Nina Kennedy Wins 2022 Esteem Award for Artistic Expression


To quote the Windy City Times

PrideIndex's Esteem Awards return in person after two-year hiatus

by Carrie Maxwell


PrideIndex held its 15th annual Esteem Awards on July 2 at Sidetrack during Chicago's Black Pride holiday weekend.

The non-profit Esteem Awards is, according to its website, "dedicated to promoting positive images of the African American/People of Color, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ)+ communities. Since 2007, the Esteem Awards has honored over 300 local and national organizations and individuals for their continued efforts in supporting the areas of entertainment, media, civil rights, social services, business and the arts."

Letter from Mayor Lori Lightfoot
National awardees included South Fulton, Georgia, Mayor khalid kamau (Outstanding Service, Male); Tagg Magazine Publisher and keynote speaker Eboné Bell (Outstanding Service, Female); Human Rights Campaign Community Engagement Director Tori Cooper (Outstanding Service, Transgender); National Center for Lesbian Rights (Outstanding Social Services/CBO); INFEMNITY Productions LLC Creative Director and world-renowned concert pianist, author and filmmaker Nina Kennedy; K. Ross Original Art Proprietor and artist Kelly Ross (Artistic Expression).

[Nina's pre-recorded acceptance speech was screened for the audience.]

Philip Esteem*
Following cocktails and conversation, Esteem Awards and PrideIndex editor/founder Phil Esteem invited his co-hosts—activist, author, Collections By Michelle Brown podcast host and public speaker Michelle E. Brown; and author of the award-winning novelist, essayist, screenwriter and playwright M. Shelly Conner—to the stage with a rousing introduction.

Michelle Brown*
Conner, a past Esteem Award winner, called on attendees to take a moment of silence for "Mama" Gloria Allen, Maxxson Smith, Elise Malary and the other LGBTQ+ people whom have died over the past year.

Brown said it was great to be back in person at this event and added that, "Not only are we queer, but we are all still here."

Both Conner and Brown announced the local and national awardees and called them to the stage to receive their awards.

Michelle Brown with local honorees*

See and

* Photos by Carrie Maxwell


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