The DC Center Announces Reception Honorees

Eboné Bell, David Perez, Ellen Kahn, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Sapna Pandya
Eboné Bell, David Perez, Ellen Kahn, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Sapna Pandya

The DC Center is proud to announce our honorees for our Annual Reception.   This year we will recognize Eboné Bell, David Perez, Ellen Kahn, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Sapna Pandya for their contributions to the LGBTQ community.    The reception takes place Thursday May 11th at the Warner Building from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Get your tickets here and learn more about our honorees below.

Sapna Pandya

Sapna Pandya has served as the Executive Director of Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) since April 2010. Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) fosters leadership and facilitates community-led initiatives to increase the meaningful inclusion of immigrants in the District of Columbia who do not speak English as their primary language.

Sapna’s connection to the Center dates back to June 6th, 2011, when she spoke on a panel entitled “Celebrating Queer People of Color: Activism, Leadership, and Community”

Born and raised in DC, Sapna comes from an immigrant family which deepened her passion to work towards social justice for priority populations, particularly immigrant communities and LGBTQ communities. Sapna and MLOV have been powerful and effective voices advocating for all immigrants during this challenging moment in our nation’s history.

Sapna is a commissioner for the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. She has served as Vice President of KhushDC (which meets at the DC Center).

Sapna has a Masters in Public Health from George Washington University. She has received awards from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.

Ellen Kahn

Since 2005, Ellen Kahn has served as Director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Program. In her role, Ellen provides national leadership and expertise in public education and advocacy efforts to achieve full equality for LGBT families.

From October 1999 to November 2005 Ellen served as the Director of the Lesbian Services Program (LSP) at Whitman Walker Clinic. The DC Center hosts programs to this day that were housed at LSP including Women in their Twenties and Thirties (back then it was Women in their Twenties) and Center Aging (which back then was called the Elder Think Tank).

For over six years, Ellen served as Board President of Rainbow Families DC, a DC Area LGBT Parenting Organization providing educational and social programming for prospective parents and LGBT-headed families.

Eboné Bell

Eboné Bell has served as the managing editor of Tagg Magazine since 2012. Tagg Magazine is your connection to the DC Metropolitan lesbian community. Tagg Magazine was created to give the LBT community a one-stop shop for content and events. Tagg is distributed in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Rehoboth Beach.

Eboné has been a longstanding supporter of both the DC Center and the LGBT communithy as a whole. Eboné has served as co-chair of the DC Center Beaujolais Nouveau party for two consecutive years.

Bell received the Capital Pride Hero award in 2010. She has also received the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Entrepreneur Award, Metro Weekly’s Next Generation Award , and  EV’s OUTstanding Virginian Award.

David Pérez

David Pérez is Director of Development for the League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Latino membership organization in the U.S.

Pérez served as president of the board of the Latino GLBT History Project (LHP) from May 2011 to February 2015. During his tenure David expanded the project’s programs in history, education, and cultural celebrations for metropolitan Washington, DC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Latino community.

David currently serves as chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Affairs.

Gil Steinlauf

Rabbi Steinlauf is the senior Rabbi of Adas Israel.  Rabbi Steinlauf is the first senior rabbi of a large, historic, conservative congregation to come out as openly gay. During this journey, he has sought to create an atmosphere of constructive dialogue on the issues facing modern culture and Judaism. Since then he has been an active member of the Washington DC LGBTQ Jewish community and  hosts a monthly Queer Torah Study group in his synagogue.  Steinlauf has also published an op-ed in the Metro Weekly describing the various ways that Trump’s agenda conflicts with the values of Judaism.
As a rabbi and leader in the community, Steinlauf has helped raise the spirit of debate regarding LGBTQ issues in Jewish spaces and serves as role model for young LGBTQ students intersted in joining the Rabbinate. His impact on the community has been wide and truly embodies the values of Judaism such as Tikkun Olam – or repairing the world.

Leave a Comment