I wrote this press release on behalf of CV Pride Center to their mailing list, with contributions by CV Pride Center director Joshua Clay-Wheat:
Dear fellow CV Pride Center patrons,
On behalf of the volunteers, board and staff members of CV Pride, we would like to extend our thanks to everyone who came out for the 17th Annual Chattahoochee Valley Pride Festival at our Center on 13th Street. The fact that you came out to support our festival and our center shows that LGBT people and our allies in the Chattahoochee Valley are diverse, vibrant and beautiful in our humanity. Together, we are strong.
We would like to thank the vendors who supported our festival, including Odom’s Authentic German Schnitzel, Georgia Equality, Refuge Church of Jesus Christ, Forgiving Heart Church, MPower Project, and other vendors and organizations present at our event.
The drag performers who entertained the crowd, including the DiArmani drag family and our MC and fellow volunteer Candy O’Hara, as well as the DJs who supported the performances through music, deserve our undying gratitude for making this year’s festival a success.
We would also like to thank all those who came to, and supported, our showing of The New Black, on the Friday night before our Pride Festival, including Rob Woods of Georgia Equality, Patricia Lassiter of Georgia Stonewall Democrats and Paula Adams of Columbus State University. Through this showing, we hope to make more space for racial diversity in the movement for marriage equality and human rights. We intend to participate in more events like this in the future.
Our Next Steps
The coming year will offer new challenges as we broaden our horizons, reorganize our structure, and reach out to new coalitions with community institutions. To be more responsive in our efforts to the community, we are taking a number of measures to save money and build our resources.
As of October 1st, 2015 the CV Pride Community Center located at 1132 13th Street ismoving to a new location. While we have had a stellar run at this location since August 2014, our board agreed to save our reserves and to move the Center out of this address with immediate effect. However, Chattahoochee Valley Pride, Inc. as an organization isNOT going anywhere. We are currently in the process of negotiating a new lease at a new location in the Columbus area and will continue updating our social media and website to reflect the changes.
We have also placed our Center’s events, including Movie Night, on hold while we move. We aim to relocate to an area that is accessible to our patrons and members. We ask that everyone please bear with us and support us during these transitions.
Furthermore, we are also shifting our focus as an organization. As marriage equality is now the law of the land but LGBT people lack civil protections under Georgia and city law, our new location will be a resource center for LGBT and allied people to find resources, meet and empower themselves. Through this, CV Pride Center will be more vigorous in educating the public about why human rights include sexual and gender rights. We will be more vigorous in educating the public about where our political leadership stands, and how to influence our elected officials to protect our humanity under the law. We will both organize events as well as promote the LGBT-relevant events of others. And we will empower our community to set a better example on human rights for our state.
But most importantly, even at our new, more-affordable location, we will always be a safe space for LGBT and allied residents of Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley region, no matter who you are or what background you claim. We will be the safe space that our community needs against homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, racism, misogyny and other intersecting bigotries. And we need your support, the community’s support, to continue being that safe space and advocate.
What You Can Do
If you want to see this center succeed in being open and available, here’s what you can do:
- Donate to CV Pride. You can donate money to help keep us open, viable and powerful, join as a member, or even donate goods like those listed on our Online Wishlist.
- Encourage your friends and family to join our mailing list.
- Volunteer at the center in your spare time. We are in dire need of a grant writer who can help us secure funding.
- Spread the word about us on social media. We love feedback from our supporters in the community, including on Facebook and Twitter.
And if you have any suggestions for how we can do better in the community, or if you need help in supporting diversity and progress in your life and community, please contact us.
Through these actions, you can support our region’s first-ever LGBT community center, a shining example of equality, freedom and love in the South. Thank you for your continued support.
Once again, to all those who came to the 2015 CV Pride Festival, thank you so much.
Chattahoochee Valley Pride, Inc.