National activists will join local Heroes and Engendered Spirits to lead Parade
Washington, D.C., May 16, 2017 – Jim Obergefell, Mandy Carter, and San Diego Human Rights Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez are confirmed as Grand Marshals of the 2017 Capital Pride Parade presented by Marriott International. The Parade is set for Saturday, June 10, 2017, beginning at 4:30 pm in the Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhoods. They are also scheduled to attend the “Crack of Noon” Pride Brunch at 12:00 noon earlier that day. They join previously announced Grand Marshal Edie Windsor.
Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, helped change the lives of LGBTQ people country-wide on June 26, 2015. Obergefell’s commitment to the cause of justice and equality began with his desire to wed his partner of 22 years in his home state of Ohio. Obergefell and his partner John Arthur, who was critically ill, wed in Maryland, and tenaciously pursued the case through the court system to its ultimate end with marriage equality for all Americans.
Mandy Carter’s social justice activism spans 50 years and was first inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Poor People’s Campaign” in 1968, when she became committed to nonviolent activism. Carter was the National Coordinator of the Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project of the National Black Justice Coalition, bringing acknowledgement and honor to Rustin’s work as a black, gay, civil rights activist. Carter helped co-found Southerners On New Ground (SONG), which integrates work against homophobia into freedom causes, and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), which is dedicated to empowering black LGBTQ people. In March 2015, Carter helped organize broad and diverse participation in the 50th Anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights Act.
Nicole Murray Ramirez is a Human Rights Commissioner in San Diego who has served the last five mayors, and was elected as the chair of the first mayoral GLBT Advisory Board and the first GLBT Advisory Board to the chief of police. With a 45-year history of activism, Commissioner Ramirez founded the San Diego County Hate Crimes Fund and a Harvey Milk Student Scholarship, among others. Commissioner Ramirez is a past National Board Member of the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force, and is a past State President of Equality California. Currently, Nicole Murray Ramirez is the International Chair of one of the oldest LGBT organizations in the world, the International Imperial Court System (founded in 1965), where he holds the title “Queen Mother I of the Americas.”
“We are honored to have such a diverse cross-section of the community as Capital Pride Parade Grand Marshals,” said Ryan Bos, Executive Director of the Capital Pride Alliance. “The combined commitment and accomplishments of these Grand Marshals in advancing the LGBTQ struggle is inspiring, and we hope their presence inspires and energizes everyone, especially new activists, in these challenging times.”
“This year’s Pride theme is ‘Unapologetically Proud.’ The accomplishments for which we have fought so hard and struggled so long are in peril, and LGBTQ communities across the nation are joining together with each other and across civil rights communities to proclaim that the rights we’ve secured are here to stay and we will fight any attempts to destroy the profess we have made,” said Bernie Delia, President of the Capital Pride Alliance Board. “We will never turn back.”
The annual Capital Pride Parade draws 125,000 spectators, travels 1.5 miles through segments of the city important to the LGBTQ community, and this year will include more than 200 contingents. The Parade’s diverse community participation is reflected in the equally diverse sponsorships and partnerships. Among the more than 75 Pride Sponsors, is a full range from local community groups and organizations, to national and international corporations, from Whitman-Walker Health and the Human Rights Campaign, to Microsoft.
For more information on the Capital Pride Parade and the complete schedule of events during Pride 2017 in the Nation’s Capital presented by Hilton, visit the Capital Pride website at capitalpride.org, or contact Peter Morgan at (202) 719-5304, Ext. 703.
ABOUT MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
Marriott International, honored for its commitment to LGBT rights and marriage equality, and a champion of diversity and inclusion, is headquartered here in our Nation’s Capital. This season’s momentous parade will celebrate #LoveTravels – a universal movement fostered by Marriott that welcomes and encourages all of us to pursue our personal passions. Our award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, has nearly 55 million members. In addition to earning and redeeming points worldwide at 17 distinct brands, including over 4,000 Marriott International properties and those of our exclusive luxury partner, The Ritz-Carlton®, members can access unique experiences that empower them to pursue their passions beyond the hotel stay. Members can also redeem points for frequent flyer miles, cruises, car rentals, merchandise and more.
ABOUT THE CAPITAL PRIDE ALLIANCE
The Capital Pride Alliance is a nonprofit organization that through its multi-faceted programming and stewardship of LGBT organizations and events, specifically year-round Pride festivities centered in Washington, DC and the National Capital Region, serves to celebrate, educate, support, and inspire our diverse communities in order to grow and protect our legacy, history, and rights for future generations. Each June, the Capital Pride Alliance produces the annual Pride in the Nation’s Capital, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the country, which includes the Pride Parade, Festival, and Concert. Facebook (CapitalPrideDC), Twitter (CapitalPrideDC), YouTube, Instagram (@CapitalPrideDC).