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Christopher Street West, proud producers of LA PRIDE, unveils the four final members of the very prestigious slate of 2012 Community Honorees: Fearless youth advocate Dr. Virginia Uribe, heralded business owner and activist Jewel Thais-Williams, civil rights crusader Mia Yamamoto and Celebration Theatre, an LGBT cultural institution for 30 years. LA PRIDE takes place June 8-10, 2012 in the all-new West Hollywood Park.


uribe w studentDr. Virginia Uribe is a fearless advocate for LGBT youth. 28 years ago at Fairfax High School she was the one teacher gay students could confide in. At the time, just one year after the discovery of AIDS, this was not only strikingly controversial and but also revolutionary. The supportive atmosphere and safe space Dr. Uribe created in her classroom morphed into Project 10, the renowned LAUSD district-wide program that provides support for LGBT students. Project 10 also works with school administrators and tries to create campuses that are free from bullying. Remarkably, this program is still the only one of its kind in the world. Dr. Uribe has continued working tirelessly to ensure LGBT youth are supported and spearheaded Models of Pride, a one-day conference for LGBTQ Youth and their allies. For an extraordinary lifetime of work, Christopher Street West is honored to present Dr. Virginia Uribe with the Morris Kight Lifetime Achievement Award.


Jewel's Catch One opened in 1972 as the nation's first black gay and lesbian disco. But as AIDS devastated her community, owner-activist Jewel Thais-Williams yearned to help. She co-founded The Minority AIDS Project and became a board member of AIDS Project Los Angeles. With her partner Rue, she co-founded Rue's House, the first of its kind residential home for women and children with HIV/AIDS. Advances in treatment allowed Rue's House to close, so Jewel reopened it in 1997 as the Village Manor, which to this day continues providing physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health support to all in need. While the legendary doors of 'The Catch' still welcome thousands to its pulsating dance floors every weekend, during the day it is a community center. For all that she has accomplished, leading the way for so many in the business world, Christopher Street West is most proud to rename the Sheldon Andelson Business Award, to the Andelson/Thais-Williams Business Award, and name Jewel Thais-Williams its inaugural awardee.

Mia Yamamoto's life started behind barbed wire in a Japanese internment camp. After serving our country in Vietnam, she earned her J.D. from UCLA in 1971. In the public sector as a newly minted lawyer, Mia's career as a civil rights activist took off. In private practice, she continued on this path through affiliations with the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance, International Bridge to Justice, which provides due process education to judicial systems in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, ACLU of Southern California and The Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for the American Bar Association. Mia currently lectures on transgender and LGBT issues for the UCLA, USC and Southwestern Law School OUTLaw Organizations, as well leading undergraduate classes and community forums. For all that she had accomplished, above and beyond the call of duty, and often in a quiet yet powerful way, it is our honor to present the 2012 Harvey Milk Legacy Award to Mia Yamamoto.

As it marks its most impressive 30th anniversary, the aptly-named Celebration Theatre is a community of artists dedicated to presenting innovative, provocative and relevant work examining the LGBT experience. Founded in 1982 by gay rights pioneer, Chuck Rowland, one of the original founders of the Mattachine Society, Celebration Theatre is the only community-based professional theatre in Los Angeles endeavoring to accurately represent the LGBT community, telling our stories and honoring our past. Having just reached its 30th year in operation, the donation-based Celebration Theatre continually strives to provide the best in LGBT-focused entertainment. For its continued service, it is our honor to present Celebration Theater with the Pat Parker Cultural Arts Award.


For the other outstanding 2012 LA PRIDE Honorees, including Person of the Year, Chaz Bono and Berman/Schaffer Service Award Winner, Tom Whitman, please visit LA PRIDE Community Honorees. Stay connected at LA PRIDE, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 



Christopher Street West produces the annual Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE celebration in West Hollywood. A 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, CSW is a leading partner in the advancement of human rights, education, outreach and equality for the LGBT community. Lead by a professional, all-volunteer board of directors, CSW produces one of the largest PRIDE celebrations in the United States and hosted the world's first PRIDE Parade in 1970. 


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...and Proud of it!