Volunteer of the Year
Given in special recognition of service to the community and Pride Center above and beyond
Michael Chapman was born and raised in the Capital Region, Michael possesses a profound passion for helping every conceivable subset and cohort of the LGBTQ+ community. His roles as both facilitator of the Gay Men’s Peer Support Group and organizer of the Sunday Supper, along with his partner David Reed for the last nine years, have truly made Mike a legend and an icon in the greater Capital District area. Mike is always a phone call away, day & night, ready to help. No task is ever too big or too small for Mike, and he always gives 100%, no matter what.
A veteran in nearly every aspect of law enforcement, Mike’s impressive credentials includes everything from local police work in his youth to serving with the US Marshalls and later with the Secret Service in protecting President Bill Clinton. Mike has the outstanding distinction of finishing first in his class at the New York State Police Academy. This achievement is so symbolic of his commitment to excellence in all areas of his life. His mantra in life is profound and worthy of following by all: “Make a difference in life TODAY because no one is guaranteed a TOMORROW.”
Volunteer of the Year
Given in special recognition of service to the community and Pride Center above and beyond
Dr. Lawrence Bradley
Originally from Albany, Dr. Lawrence Bradley received his JD in 1960 and his Ph.D. in European History in 1971. From 1963 through 1991, Dr. Bradley was a professor at Notre Dame in a variety of disciplines including Constitutional History, Humanistic Studies, Property Settlement, and Business Law.
In 1991 he helped found the Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College (GALANDISMC). Beginning in 1992 until 1994 he served on the Board of Directors of My Brother’s House, a local South Bend/Mishawaka IN HIV/AIDS support organization.
Since returning to the Albany area in August of 2003, Larry has been a volunteer for the Pride Center, the Salvation Army, and the Cohoes NY Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen. In 2006 he received the volunteer of the year award from the Pride Center and in April of 2018, he received one of seven Albany County volunteer of the year awards for his service to the Pride Center.
Given to a person or organization that has demonstrated outstanding community service within the LGBTQ community.
Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY
The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York LASNNY, incorporated by city leaders as the Legal Aid Society of Albany in 1923, is one of the oldest legal services organizations in the United States.
LASNNY provides urgent free civil, non-criminal, legal services to low-income people and has special projects to serve marginalized communities.
Through the years, aggressive fundraising and grant writing helped establish and maintain a vigorous program of high quality civil legal aid. The Legal Aid Society now serves a 16-county service area in northeastern New York: Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington. The Legal Aid Society has offices in Albany, Amsterdam, Canton, Plattsburgh and Saratoga Springs.
Organization of the Year
Given to an organization for its outstanding support of the LGBTQ Community.
MPower! A Program of the Albany Damien Center
MPower! a program of the Albany Damien Center is dedicated to providing innovative, sex-positive ways of bringing young Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, people of Color together! The mission of the Albany Damien Center is to enhance the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS in an affirming environment and to reduce new infections in the communities we serve. MPower! works to prevent new HIV infections, reduce the stigma surrounding HIV & sexually transmitted infections, and engage people who are HIV-positive to get the services they need. In 2017, they served 108 clients with 400 encounters and 1,198 services.
MPower! is currently made up of three staff members. Tommy Rosario is the program coordinator of the MPower! program. Ryan Ramdass provides compassionate client services as the organization’s Peer Navigator, and Peg Stucky is the Prevention Counselor and has over 30 years of mental health counseling experience. Peg has worked with MPower! since the program began in 2011 working with high-risk MSM and LGBT people of color in formulating high-risk interventions and providing support when and where needed.
Paul Postiglione Youth Services
Given to a person who has worked to improve the lives of LGBTQ youth.
Dr. Robert Cardom & Michael Cardom
Michael Cardom and Dr. Robert Cardom are being awarded the Paul Postiglione Youth Service Award for their work with youth, especially in the LGBTQ community. Robert is from the foothills of the northwest Georgia mountains. Michael is from Lexington, KY. They met while Robert was working on his Ph.D. in Lexington, KY and they married in August 2013. Still, they had to wait until the Supreme Court struck down state-level marriage discrimination in July of 2016 before their marriage was recognized in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Their desire to maintain safe, supportive spaces for LGBTQ youth comes from a lack of such spaces in their own experience as a gay teens in the South. Michael and Robert have been co-facilitators of the Schenectady LGBTQ Youth Group since they moved to the Capital Region in August of 2017. They were also involved in an LGBTQ youth group in Lexington, KY. In Kentucky, they facilitated group meetings, and they helped to plan and chaperone dances and trips.
Nancy Burton Straight But Not Narrow
Given to an individual who is not part of the LGBTQ community, but acts as a visible and consistent ally of the LGBTQ community.
Joseph Storch is an Associate Counsel in the SUNY Office of General Counsel and Chair of the Student Affairs Practice Group. He represents the SUNY campuses at Cortland, Morrisville, and Oswego and concentrates his practice on student affairs, intellectual property, and campus safety. He also serves as Principal Investigator on more than $8.5 million in grants to fund innovations in violence prevention and response on campuses and in the community. Joe has provided live training to tens of thousands of higher education professionals in over 25 U.S. states, manages a webinar series that reaches thousands of professionals annually, furnishes technical guidance to numerous educational institutions, organizations, and associations, and provided expert testimony before the United States Senate. In 2018, his team organized SPECTRUM, the nation’s largest education conference dedicated to preventing and responding to violence against members of the LGBTQI+ community, with over 600 attendees from 25+ states. Joe serves as a member of the Appellate Division, Third Department Committee on Character and Fitness and on the Board of the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home Foundation. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of SUNY Oswego where he served as Vice President of the Student Association, of the University at Albany with a Masters of Public Policy, and of Cornell Law School where he served as Moot Court Board Chancellor. Joe serves as Executive Editor of the Student Affairs Compliance Report and Analysis and is the author of more than 60 articles and book chapters in law reviews, practitioner journals, and popular media, most centering around campus safety or copyright law.
Marsha P. Johnson
Given to a person or organization that has made outstanding contributions to the transgender and gender non-conforming communities.
Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gould
Carolyn Wolf-Gould, MD has been a family physician in Oneonta, NY since 1994, and practicing transgender medicine as part of general primary care since 2007. She is the founder of The Gender Wellness Center at Susquehanna Family Practice, a multidisciplinary center that has grown rapidly to meet the needs of patients in upstate, NY. She currently works in the Bassett Healthcare Network. She and her team of providers are the recipients of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Grant from 2016 – 2019 to create a rural-based Center of Excellence in Transgender Health for upstate, NY.
She is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and is the collaborating physician for Choices Counseling and Consulting. As a WPATH clinical mentor, Dr. Wolf-Gould is committed to training health care professionals on how to include transgender health services as a part of primary care.
The Gender Wellness Center at Susquehanna Family Practice offers services tailored to meet the needs of gender nonconforming patients and provides health and psychological services to the transgender community.
Libby Post Leadership
Given to the immediate past President of the Pride Center’s Board of Directors
Joseph (“Joe”) Kerwin is a native of Troy, NY., the oldest of three children. After graduation from LaSalle Institute in 1982, Joe began his years of training and study as a member of the Franciscan Friars, a Roman Catholic community of religious priests and brothers. Joe spent almost twenty years with the Franciscans working in various capacities including years as a priest. Believing that his life needed to go in a different direction he left the Franciscan community in 1998 and moved back to the Albany area where he has lived since. Joe has a Master’s degree in Theology and a Master’s degree in Psychology. In the years since his return to the Capital District Joe has worked as the Executive Director of Catholic Charities AIDS Services and the Administrator of the AIDS Program at Albany Medical Center. He currently works at the NYS Department of Health’s AIDS Institute as the Director of several Medicaid redesign initiatives providing healthcare and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Joe has enjoyed volunteering in the community having served on several not-for-profit boards of directors. He served on the board of directors of the Pride Center from 2010 to 2018. Joe was the President of the board from 2017 to 2018.
Given to a person in the community whose work emulates the ideals of Harvey Milk.
Dr. Raymond H. Werking, Jr.
A lifelong educator at every conceivable level, “Dr. Ray” is probably most well known for his 13-year role as the Host, Executive Producer, and a cleared engineer of WRPI’s “HomoRadio,” the most listened to college radio program in the world. He works an average of three days per week preparing the show and interviewing both regional and international guests. During Dr. Ray’s tenure, the show has increased from two hours to four hours, and the ratings have skyrocketed!
As a retired member of the GLSEN Board of Directors, Dr. Ray accepted the organization’s Ally of the Year Award on behalf of “HomoRadio” in 2016 and presented the Keynote Address at GLSEN’S Breaking the Silence event the following year.
Dr. Werking also serves as co-host on a weekly podcast for “A Thousand Moms,” an organization for LGBTQ+ youth in foster/ adoptive care and was selected as their Volunteer of the Year Award in 2018. For the last two decades, Dr. Werking has worked tirelessly with LGBTQ+ youth at risk.
Dr. Werking’s life parallels that of Harvey Milk in many fascinating ways. They both graduated from the same college/university in different eras. Not unlike the perception of Harvey Milk in the 70’s, Dr. Ray was referred to by the Times Record columnist, Nick Cantiello, as “arguably the most controversial school board member in US school board politics.” Undoubtedly, the greatest similarity between Werking and Milk is the fact that they are both political animals. Dr. Werking’s three school board victories are legendary. His win in 2003 is thought to be the largest proportionate win ever in a contested school board election. His vote totals in all six towns which he won were nearly as great as the votes tallied by Milk himself in his historic San Francisco win. Many school board elections are bland and unnoticed. Dr. Ray’s, on the other hand, was fiercely fought and highlighted by electronic billboards donated by his supporters and flashing the message EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND!! The beloved English teacher and professor had made the transition to political activist of the first order.
Similar to Milk, Dr. Ray has worked passionately for the underdog throughout his career. During his nine-year tenure on the East Greenbush Central School District Board of Education, his efforts on behalf of blue-collar workers earned him two major awards from the CSEA. As far back as 1975, he established the first intramural sports league in the nation which included special needs students.
In 1982, he received commendations of valor from the DEA, FBI, and NYS Police for his courage while participating in the largest undercover drug investigation in New York State history at that time. In the spirit of Harvey Milk, Dr. Ray Werking not only “talks the talk but walks the walk.” Nowhere was this illustrated more clearly than in 2007 when Ray stepped forward as a school board member and used obscure case law to establish a “legitimate GSA with a paid advisor” in the very high school from which he graduated in 1966. As a result, the Columbia High School GSA became the recipient of the Paul Postiglione Award in the first month of its existence. In 2009, Dr. Ray Werking received the prestigious Community Service Award from the Capital Pride Center.
In everything that he thinks, says and does, Dr. Raymond H. Werking, Jr. is guided by the same mantra as Harvey Milk: “You gotta give ‘em hope!”