Metro Weekly

Center Celebrates

Fall Reception and fundraiser to honor four locals

The Center, the metro area’s LGBT community center, has announced four honorees to be celebrated at the nonprofit’s Fall Reception, Thursday, Sept. 2. Those honorees are D.C. Allen, June Crenshaw, D.C. City Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and Linda McAllister.

Allen, who like all the honorees was chosen by The Center’s board, is receiving the recognition in large part for his dedication to gay men’s health. Allen, who owns The Crew Club gym at 1321 14th St. NW, has worked with the D.C. Department of Health promoting a syphilis-awareness campaign and has supported the safer-sex campaign Tool Kit/Fuk It, run by The Center’s HIV Working Group.

While Crenshaw may be best known in the community as chair of the Whitman-Walker Clinic board, her involvement in the community goes much deeper. She serves as co-chair of the Rainbow Response Coalition, which works to end intimate-partner violence in the LGBT community, and has served on the community advisory board of WWC’s Lesbian Services Programs and the steering committee of the Black Lesbian Support Group.

One of the Council’s two openly gay councilmembers, Graham has represented Ward 1 since 1998. He also served as the executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic through the 1980s and ’90s, during the worst of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

McAllister, an entrepreneur who opened Lace Restaurant and Lounge in Northeast D.C. in late 2008, has taken her venue beyond simply being a business. In the months since McAllister opened Lace’s doors to customers, she’s also invited a range of community groups – such as the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, DC Black Pride and Women In The Life – to use the renovated space.

The reception, which is The Center’s largest single fundraiser during the year, runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 at the Artists Inn Residence, 1824 R St. NW. Tickets begin at $50 and are available online at, or by calling The Center at 202-682-2245.

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.