBTQ and Sexual Health Program Specialist for District of Columbia Public Schools. In this capacity, she facilitates competency trainings, designs and distributes informational resources, and manages LGBTQ-specific community outreach and engagement. Tara’s educational background in social theory and professional interest in project management inform her approach to driving DCPS’ LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion efforts. Tara has previously worked in school-based operations and has led programming in Baltimore City Public Schools, University of Technology, Sydney, and Abbotsleigh School in Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia.  For her trailblazing international and local work on sexual health, and LGBTQ+ community outreach, Tara is awarded the Thrive award.

Darren Paul Vance (He/His) joined Rainbow Families as Executive Director in 2018. He, his husband John, and their teen-age son have been members for several years and have always felt great passion for the Rainbow Families community work, mission & values Darren brings over 25 years’ corporate travel management experience including serving as Travel Services Manager at DreamWorks film studios, helping run travel operations at Warner Bros, CAA, Universal, and other roles managing above-the-line services and logistics for film, television and music industries Darren previously served as a Board Member and Development Director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. He was also Speakers Bureau Director for Love Is Feeding Everyone, and he worked extensively with Project Angel Food – both in Los Angeles Particularly with today’s political climate with threats to the LGBTQ+ community, Darren is keenly committed to this organization and the value it offers our members through empowerment, education, support, and togetherness. For his decades of work on the arts, advocacy for LGBTQ+ families, and support of the community, Darren is awarded the Thrive Award.


Larry Stansbury Award

The DC Center

The vision of the DC Center is to create a community where LGBTQ+ people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.  They’ve committed to this vision by leading programs focused on health and wellness, arts and culture, social and peer support, and advocacy and community building. Their programs related to health and wellness are supported by the District Government and they fill a critical gap in the social service network of the city. The DC Center and Capital Pride have been strategic partners throughout our history.  We collaborate on programming.  We share office space.  We are even considering ways that we can more closely bond and align our efforts. The team at the DC Center helps to build and enhance our LGBTQ+ community by educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting us together and with our allies. We are honored and proud to work together and acknowledge their incredible contributions to our community. Capital Pride is pleased to give our Larry Stansbury Award, which is named for one of our founding members and which honors exemplary contributions to the Pride movement, to the DC Center for its long-term dedication and contributions.


Capital Pride Presidents Awards

Mary Paradise

Mary Paradise, RN, a nurse who has worked in the health care field over the course of her entire career, joined Capital Pride in 2008, after arriving in DC from Seattle, Washington; she had volunteered for Pride celebrations in many cities. Mary was integral in creating, fostering, and encouraging the “Women’s Spoken Word” event, which has become an integral part of DC’s Pride celebration. Mary became a member of the Board of Directors in 2009. She has worked tirelessly over the years on nearly every phase of Pride. She was the manager for three years of the Mr./Ms. Capital Pride pageant and served as the Health and Safety monitor at Parade and Festival, monitoring both from the Critical Response command center. She was instrumental in increasing the number of women participants at Pride as well as on the Board and among the volunteers.  Capital Pride is a lifeline in this community and Mary has provided critical support that has helped others walk with grace in our part of the world.  For her many contributions over the past 13 years, Mary is gratefully awarded the President’s Award.

Sheila Alexander-Reid

Sheila is a community activist who has worked on issues involving gender, race, socio-economic status, education level, and sexual orientation. Prior to serving as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, Sheila was the Director of Strategic Engagement at the Washington City Paper, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Washington Blade, founder and former Executive Director of the Women in the Life Association, as well as host of Inside Out, D.C.’s only FM, LGBTQ, radio show. Sheila formerly served as the Vice-President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and represented Stein on the DC Democratic State Committee. Sheila has championed causes for young people, women of color, the LGBTQ+ community and survivors of domestic violence. As Director of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs she is responsible for finding housing for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, training government employees in LGBTQ+ cultural competency, and creating alternative employment opportunities to survival sex work for Transgender women. Sheila wants to ensure that all LGBTQ+ residents are safe, respected and have access to all the resources that D.C. government provides. For her many significant contributions to the lives of District of Columbia residents, particularly members of the LGBTQ+ community, Sheila is awarded the President’s Award.


Award descriptions:


This award recognizes and celebrates those who have been advocates and activists in the racial and social justice movement including but not limited to Black Lives Matter advocacy and equality work for the greater LGBTQ+ community.


This award recognizes anyone who has motivated and inspired community members to support those in need during the pandemic and to help community organizations face the challenges that COVID-19 has brought on.



This award recognizes an individual who or business that has been instrumental in the response to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic by helping others thrive during this challenging time.


The Bill Miles Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service

This award recognizes an individual for outstanding volunteer service with the Capital Pride Alliance, their programs, initiatives, or other sponsored activities.


The Larry Stansbury Award for Exemplary Contributions

This award recognizes an individual who or organization that has provided exemplary contributions and support related to programs and initiatives of the Capital Pride Alliance.

For more information go to

The Capital Pride Alliance, located in Washington, DC, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and its partners through educational events, entertainment, community outreach, and celebrations of diversity throughout the year. Capital Pride produces each year Trans Pride and the Pride Celebration in the nation’s capital, one of the largest Pride events in the country, which includes the Pride Parade, Festival, and Concert, plus a variety of educational and community events throughout the year. Facebook (CapitalPrideDC), Twitter (CapitalPrideDC), YouTube, Instagram (@CapitalPrideDC).