Denver, CO – One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) Coloradans and their families, announces the 2023 Prism Award recipients. 

2023 Prism Award Recipients

  • Former Majority Leader Daneya Esgar
  • Summit School District
  • Ashley Cornelius
  • TRUE Center for Gender Diversity

The Prism Awards, formerly the Ally Awards, is One Colorado’s annual gala to honor individuals and organizations who have made a substantive difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ Coloradans and their families. This year’s Prism Awards will take place on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 6–10pm at the Denver Art Museum. Ticket sales begin on May 1, 2023. Visit for more information.

About the 2023 Prism Award Recipients

Former Majority Leader Daneya Esgar (she, her, hers)
Pueblo, CO

Former Majority Leader Daneya Esgar served in the Colorado State Legislature for four terms and held leadership positions including House Majority Leader, House Speaker (the first out lesbian to hold this position in Colorado), Executive Committee Member, Joint Budget Committee Chair, and Appropriations Committee Vice-Chair. As a member of Colorado’s LGBTQ+ Legislative Caucus, Esgar championed many pro-equality bills, including Marlo’s Law, which modernizes parentage law to affirm and improve legal security for LGBTQ+ families and was signed into law in 2022. She also led the fight to end conversion therapy, provide identity documents for transgender Coloradans, enshrine reproductive health care into Colorado law, and improve access to public education.

Born and raised in Pueblo, Former Majority Leader Esgar worked to pass same-gender domestic partner benefits in the City of Pueblo before civil unions were passed at the state level in Colorado. She also served as President of the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance (SCEA), a nonprofit bringing LGBTQ+ and ally communities together through education, advocacy, and empowerment for support and inclusion. In her early career, Esgar worked as a television news producer, in higher education, and as a community organizer, focusing on poverty and communities of color in Pueblo.

Summit School District
Summit County, CO

Summit School District creates a safe learning community in which each and every person belongs, grows and thrives. Their vision is to prepare caring, courageous, community-minded people who create a better world.

In the fall of 2022, the Summit School District Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution to urge the State Board of Education to include LGBTQ+ and BIAPOC historical contributions in their new social studies curriculum standards. The resolution helped to acknowledge systemic barriers in education for marginalized communities and encourage other districts to follow suit in doing more to include and represent those communities in the classroom. Despite aggressive pushback from vocal opponents, the District stood firm in supporting their LGBTQ+ students and stayed true to their core values of equity, collaboration, curiosity and innovation.

Ashley Cornelius (she, her, hers)
Colorado Springs, CO

Ashley Cornelius is a poet, therapist, business owner, and community leader in the Colorado Springs area. She is the 6th Pikes Peak Region Poet Laureate and the Co-Director of Poetry 719, a poetry group lifting the voices of marginalized communities and BIPOC folks. Her poetry focuses on empowerment, self-care, body positivity, intersectionality, and systemic oppression. Ashley is committed to using poetry as a platform to speak up and out for marginalized groups and be a voice for those who have been silenced.

Ashley is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and manager of the RESTORE (Resilience & Equity Through Support & Training For Organizational Renewal) program at Denver Health, a peer-support program providing emotional support and psychological first aid to all Denver Health personnel with the goal to promote the sustained well-being and resilience on the individual, collective, and organization level. In her career, she has created inclusive and supportive environments through poetry therapy serving youth, caregivers, and LGBTQ+ affinity groups.

TRUE Center for Gender Diversity
Aurora, CO

The TRUE Center for Gender Diversity is the only comprehensive care center in the Rocky Mountain region specifically set up for gender-diverse children, adolescents, and young adults. Their multidisciplinary care team offers whole-patient support for each patient’s unique gender identity from the physical to the emotional to the spiritual. The TRUE Center believes gender-diverse children need a stable support system as they navigate their transition, which is why they offer support not only for patients, but for parents and families as well.