Congratulations to our 2018 Parity Awards Winners
Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, Rev. Cedric A. Harmon and AC Dumlao!
Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera is the Director of Faith Outreach and Training at the Human Rights Campaign, where she works with people of faith across denominations to ensure we can be who we are, love who we love and practice our faith free of judgement.
Lisbeth is a 30+ year veteran of the LGBTQ and Labor movements. Lisbeth has extensive experience organizing and training at the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity and culture specifically as they relate to communities of color. Lisbeth has crisscrossed the country training workers and community leaders in organizing, leadership development and community building strategies from a grassroots perspective. She has also done extensive work supporting LGBTQ leaders in America Latina.
A biologist and sociologist by education with a solid Jesuit and SND formation, that makes her passions flare and her days move forward. Today Lisbeth lives in Hyattsville, MD alongside her wife, Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz and their chosen family, both human and furry!
Rev. Cedric A. Harmon, Executive Director, Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for LGBT Justice. Speaker, writer, standing for human rights based in profound faith.
An ordained pastor affiliated with the National Baptist and Missionary Baptist Churches, Cedric served as religious organizer for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. For 13 years, he recruited and trained clergy from around the country to provide legislative testimony about issues of religion and government. He’s also known for his writing and television appearances—again on human rights and social justice—and serves on several boards having to do with sexuality and religion.
Notably, in the heat of the debate over marriage equality in the District of Columbia, Cedric quietly invited pastors and ministers who had spoken on other justice issues to publicly support marriage equality. His skill in helping them make the connection, and then filling in the gaps so they felt prepared to go public with their new understanding, enabled the DC Council to pass marriage equality with the support of African American clergy.
Cedric says, My first spiritual sanctuary is in the capacity of Associate Pastor of a radically inclusive congregation. My second sanctuary is the kitchen – a place of creativity and aggressive chopping. I am a lover of authentic, genuine and welcoming worship and time spent by the water (I am a Pisces). Poetry feeds my soul and propels my progress. A dreamer of dreams, I envision Many Voices as creative space for communities of faith as they develop new and enriching worship celebrations – inclusive of all, exclusive of none.
AC Dumlao is Program Manager at Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund / Trans Non-Binary Fil-Am Advocate/Educator/Artist
AC is a queer transgender non-binary advocate, educator, and artist focused on uplifting underrepresented folks and centering their experiences of intersectional oppressions. AC is the Program Manager of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) where they manage The Name Change Project, which connects low-income transgender and non-binary people with lawyers providing pro bono representation during the legal name change process. Additionally, AC leads TLDEF’s community education initiatives and is the lead trainer for trans cultural competency presentations and workshops.
AC is also proudly a first-generation American and child of Filipino Immigrants. In 2017, AC was profiled by NBC Asian America for the inaugural “Redefine A to Z” list of Asian-American & Pacific Islander “emerging voices and breakout stars.” AC has guest edited for the QTPOC publication EFNIKS.com, been featured by Allure Magazine, been published by The Huffington Post, Broadly (VICE), and Autostraddle, and been quoted by INTO, Business Insider, Mic.com, The Root, and more. AC also volunteers on AfterWork Theater’s “Strike-A-Chord” Core committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
AC is a graduate of Vassar College. They are also an alum of The Center’s José Esteban Muñoz (JEM) Mentoring Program, GenSexNYC, The Welcoming Committee, and Vassar & New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater. AC resides in Brooklyn, NY with their partner, Caitlin. They are honored to receive the 2018 Parity Award.