GALAEI: A Queer Latin@ Social Justice Organization is gearing up for is fifth-annual David Acosta Revolutionary Leader Awards this spring and is accepting community nominations for this year’s honoree.
Eligible awardees must be over age 25 and live in the five-county metropolitan area. Nominees should exhibit a passion for community improvement, strong work ethic, integrity and leadership skills. Nominees must be able to attend the award ceremony, May 9 at William Way LGBT Community Center.
For more information or to submit a nomination, visit www.galaei.org. All nominations are due April 15.
Trial scheduled in Gayborhood attack
Two men accused of attacking another man in the Gayborhood this past fall have been scheduled for trial.
At a pre-trial conference last month, Judge Michael Erdos scheduled Miguel Maldonado and Matthew Morris for trial at 9 a.m. June 16 in Room 904 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St. Common Pleas Court Judge Giovanni Campbell will preside.
The pair is accused of beating Nick Forte Nov. 10 near Voyeur. Morris was a Voyeur patron and Maldonado was a bouncer at the club; he has since been let go from his position.
Both men are charged with aggravated and simple assault, conspiracy and recklessly endangering another person. They had been charged with robbery and related charges, but they were dropped in January.
Morris was freed on bail shortly after his arrest in November, while Maldonado’s bail was posted in February.
Videotape captures Maldonado allegedly striking Forte on the back of the head with what appears to be a flashlight, while Morris allegedly pummeled Forte, who was unconscious on the ground. It is unclear what led to the altercation.
Forte suffered broken eye sockets and cheekbones, a broken nose, other facial fractures and a broken rib.
— Jen Colletta WCU forms diversity council
West Chester University recently established a campuswide council to promote diversity, inclusion and academic excellence.
“The council has been charged to develop, provide to the WCU campus and begin implementation of a plan to advance diversity, inclusion and equity goals to improve campus climate and make these an integral part of academic performance and excellence and to assess the university’s progress in these areas,” said Barbara Schneller, WCU’s director of social equity.
She added: “WCU recognizes that historically marginalized groups face challenges in our society and on our campus. It is the goal of WCU to create a campus climate where everyone can succeed and be supported on our campus.”
Schneller said the new council has 25 members — including several members of the LGBT community — and will meet this month.
Other groups represented on the council include women, racial minorities, veterans, the disabled and collective-bargaining units.
“Many members of the council bring an intersection of identities and a passion for social justice to this work, which will help to improve the campus for all and avoid polarization,” Schneller added. “The plan will be shared with the [WCU] president, council of trustees and the entire campus community. Diversity, inclusion and academic excellence are part of everyone’s job at WCU.”
The timeframe for completion of the plan is fall 2015, Schneller said.
Pre-trial conference set in gay cop dispute
A pre-trial conference has been scheduled in the case of N. Melville Jones, a gay police officer who claims pervasive workplace bias due to his LGBT status.
The city denies any wrongdoing in the matter.
The pre-trial conference is tentatively set for Sept. 2 in City Hall Courtroom 243. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Idee C. Fox is scheduled to preside.
In his suit, Jones contends that Daniel Castro, a former high-ranking police official, routinely harassed him at work.
Castro disseminated Jones’ sexual orientation throughout the police department and had him transferred to an undesirable night shift, according to Jones’ suit.
Coworkers accused Jones of having sex in public restrooms. Additionally, he was sent out on patrol without proper attire and weaponry, according to the suit.
In January 2010, while Jones was out on sick leave, Castro circulated a staff memo identifying Jones as “Mel Cums Jones,” according to the suit.
Castro no longer works for the city. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion in an unrelated matter and was sentenced to 60 months in prison.
A non-jury trial is tentatively scheduled for October.
Neither side had a comment for this story.
— Timothy Cwiek William Way celebrates tech week
William Way LGBT Community Center will next week host a networking affair in conjunction with Philly Tech Week.
The social will be held from 5-8 p.m. April 7 at 1315 Spruce St.
The event will bring together LGBTs and allies within the tech world to discuss the importance of diversity in tech communities.
It will include food, drinks, music, games, prizes and networking opportunities.
The fourth-annual Philly Tech Week, presented by AT&T, includes events through April 12 celebrating the latest in technology and innovation.
For more information, visit www.yikesinc.com or call 215-238-8801.
— Angela Thomas