Rayceen Pendarvis is an emcee, entertainer, activist, SWERV magazine columnist, former ANC Commissioner, and lifelong Washingtonian. Over the years, Pendarvis has hosted numerous fundraisers, pride festivals, arts festivals, talent showcases, fashion shows, balls, and other events. Furhermore, the Queen of the Shameless Plug frequently moderates panels and appears as a panelist at various conferences dealing with social justice and LGBTQ equality. In addition to a regular column in SWERV, Pendarvis also has written articles for Tagg, Unite Virginia, and TUV magazines.
The Goddess of DC has been honored by the community many times over the past several years, including awards from NYC’s Latex Ball, The DC Center for the LGBT Community, Casa Ruby, Empowerment Liberation Cathedral Church, and the Community Church of Washington, DC. In 2016, Capital Pride selected Pendarvis to be a recipient of the Heroes Award and appear in the annual Capital Pride Parade.
Later that year, despite not being ordained or ministering in a traditional capacity, Pendarvis was voted Best Clergy in the Washington Blade’s 2016 Best of Gay DC Awards. A tireless advocate, promoter, and champion of various causes, Pendarvis has earned the monikers “Queen of the Shameless Plug” and the “Goddess of DC.”
Rayceen Pendarvis can be seen regularly as the host of The Ask Rayceen Show, a free, monthly, live event on first Wednesdays (March-November) in DC. In addition to live music, show segments include panel discussions, interviews, competitions, improv comedy, and audience participation games. All are welcome and admission is always FREE.
Follow Rayceen Pendarvis, Team Rayceen, as well as
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To further explore the extraordinary life and career of Rayceen Pendarvis, click below.
Throughout the course of several decades, Rayceen Pendarvis has been very mindful of incorporating philanthropic endeavors into several areas of a wonderful life and career. These generous efforts have served to benefit the causes of Whitman-Walker Health (WWH), Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc. (THE) and
Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. (UHU), among other organizations.
Chief among the many charitable causes were the annual J.E.R.R.Y. parties. Pendarvis and several personal friends collectively organized a shared birthday fundraiser and donated all proceeds to several charities, including the Wanda Alston House Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of LGBT youth. During the 2015 event, the birthday boys were able to raise $1,000.00 dollars in one night alone. Pendarvis looks back at many of the charitable events and reflects by stating, "God has given me in this lifetime another set of brothers. I am so blessed to be able to do so much with them.”
Below you will find a wonderful look back at the annual festivities of the J.E.R.R.Y. fundraisers and other charitable events.
On January 8, 2011, Rayceen Pendarvis, Jamil Fletcher, and Yarde' Noir came together to host their very first combined birthday fundraiser, officially titled “SPOTLIGHT”. The festive celebration was held at The Library Bar & Grill and featured several performers including, Tony “And I Thank You” Nelson, Jasmine Blue, Karen CoverGIRL, Brian Watson, Nikolas Marce' Noir, Maurice Thompson, and others. Guests in attendance included Xavier Cole, H. Nelson Cromwell III, Abdur-Rahim Briggs, Julius Prince, Domanique Shappelle, and many others. Proceeds from the event were donated to Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc. To view a special collection of photos from the event, click the photo gallery below.
On January 22, 2012, Rayceen Pendarvis, Jamil Fletcher, and Yarde' Noir were joined by Ernest McCarley for their second annual birthday fundraiser, officially titled “HARLEM NIGHTS”. Although originally scheduled to be held at The Tap and Parlour, the fundraiser was moved to an adjacent venue - Līv Nightclub. Cory Holland, Nikolas Marce' Noir, and several other performers were invited to entertain the guests and the great turnout of attendees made the event well worthwhile for all. Proceeds from the successful fundraiser were donated to The Wanda Alston House Foundation. To view the official promotional video for the fundraiser, click the video player below.
On January 26, 2014, Jamil Fletcher, Ernest McCarley, Rayceen Pendarvis, Abdur-Rahim Briggs, and Yarde' Noir (collectively known as J.E.R.R.Y.) came together to host their forth annual birthday fundraiser, officially titled “THE BLACK PACK”. The annual celebration was held at Līv Nightclub and featured several performers and a wonderful group of guests. Proceeds from the event were donated to The Wanda Alston House Foundation.
On January 18, 2015, Jamil Fletcher, Ernest McCarley, Rayceen Pendarvis, Abdur-Rahim Briggs, and Yarde' Noir (collectively known as J.E.R.R.Y.) came together to host their fifth annual birthday fundraiser, officially titled “GOLDEN - A RETURN TO THE PARADISE GARAGE”. The annual celebration was held at Līv Nightclub and featured MC/Performer Tony “And I Thank You” Nelson and several other performers including, David Walker, Déjà Vu Allure, Danielle Revlon, Monet Dupree, Richie Sky & Chris Deloatch, and a special presentation by LaToya Lee Pendarvis, with music provided by DJ Rodney. Guests in attendance included David Ultima-Xtravaganza, Tim'm T. West, Rev. Darryl L.C. Moch, Julius Prince, Nikolas Marce' Noir, and many others. The fundraiser was filmed by H. Nelson Cromwell III for the local television show Being Fabulous Rocks! Proceeds from the event were donated to The Wanda Alston House Foundation. To view a special collection of photos from the event, click the photo gallery below.
Although the annual J.E.R.R.Y. fundraisers had become extremely successful, Rayceen Pendarvis never limited philanthropic endeavors to this one charity. Case in point, while on vacation in the Caribbean, Rayceen and a good friend Maurice Eckstein decided to help a local non-profit organization that was in need. In a mere two days, Pendarvis and Eckstein had raised $1,158.00 which was immediately donated to J-Flag, the first human rights organization in the history of Jamaica to advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In a published statement, Eckstein stated that the LGBT organization was “facing a horrible homeless youth population.” The two knew they could help, and on October 29, 2015 an announcement was published informing the public of how much money had been raised. Within days, Dane Christian - J-Flag's Executive Director - responded by stating “Thank you guys Maurice, Rayceen and the rest of the team. Your support is well appreciated.” Below you will find a photo of Rayceen, Maurice, and several of the other generous contributors, with Dane Christian front and center in Kingston, Jamaica.
On January 17, 2016, Jamil Fletcher, Ernest McCarley, Rayceen Pendarvis, Abdur-Rahim Briggs, and Yarde' Noir (collectively known as J.E.R.R.Y.) came together to host their sixth annual birthday fundraiser, officially titled “FADE TO BLACK”. The annual celebration was held at Līv Nightclub and featured MC/Performer Tony “And I Thank You” Nelson and several other performers including, Ms. CAPITAL PRIDE 2015 Ophelia Bottoms (Chuck McWilliams), Monet Dupree, Alicia Kelly, and Farrah Synclaire, with music provided by DJ Damon (DC Underground Music). Guests in attendance included Ron Simmons, Kenneth J. Pettigrew, Nikolas Marce' Noir, and many others. Cambria Suites Washington served as the official host hotel for the event. Proceeds from the fundraiser were donated to The Wanda Alston House Foundation.
Shortly after the event, Yarde' Noir publicly posted the following comments:
“On behalf of the J.E.R.R.Y. Clan (Jamil Fletcher, Ernest McCarley, Rayceen Pendarvis, Abdur-Rahim Briggs, Yarde Noir) & The Wanda Alston Foundation (Kenneth J. Pettigrew), we would like to publicly THANK EVERYONE who came out to support our 6th Annual Event. WE TRULY APPRECIATE EACH AND EVERY PERSON THAT ATTENDED. To our QUALITY ENTERTAINERS.... Ophelia Bottoms(Chuck McWilliams), Farrah Synclaire, Monet Dupree and Alicia Kelly .... You brought your best and it SHOWED!! To our MC Tony Nelson.... YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS! Your energy is always amazing. To our DJ DJ DAMON (Dc Undergroundmusic.... MAN, OH MAN DID YOU TURN THE PARTY LAST NIGHT!!! THANK YOU! To every volunteer that helped set up, break down, stuff a gift bag or helped out in any way. ...PLEASE KNOW WE THANK YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU! We look forward to Next Year's Black & White Party with a Purpose! ..... BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR J.E.R.R.Y. 2017! Yarde' Noir”
Sadly, the “FADE TO BLACK” fundraiser became the group's last, and Rayceen Pendarvis began focusing on other charitable causes. To view a special collection of photos from the event, click the photo gallery below.
On October 09, 2016, Rayceen Pendarvis and Team Rayceen co–sponsored the Share The Warmth coat drive. Organizers of the fundraiser aimed to collect various types of winter wear, which were then donated to The Wanda Alston House Foundation and Casa Ruby. The event was held at the Anacostia Arts Center in Washington, DC. Below you will find a collection of photos from the event.