Nicole Murray Ramirez/Mame Dennis Memorial Fund


The Nicole Murray Ramirez/Mame Dennis Memorial Scholarship

The Nicole Murray Ramirez/Mame Dennis Memorial Scholarship was established in 2012 (?) when the Imperial Court of Washington, DC (Court/ICWDC) began to understand that the rights and privileges of LGBTQ+ persons, that had been fought for, needed to be passed to the next generation. What better way to pass on history, than through knowledge and education? With that in mind, the court pooled resources and through noble deeds and charitable acts was able to create a small fund that awarded a $500 scholarship to a worthy applicant. But what should we name such an awesome scholarship…

Carl Rizzi (1940-2015) – better known to Washington, DC’s LGBTQ+ community as Mame Dennis – grew up in New Hampshire and brought her love of High Drag to Washington, DC in the late 1960’s after a stint in the Navy. At that time, The Academy was the only way to be a part of the drag scene in Washington, DC and she joined, being rechristened as Mame Dennis, in 1966. In 1973, she was named as President of The Academy and set off to change the organization from alcohol-induced fights and wig-snatchings to a respectable establishment the community and city could be proud of. At her direction, The Academy created The HOOP (Helping Our Own People) Fund for persons affected by HIV/AIDS to provide financial support to members. Through her unrelenting leadership, The Academy saw great success and raised awareness and funds for the LGBTQ+ community until its demise is the early 2010’s. More information on Mame can be found at MetroWeekly

Nicole Murray Ramirez (born 1935), better known as Empress Nicole the Great, The Queen Mother of the Americas within the Imperial Court System, has been an LGBT activist for 45 years. She is currently appointed as Human Rights Commissioner of San Diego. More information on Nicole can be found here.

Past Recipients

Malik Ivey – Reign IV – $500
Ethan Combs – Reign VI – $1000 (matched award)
Kellen “Bama Repartree Bottoms” Byers -Reign IX – $1000 (matched award)

Currently Accepting Applications

The Imperial Court of Washington, DC’s Nicole Murray Ramirez/Mame Dennis Scholarship Fund is currently accepting application for the Fall 2022 Scholarship Award, to be awarded in September of 2022. If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, please download and complete the Scholarship Application and Acknowledgement