Welmore Cook Award 2015
Steve Walker has a long career of LGBT activism and community organizing on a local and national level, with a particular interest in LGBT people in the south. With nearly years 25 years of grassroots community organizing and public health experience, he’s served as an advocate, activist, educator and administrator in the areas of civil rights, environmental justice, HIV/AIDS, LGBT equality, homelessness and offender rights. Steve was HIV Prevention Program Manager at the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) managing programs to educate, train and mobilize a community based response to the epidemic.
A long-time community organizer, he also founded and directed organizations focused on empowering African-Americans, the LGBT community and youth. In 1993, he founded and served as President of the African-American Lesbian and Gay Alliance of Houston (AALGA), a grassroots organization dedicated to developing programs to empower and uplift and bring visibility to the community. Steve advocated on a national level as national secretary of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum (NBLGF) and Co-Chair of the National Black Gay Men’s Health Coalition. Committed to representing African-American LGBT people in the mainstream community, Steve was a core organizer of a contingent of black gay men who marched proudly and openly at the Million Man March in 1995.
In 2010, Steve served as the Democratic National Committee (DNC)'s African-American Vote Director, developing and directing a national program encompassing field, communications, digital media, communications and community engagement strategies targeted to the African-American community nation-wide. From late 2012 to early 2014, he became the first openly gay African-American to lead the DNC’s political operations helping to shape and implement the DNC’s political organizing program to amplify the accomplishments of Democrats nationally.
Steve resides in Washington DC and serves as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments (MOTA) in the administration of Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.
About the Award
The Welmore Cook Award is presented annually to two members of the local Black LGBT community for outstanding leadership. Welmore Cook was one of the co-founders of Black Lesbian & Gay Pride Day which is now known as DC Black Pride. More information about DC Black Pride Awards.