Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair

Join us Saturday, July 19th, from 12 noon until 6 pm at our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair.

Awards:
We will present five community-based awards recognizing important members of our community this year.






Entertainment:

Your Co-Hostesses:
Diva Jackie Dupree (c)



Featuring:
(feat. Sasha X)
headline performance


Lovari
co-headliner 
co-headliner

w i t h :
José Roldan Jr, actor, playwright, producer
Joey Ruckus, Hip Hop & EDM vocalist
Pissi Myles, drag entertainer
Frankie Allday, vocalist
LeeLee Heavenly, drag entertainment artist
Nicole Goodwin, spoken word artist
Jerico of the Angels, EDM vocalist
TBoy, singer/songwriter/dancer
Christopher Murray, jazz/gospel vocalist
Isismariiee, youth drag entertainer
Alexa Dumont, Bronx-born & raised drag entertainer
Eve Black, Bronx-born & raised drag youth entertainer
Aaron Pfeiffer, NYC R&B vocalist
Spicky Hilton, vocalist and gender illiusionist
Rod Young, NYC-based vocalist
Simply Rob, Bronx-based spoken word artist
Tym Moss, NYC-based vocalist


Speakers:
In addition to the performers who will entertain us, and we will have a number of guest speakers who will address the crowd for just a few minutes on topics as diverse as HIV, Suicide Prevention, LGBTQ History, Pride, and more.

Marilyn Abalos, activist, chair of the Greater NY Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign


Daniel Bauer, successor to Houdini, internationally-acclaimed escape artist, motivational speaker, and HIV activist.

CPT Tanya L. Domi (ret.), award-winning journalist, adjunct Professor at Columbia University, board president of GetEQUAL, vice-chair of the Global Action to Prevent War, director of media relations and spokesperson for The Graduate Center, CUNY, and deputy editor of The New Civil Rights Movement.

Kim Ford, an LGBTQ-right activist, founder of the Kitchen Table Giving Circle: A Black/African Descent Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Women Philanthropic Initiative, co-founder of the Black Lesbian Conference 2015: Beyond Bold & Brave – The Evolution of Our Community, and currently serves on the board of the Audre Lorde Project.

Leslie L. Smith, producer, writer, director

and more...


Elected Officials:
Local elected officials will return this year in a strong show of support. Who knows ... maybe we will have another impromptu a capella performance from Assemblymember Carmen Arroyo!

The following elected officials have confirmed their attendance at our pride event:


For full details, visit our event page: http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/. You can also join the event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/559875584095127/ and stay updated there.Bronx Pride 2014 logo

Opportunities are still available for our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair for vending and exhibiting in our event. Full details and pricing can be found at http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/ or contact the pride committee chair, Peter C. Frank at bronxpride2014@bronxlgbtqcenter.org or 914-417-9579.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Announcing the Rev. Magora E. Kennedy Stonewall Courage Award, and more pride updates!


The Center's Pride Committee is thrilled to announce the recipient of its final award. The Rev. Magora E. Kenney Stonewall Courage Award will be presented to Sojourner McCauley at our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair, which will be held on Saturday, July 19th from 12-6 pm at Crotona Park in The Bronx.

Rev. Kennedy, a resident of The Bronx for the past few decades, is a veteran of the Stonewall Uprising and an educator/historian who continues to teach us about the important role people of color played in the early days of our modern LGBTQ-rights movement, ensuring their roles are not erased in revisionist historical accounts.

"That weekend, there was very little ‘salt in the pepper.’ Most of us that were out there were people of color. The thing that happened with Stonewall, as the movement went on, it got whiter and whiter," she told the Washington Blade a few years ago.

Rev. Kenney, who was schooled at Boston College and Yale Divinity School, has taught African History/Herstory and God/Goddess, King/Queen connection. She often is referred to as the "gayest great-grandmother" with five sons, fourteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. At 75 years young, she is constantly on the move.

Most recently, Rev. Kennedy became the outreach Senior Director of The Empowerment Network that helps seniors improve their health, leave a legacy, and get off a fixed income. She spends her time helping seniors, as well as mothers and fathers who are veterans, as she herself is an Army Veteran Widow.

As a civil and gay rights activist, Rev. Kennedy's motto continues to guide her in assisting others with their struggles and offering her services worldwide. She firmly believes that uniting different movements against injustice is vital.

SoJourner McCauley is the embodiment of Stonewall Courage. A survivor of domestic violence and the impact of a stay in a Bronx domestic violence shelter, she decided to speak out. She has taken her personal experiences and organized for change in LGBTQ communities of color on many different levels. Currently, she serves as the Coordinator of Community Services at BOOM! Health.

A fierce warrior, Sojourner was born and raised in The Bronx. She is the mother of two amazing daughters -- one of whom recently made Yemonja -- and the very proud grandmother of seven wonderful grandchildren.

A grassroots political agitator/organizer for over 40 years, she embarked on a journey that would forever change her life when she responded to a specific call for women of color to serve on the Board of Directors of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Sojourner has lectured across the country about domestic violence and women of color, including delivering the keynote address for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Sojourner was one of the Founding Mothers for the Women of Color Task Force at the State Coalition Against Domestic Violence because at the time, a safe space for such women survivors of domestic violence did not exist. The challenge for lesbian women of color activists was not only to convince their community members that violence against women was a serious issue but to ensure that women in the mainstream domestic violence movement recognized and valued the contributions of women of color. Her voice and her actions were relentless, rejecting lip service by the mainstream as unacceptable. This brought her a great deal of admiration.

Thanks to the empowering experience she received at the Aegis Battered Women’s Shelter, she has remained violence free to this day and is in a healthy relationship with her life partner and now wife of 12 years.

The issues of Women’s rights and access to medical care for all women -- no matter the color of their skin, economic status, or sexual identity -- has remained at the top of Sojourner's agenda.   Her experience as a long-time activist is heavily detailed in the book Abortion Without Apology by Ninia Baehr.

Sojourner's life motto is “DON’T MOVE, IMPROVE” which is why she still works in The Bronx with LGBTQ communities of color to enhance their quality of life and improve the communities in which they live and work. Services for the LGBTQ community, specifically lesbians in The Bronx, have long been at a marginal level. As such, she has worked as an out and proud lesbian of color for many years in The Bronx, leading by example through her work in combatting homophobia and stigma.

Sojourner has been an initiated priestess of Yemonja in the Yoruba traditional faith for the past 34 years and is a spokesperson as a Yoruba faith leader on a video produced by the New York State Department of Health Voices of Faith entitled Faith Communities’ Response to HIV/AIDS. The AIDS Institute's Faith Communities Project, Meeting On Common Grounds, recognized Sojourner's HIV/AIDS work in traditional and non-traditional faith communities.

Believing strongly that the devastation of stigma and discrimination in The Bronx calls out to all for change, our community no longer can sit by and wait  for “others” to create a safe environment for all. As Bob Marley so courageously put it some time ago “Get Up! Stand Up! Stand up for Your Rights! Get Up Stand up DON’T GIVE UP THE FIGHT”.

As an elder and a grandmother, Sojourner continues to believe and spread those words. She knows that they will make change possible through hardcore grassroots organizing. Courage is found in many different forms. It is the very spirit of courage that has carried forward our community's struggle for equality, originating with the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, that Sojourner has very much been an unrelenting part of that. In fact, just last night  she returned from her vacation to help honor others in our community who have been fighting for our rights, when she presented an award at the Bronx Borough President's and Allies Pride Awards Event to Dr. Donna Futterman of Montefiore Hospital.

One need look no further than Sojourner McCauley to find the true spirit of Stonewall Courage blazing deep within her soul and her passions. We are honored and blessed to have her presence, her fight, and her courage with us here in The Bronx.

For information about the recipients of our Christine Jorgensen Trailblazer AwardBrenda Howard Community Spirit of Pride AwardDJ Frankie Knuckles Pride in the Arts Award, and Swish Bronx Ally Award, please visit our web site at http://bronxlgbtqcenter.org.

Join us on Saturday, July 19th, from 12 noon until 6 pm at our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair. We will present five awards to those who have dedicated their lives to serving the community.

Returning to the stage this year is our very own Bronx staple of Pride, Miss Tyra Allure Ross, who will co-host our pride event. Tyra, who has co-hosted the Bronx's pride event since it was resurrected more than a decade ago, has an amazing capacity to captivate audiences, whether emceeing an event or providing one of her amazing performances. She most recently emceed the BBP's & Allies' Pride Awards ceremony, where it's rumored she got a bit jealous when another performer paid tribute to the Borough President....

Headlining our pride event this year is none other than The Bronx's very own SK8! An admitted “gear head” with a true sense of song, SK8’s accomplishments include a stunning collection of hits such as: “My Imagination,” “Nation,” “Deep End,” “TINA,” and “Amnesty,” written and recorded in collaboration with various music talents from the worlds of dance, pop and rock including: Todd Terry, Pete Tong, Carl Ryden of Shapeshifters, and Trent Cantrelle. From the top 40 Billboard Dance Chart hits TINA Amnesty, Into the Light, Crazy in Love, and One Love. SK8 has been making musical waves. Her  releases and videos were supported internationally by Billboard and Promo Only. SK8 is a rare nightlight in the dance music landscape. Her educated understanding of arrangements in music and digital editing give her a smart, sexy and sophisticated edge that time after time result in nothing but success. For more information about SK8, visit her website at www.sk8music.com.

Speaking at our pride celebration next month will be Kim Ford, who is the founder of Kitchen Table Giving Circle: A Black/African Descent Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Women Philanthropic Initiative, and co-founder of Black Lesbian Conference 2015: Beyond Bold & Brave – The Evolution of Our Community, and currently serves on the board of the Audre Lorde Project. As an activist, she has worked with grassroots, community-based, and national nonprofit organizations including Stonewall Community Foundation, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change (AALUSC), Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Kim has facilitated workshops; moderated and spoken at various events, panels and readings; and presented on various topics including organizing in the LGBTSTQ POC communities, racism within LGBTSTQ communities, women’s health and wellness, and sexuality.

Returning to our pride celebration this year will be New York State Senator José M. Serrano and his father, Congressman José Serrano. Additionally, The Bronx's very first openly-gay elected member of the NYC Council, Councilmember Ritchie Torres, will join us for our pride celebration. New York City Public Advocate Letitia "Tish" James is also expected to make an appearance, and her office will be tabling at our event with helpful information for our communities.

Stay tuned here as we continue to announce additional entertainers, speakers, and special guests in the coming weeks, or check back often at our event page: http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/. You can also join the event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/559875584095127/ and stay updated there.Bronx Pride 2014 logo

Opportunities are still available for our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair for advertising, vending, exhibiting in and sponsoring our event. Ads start as low as $25; full details and pricing for advertisers, vendors, and sponsors can be found at http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/ or contact the pride committee chair, Peter C. Frank at bronxpride2014@bronxlgbtqcenter.org or 914-417-9579.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Announcing the Swish Bronx Ally Award, with more pride updates!

Swish Bronx Ally Award: Sandra Turner

Ms. Sandra Turner

The Center's Pride Committee is very pleased to announce the recipient of its Swish Bronx Ally Award, which will be presented to Ms. Sandra Turner. Swish has engaged more than 3,000 straight allies and LGBT members worldwide in joyful partnership with the LGBT rights movement over the past 11 years. Its volunteers have logged hundreds of phone-banking and canvassing hours with state coalitions to win marriage equality in 19 states and Washington, D.C., ushering in their most recent accolade, along with Google, at the Marriage Equality USA national gala - their 2013 Community Partner Award.

Among its achievements, Swish is a NYC Pride March 5-time nominee & 3-time 

NYC Pride award-winner (2003-2013) and has been named among the ‘Best of Gay NYC’ by Time Out NY as first to endorse the National Equality March in Washington, D.C.  (2009).

This year, Swish is embarking on a new venture to expand its mission to more communities around the world. It is launching the Swish Ally Fund at The Stonewall Community Foundation to fund grassroots organizations so that they can engage straight allies in the fight for love and equality — the first fund of its kind at the Foundation, or anywhere. All proceeds from Swish’s Pride #WarriorsForLove campaign will benefit the new Swish Ally Fund.  To become a founding donor or to sign-up to March with Swish in NYC Pride: http://donate.swishpride.org/SwishPrideNYC.

Ms. Turner’s support as an Ally to the Bronx LGBTQ community is sincere, executed with compassion and focused on meeting the needs of the community.  As a Program Manager at St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction (SACHR) for the last eight years, she has worked in tandem with SACHR's Founder and CEO, Joyce A. Rivera, and staff to provide a safe haven and access to public health services for the Bronx LGBTQ community.  Currently responsible for the coordination of all LGBTQ services, Ms. Turner is committed to ensuring that SACHR remains an LGBTQ-Sensitive Rehabilitation Provider.

Sandra understands that continual advocacy mediates change.  As a member of the Empire State Pride Agenda, she makes phone calls to our political representatives in Albany to secure fundamental protections and civil rights for the LGBTQ community residing within the Bronx and statewide. On October 20th, 2010, she joined with many others by wearing a purple ribbon to honor the 6 gay boys, Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas, who committed suicide due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. In November of 2010 she represented SACHR as part of the LGBTQS nonpolitical Bronx leadership in a march from Osborn Place (location of a hate crime) to the Bronx County Courthouse for a rally in support of a rash of devastating crimes against the Bronx LGBTQ community.

Among her many accomplishments, she was instrumental in forging partnerships between SACHR and the Hispanic AIDs Forum, Community Health Network, Community Kinship Life, and GMHC and is working to partner with the new Bronx LGBTQ Center (SACHR previously was partnered with the now-defunct Bronx Community Pride Center). In collaboration with Chanel Lopez of the Anti-Violence Project SACHR’s transgender members are able to seek assistance when faced with acts of violence. Sandra collaborated with Savannah Hornback to provide feedback on the Take Pride, Take Care Tips for Transgender Women’s Health pamphlet, which was created to the encompass the diversity of the LGBT community by the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control of New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Additionally, she is SACHR’s lead organizer for their participation in NYC's Annual Pride March events.

Sandra's forecast shows a busy future providing ongoing support and advocacy work for the Bronx LGBTQ community, in addition to collaborating with as many proponents of LGBTQ rights and reform as possible. At SACHR, she will continue creating and implementing programing to provide its LGBTQ participants with an oasis of safety, access to prevention education and care supported by a culturally and linguistically competent network of providers.

Tomorrow, our Rev. Magora E. Kennedy Stonewall Courage Award recipient will be announced. For information about the recipients of our Christine Jorgensen Trailblazer AwardBrenda Howard Community Spirit of Pride Award, and DJ Frankie Knuckles Pride in the Arts Award, please visit our web site at http://bronxlgbtqcenter.org.

Please join us on Saturday, July 19th, from 12 noon until 6 pm at our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair. We will present five awards to those who have dedicated their lives to serving the community.

There will be over 20 entertainers at our pride event this year. We are pleased to announce the following entertainers who will be performing, in addition to those already announced: Jerico of the Angels, a Grammy-nominated recording artist and music producer and owner of OsiriStar Entertainment; Christopher Murray, a jazz/gospel vocalist; Isismariiee, a youth drag entertainer making her debut live performance; and TBoy, a singer/songerwriter/dancer.

Amadis SalsaAdditionally, it is our distinct pleasure to announce that Amadis, an award-winning Puerto Rican salsa singer and performer, will be co-headlining our event. We previously announced co-headliner Lesbian Superstar Lori Michaels will be joining the stage, featuring a special appearance by Sasha X.

Tanya L. DomiAmong the speakers at our event will be CPT Tanya L. Domi (ret), an award-winning journalist. CPT Domi is the board president of GetEQUAL, a national grassroots LGBTQ advocacy organization fighting for full federal equality, and is the vice-chair of the board of directors for the Global Action to Prevent War, a transnational NGO Working Group collaboration with the United Nations dedicated to ending armed violence and severe human rights violations through policy analysis and collaborative action. She currently serves as the Director of Media Relations and Spokesperson for The Graduate Center, CUNY, is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, and is the deputy editor for The New Civil Rights Movement.

Stay tuned here as we continue to announce our line-up of entertainers, speakers, and special guests in the coming weeks, or visit our event page for pride at http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/. You can also join the event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/559875584095127/.Bronx Pride 2014 logo

Opportunities are still available for our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair for advertising, vending, exhibiting in and sponsoring our event. Ads start as low as $25; full details and pricing for advertisers, vendors, and sponsors can be found at http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/ or contact the pride committee chair, Peter C. Frank at bronxpride2014@bronxlgbtqcenter.org or 914-417-9579.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The DJ Frankie Knuckles Pride in the Arts & Brenda Howard Community Spirit of Pride Awards


The Center's Pride Committee is very pleased to announce the recipient of two of its community pride awards this week: The DJ Frankie Knuckles Pride in the Arts Award will be presented to BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts & DanceDJ Frankie Knuckles, who died on March 31st at the age of 59, was a native son of The Bronx who is often referred to as the "Godfather of House Music." He was an out and proud gay man who was instrumental in popularizing the house genre of dance music, which earned him not only a Grammy Award but induction into the House Music Hall of Fame.

BAAD! was founded in 1998 by Arthur Aviles and Charles Rice-Gonzalez. Its mission is to create, produce, present and support the development of contemporary dance and all creative disciplines with a unique focus on women, People Of Color and the LGBTQ communities. BAAD! also serves as the home of the Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre (AATT) dance company and other artists-in-residence, and has produced numerous shows. It offers two annual concerts produced by AATT, as well as other series such as BAAD! Ass Women, the Boogie Down Dance SeriesOut Like That!, and the BlakTino Performance SeriesBAAD! Eyes is its the visual arts component, which curates visual art exhibitions to coincide with each of BAAD!’s festivals.

Charles Rice-GonzalezCharles Rice-Gonzalez is a native Puerto Rican who was raised in The Bronx. A Distinguished Lecturer at Hostos Community College - CUNY, he has written theatrical works such as Pink JesusThe Artist, and I Just Love Andy Gibb. His award-winning debut novel, Chulito, is about a 16 year old, Latino thug coming out as a gay kid in the South Bronx. Mr. Rice-Gonzalez received an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and he serves on the boards of the Bronx Council on the Arts and the National Association of Latino Art and Cultures.

Arthur AvilesArthur Aviles is an American Bessie Award-winning and NY Times critically-acclaimed dancer and choreographer of Puerto Rican descent who was raised in The Bronx. He is an alumnus of Bard College and became a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, touring internationally for eight years after graduation. He founded the Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre (AATT) in 1996 in Paris, France, and moved the company to The Bronx the same year. Mr. Aviles is the recipient of an Arts and Letters Award from his alma mater, a BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA), a PRIDE (Puerto Rican Initiative to Develop Empowerment) Award, a 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, an award from NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, and a NYC Mayor's Arts Award.

The Brenda Howard Community Spirit of Pride Award will be presented to Appolonia CruzBrenda Howard (1946-2005) was a bisexual rights activist who often is referred to as the "Mother of Pride" for her work in coordinating a rally along with the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, commemorating the first anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion. A native daughter of The Bronx, Brenda also created a series of events around Pride Day, which evolved into the month-long pride celebration that is held world-wide every June. She is credited, along with fellow activists Stephen Donaldson and L. Craig Schoonmaker, for popularizing the use of the word "Pride" to celebrate and memorialize these festivities.

Appolonia CruzAppolonia Cruz is an internationally-renown drag entertainer who is considered to be a mother-figure by many in the Bronx, especially those in The Bronx's drag community and LGBTQ youth. Ms. Cruz dedicates countless hours of her time hosting and performing at events for numerous community-based and nonprofit organizations throughout New York City and beyond. She helped resurrect The Bronx's pride event in 2000 and co-hosted it from 2006-2013.

In 2012, Appolonia released a song, Who? Ms. Cruz, (produced by DJ Pistolero) that was played across the globe and received international acclaim, notably from Japan and France. For the past eight years she has performed in BAAD!'s annual holiday pageant, Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo. She has performed and hosted countless festivals, gala fundraisers, and community events, including a RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party.

Appolonia Cruz at the 2010 New York City Wedding MarchAppolonia's talents are not limited to entertainment. A long-time LGBTQ rights & equality activist, she lead the March for Equality across the Brooklyn Bridge in 2010 and has emceed Marriage Equality New York's rallies. She also served as grand marshall of the 7th New York City Wedding March. She joined forces with Miss New York 2010/2011, Miss Claire Buffie, to promote marriage equality across New York State.

Next week, the recipient of our Swish Bronx Ally Award will be released, with the recipient of the Rev. Magora E. Kennedy Stonewall Courage Award announced the following week.

Please join us on Saturday, July 19th, from 12 noon until 6 pm at our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair. We will present a total of five awards.

We areDiva Jackie Dupree excited to announce that OsiriStar Records recording artist Jackie Dupree will co-host our pride event this year. Diva Jackie Dupree was a show-stopper at last year's pride event, and has been a strong supporter and ally of our new Bronx LGBTQ Center. Ms. Dupree hosted our fun-filled Halloween Costume Party last October to rave reviews. She is a member of the Center's board of directors, and hosts a weekly karaoke night, as well as numerous other shows, events, and performances.
Lesbian Superstar Lori Michaels

Diva Jackie will be joined on stage with a very special
guest appearance by Lesbian Superstar Lori Michaels, featuring 
Sasha X.

Additional performances will be provided by award-winning actor, playwright, and producer José Roldan Jr, who will perform a feature from his latest solo show, Father Forgive Me For I Have Sinned; vocalists Joey Ruckus and Neo Hall Richard; and drag entertainer Pissi Myles.

Marilyn AbalosWe are also pleased to announce that Marilyn Abalos, chair of the Greater New York Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign, will address the audience at our pride event this year. Marilyn also serves as co-chair of HRC's volunteer committee and is a board member of the New York Women's Agenda.

Finally, Bronx Pride T-Shirts are now on sale. Order yours now ($15/$18 for extended sizes) and pick it up from our booth on pride! T-Shirts are also available if you wish to march with us in the NYC Pride Parade on June 29th -- but hurry, the deadline is June 21st!Bronx Pride 2014 logo

Stay tuned here as we continue to announce our line-up of entertainers, speakers, and special guests in the coming weeks, or visit our event page for pride at http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/. You can also join the event on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/559875584095127/.

Opportunities are still available for our 2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair for advertising, vending, exhibiting in and sponsoring our event. Ads start as low as $25; full details and pricing for advertisers, vendors, and sponsors can be found at http://bronxpride2014.eventbrite.com/ or contact the pride committee chair, Peter C. Frank at bronxpride2014@bronxlgbtqcenter.org or 914-417-9579.

Sponsors
2014 Bronx LGBTQ Pride & Health Fair
Bronx 100 Centennial Celebration