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President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address was long, chaotic and lacking in policy initiatives.

An event meant to highlight the accomplishments of the president, the SOTU instead drew attention to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the women of the 116th Congress and Stacey Abrams, the first black woman to give a SOTU response.

Choreographer, professor, and mentor Tommie-Waheed Evans kicks off our new OUTPour series called a “A Day in the Life,” celebrating a staple in Philadelphia’s modern dance community.

 

Philadelphia nonprofit Welcome America, Inc., loses one openly gay CEO but gains another with the naming of Michael DelBene as its new president and chief operating officer.

He steps into the role after the departure of Jeff Guaracino, another out man, who became Visit Philadelphia’s new president and CEO last fall. Guaracino had been with the organization since January 2016 and will continue to sit on its board.

Dinner series celebrates the 30th anniversary of GALAEI

The Loving the Legacy series event will begin Feb. 9 in honor of the 30th anniversary of the local queer Latinx social justice organization.

Starting Saturday, 30 dinners will be held throughout the city to celebrate 30 years of the organization.

Members of the community can host a dinner at their home or other space.

Fore more information or to register a community dinner, visit www.galaei.org.

 

Workshop gives tips on preserving personal archives

William Way LGBT Community Center will hold a special workshop on Feb. 13 1-4 p.m. focused on addressing the preservation of personal archives, including photographs, sketchbooks and other personal items.

The workshop will provide information on recommended supplies for storing personal collections.

William Way LGBT Community Center is located at 1315 Spruce Street.

For more information on the free workshop, or on William Way, visit www.waygay.org.

 

New Roadmap to Homes board to help implement homeless plan

Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services announced a new board, Jan. 29, and its job will be helping implement a new five-year strategic plan.

The city says Roadmap to Homes “reflects a dramatic shift toward a strategic, system-wide approach that coordinates efforts, reduces duplication and increases efficiency, especially in the use of resources.”

It has five primary goals: expanding homeless housing resources, coordinating across and integrating systems, implementing a transparent and inclusive quality improvement process, communicating more effectively, and connecting people to employment and workforce development.

There are 21 voting board members: 11 appointed, and 10 elected by community members. They each serve for one year.

Among them is Syreeta Vereen, who is housing manager at Action Wellness’ North Branch (Casa Nueva Vida).

The board — including members with firsthand, lived experience with homelessness — will track and report on Philadelphia’s progress and take community input into making decisions.

Go to http://philadelphiaofficeofhomelessservices.org/news/publications/ for details on Roadmap to Homes.

 

Temple unveils inclusivity-focused Pride flag

The Howard Gittis Student Center at Temple University recently added a new flag to its collection of 63 international flags hanging in the building’s atrium. The “Progress Pride” flag, designed by Daniel Quasar, depicts the standard six-striped rainbow Pride flag accompanied by an additional five stripes, representing the black and brown stripes for POC, and the blue, white and pink of the trans pride flag.

Temple is the first university in Philadelphia to display the Progress flag. The university has often stated its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, with its most recent National Coming Out Week theme centered on intersectionality. Temple officials hope the installation of this flag will engage conversations about diversity on campus.

 

Filing deadline for grant money approaching

The Racial & Economic Justice Fund provides grant money each year for groups who take action to make social change, according to a recent news release.

The Fund appropriates $10,000 to groups working to address issues including oppression, violence and injustice. Groups falling into this category and wishing to apply for such money have until March 1.

In order to qualify for grant funding, groups must meet a list of eligibillity criteria, as well as provide a vision for long-term strategies working to improve racial and economic justice and build a local base addressing issues. Groups must also work to change community members involved with decision makers.

An information session regarding this grant funding will be held Feb. 12 in an effort to address and answer any concerns or questions.

For more information on grant funding and the program, or to apply, visit https://breadrosesfund.org/grants-scholarships/racial-economic-justice-fund/. n

Compiled by Brittany M. Wehner and Miranda Lankas

On the afternoon of her announcement of a run at Pennsylvania’s 190th District’s special election seat, West Philadelphia’s Pamela Williams — lesbian, community advocate, LGBTQ activist and ordained minister known to her flock as “Pastor Pamm” — was bouncing off the ceiling. That Williams could be the Commonwealth’s first openly lesbian state representative is one thing. To serve her constituency with the credo, “Progress Starts with the People,” as her campaign motto reads, is quite another. With a full and easy laugh, and boundless energy after a long day on the stump, Williams preached the gospel of great works and good political maneuvering.

On a sunny Super Bowl Sunday, a group of friendly associates were eating pepperoni pizza and drinking iced tea at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia. They weren’t there for the match-up between the Patriots and the Rams. “I could care less about this,” said Maria Watts Newman with a laugh. “Not without the Eagles.”

A special section focusing on older LGBTQ adults offers articles on care and services, housing, legal issues such as common-law marriage, momentum for Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ aging issues, recognizing who is a senior and more.

 

Pennsylvania poised to carry on momentum in LGBTQ aging

 

Common-law marriage opens doors to legal rights for LGBT elders

 

Advocacy and action for and by LGBT

 

Am I a senior?

 

Providing care and services to LGBT+ older adults: It’s a process and a journey

 

Vintage whine: Life as an LGBTQ senior

 

By all accounts, Barbra Casbar Siperstein was funny, smart and unafraid.

She was a champion of transgender rights and a towering figure in local trans history. Everyone called her “Babs.”

Siperstein died Feb. 3 of cancer at RWJBarnabas Health in New Brunswick, N.J., announced Garden State Equality. She was 76.

 

Daniel “Duke” Orsino, 32, a blue-collar worker and LGBT advocate, has jumped into the race for a seat on Philadelphia City Council.

Orsino, who joins the growing crop of LGBT candidates for council, hopes to not only be the first openly gay man to hold a seat, but is also looking to bring a healthy change to the city.

Within the next five years, all public-school students in New Jersey will learn about the contributions of LGBTQ pioneers like Barbara Gittings and Harvey Milk as part of their regular social-studies curricula.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that requires all public middle- and high-school teachers and boards of education to update curriculum to “accurately reflect the political, economic and social contributions” of gay, lesbian and transgender citizens.

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