ACLU organizing Charlotte chapter

North Carplina News Notes

Charlotte

ACLU organizing chapter
CHARLOTTE — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is in the process of reinstating a Queen City chapter, says Samantha Geller who serves on the steering committee along with other individuals, to activate this long-dormant activist organization.

Currently, the committee is in the early stages of preparations so they can assist the state and national offices.

In order to gain new members, they are putting together a poster and publicity campaign. Eventually they will pick the issues they choose to work on and form task forces that will organize and execute the activism and follow-up.

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The group has already drafted a working plan of action, although it will be re-worked by the group until it reflects the efforts they want to put forth. Two key demographics are mentioned specifically in the document, youth and professional/retired.

The ACLU fights to protect and restore civil rights and the organization has championed LGBT rights for a long time. Right now, it has a large campaign to get marriage extended to the gay community.

The local chapters act as support and watchdogs for the state organizations, which use banks of lawyers to champion constitutional rights in a court of law. As part of a local chapter, members play a vital role in the process of recognizing civil rights violations, educating the masses about them and assisting in the justice process.

At this time the chapter is looking for people who are interested in steering, hitting the streets, heading up focus groups, staffing phones or any other method of volunteerism.

For more information, email aclucharlotte@hotmail.com.

Tea and crumpets anyone?
CHARLOTTE — The Lesbian & Gay Community Center will host a tea dance on June 22 from 2:30-6 p.m. at 820 Hamilton St., Suites B6 and 11.

Admission is free until 3:30 p.m.. After that, $5 pays for admission and a free drink ticket. Domestic and imported beeR, wine, Mimosas and Mojitos as well as free snacks will be available.

A DJ from Hartigan’s will play favorite dance songs spanning back to the ’70s.

Disco trivia games will reap cool prizes for winners. The dance floor is non-smoking. Special tables will be provided for those who attend solo and want to hang out with others who do the same.

For more information, call 704-333-0144.

Taylor to receive award
CHARLOTTE — Tonda Taylor, long-time activist and resident, will be receiving a newly-instituted Human Rights award from the congregation of New Life Metropolitan Community Church of Charlotte. This award, which will come to bear her name, shall be presented at a special service on June 22 at 7 p.m. at The New Life Metropolitan Community Church, 1900 The Plaza, and will be given annually.

A Queen City native, Taylor founded Time Out Youth (TOY) in 1991 as the city’s first support group for lesbian, gay, and questioning youth. Over the following 13 years, she spearheaded efforts to provide counsel, support, emergency housing and a variety of educational and social events for some of the most at-risk individuals in the area. She also brought together the first Southeastern Youth Conference for LGBT youth and their allies. Additionally, she convened meetings on human rights with school principles and superintendents, civic and religious leaders and elected officials.

Following her work with TOY, Tonda Taylor began directing her efforts on behalf of human rights more broadly, resurrecting and reinvigorating the Charlotte chapter of Amnesty International, of which she is currently the coordinator. The mission of Amnesty International is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression and freedom from discrimination. Taylor has dedicated herself to acting locally and statewide, as well as internationally.

For more information, call 704-334-0350.

Pride sponsorship packet available
CHARLOTTE — Pride Charlotte, to be held on July 26, is seeking sponsors to assist in providing necessary funding to insure its success.

Three different programs are available. Corporate (over 25 employees and over $1,000,000 in annual sales); Small Business (25 or less employees and under $1,000,000 in annual sales); and Individual. Each one has varying contribution levels, each with a list of perks.

Corporate level sponsors incentives include a Pride Guide ad, vendor space at the festival, company’s name and logo appearing on banners, T-shirts and more.

Small Businesses sponsors receive advertising, vendor space, etc. This option is available to non-profit organizations, as well.

Individual sponsors receive recognition as well, including having one’s name listed on the website and Pride Guide.

For more information and downloadable forms, visit www.pridecharlotte.com or email queries to sponsors@pridecharlotte.com.

Target practice on!
CHARLOTTE — Diversity-friendly tavern, The Surf Inn, 3549 N. Sharon Amity Rd., is in the throws of its Summer In-House Dart League play on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.
All skill levels are invited to participate.

For more information, call Tegan or Brandis at 704-536-7766 or visit www.myspace.com/thesurfinn.

Guild/King award nominations open
CHARLOTTE — Named in honor of local gay community leader Don King and sponsored by the Charlotte Business Guild, the Don King Award originated with the organizing committee of the 1993 Charlotte Pride Committee. The award is to acknowledge the service and commitment to community and individual visibility that King has consistently shown over the years. The award is to give public recognition to leaders in the Charlotte LGBT community and straight allies.

The 2008 Charlotte Business Guild/Don King Community Service Awards will be presented to four individuals or organization — to a male, a female, a business and a straight ally — based upon nominations submitted to and reviewed by the Guild’s Board of Directors.

Nominations are welcome from any individual or organization. The nominee should be from the Queen City area, working on a regular basis to achieve progress and/or visibility on behalf of all LGBT people. The award is usually presented to someone or a business who has contributed five or more years to projects in the community.

Send submissions via U.S. mail or email to Bert Woodard, Charlotte Business Guild Board Member, P.O. Box 222131, Charlotte, NC 28222, or businessguild@yahoo.com. Be sure to include work and home phone numbers. Nominations should include a narrative explaining why you think this person or business should receive the award and examples of some of the work this person or business has performed in service to the community. Nominations are due by July 31.

AIDS WALK huge success
CHARLOTTE — On May 3 more than 2,000 laced up their shoes for AIDS WALK Charlotte, the largest HIV/AIDS awareness event in the Carolinas. Participants walked the two-mile route through historic Fourth Ward showing their support for those living with HIV, remembering those lost and to fight the spread of the disease.

The event began at Gateway Village. This year’s walk raised more than $250,000 to support RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network). RAIN engages the community to transform lives and promote respect and dignity for all people touched by the AIDS crisis through compassionate care, education and leadership development. This year’s keynote speaker was Jeanne White-Ginder, Ryan White’s mother.

There were two surprise guests this year who came to show their support. Chelsea Clinton and Sophie B. Hawkins stopped by AIDS WALK Charlotte to thank everyone for walking and for supporting the fight against AIDS.

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Rev. Deborah Warren, president and CEO of RAIN, said that despite the efforts of so many, cases of HIV/AIDS in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties continue to grow. The South has the greatest number people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. Mecklenburg County has the highest number of new cases of HIV/AIDS in the state. Between January and September 2007, 206 new HIV cases and 132 new AIDS cases were reported in Mecklenburg County alone.

Presenting sponsors this year included Abbott Laboratories, Creative Loafing, Power 98 WPEG-FM and Rosedale ID Clinic.

For more information, call Community Resource Manager Nathan Smith at 704-372-RAIN (7246), ext. 161 or visit www.carolinarain.org.

Eastern

Workshop slated
WHITAKERS — On June 16, the Franklinton United Church of Christ is hosting a workshop entitled “HIV/AIDS Education & Ministry” beginning at 10 a.m. at 281 Bricks Ln.

Facilitators are The Balm in Gilead, Inc., a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to improve the health status of people of the African Diaspora by building the capacity of faith communities to address life-threatening diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. Their headquarters is in Richmond, Va.

This event is open to pastors, ministers and lay leaders. Conversation, education and discussion will enable participants to walk away equipped to start an HIV/AIDS ministry in their church or community.

Continental breakfast and lunch is provided. The event will conclude at 2 p.m.

A donation of $20, which will cover all materials and meals, is requested.

Registration was due on June 10. For more information, call Rev. Rose Wright-Scott at the Franklinton Center at Bricks at 800-345-1850 or email Ghana0295@aol.com.

Triangle

Scouts’ honor!
TRIANGLE — Three homeschool parents are looking into leader training to form a Chapel Hill/Carrboro homeschooled and “family” friendly combined Daisy/Brownie troop. The troop will focus on skill building through petals and badges, building relationships and enjoying nature. They plan to welcome parental participation.

In the new Girl Scout structure starting Oct. 1, Daisies participants are in kindergarten and first grade. Brownies are in second and third grades.

A possible meeting place would be in Heritage Hills at the clubhouse, which is near the Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Chatham County border.

Organization is still in the tentative planning stages. If this sounds like something that could serve local families, email wendyandmary@mindspring.com.

When things firm up a bit more, they will send an email with more details to those who might be interested.

Western

Author gets a Lammy
LINVILLE GORGE — K.G. MacGregor, known to her neighbors as Sue, recently won a 2007 Lambda Literary Award for Women’s Romance for the novel “Out of Love.” The announcement was made on May 29 at the Silver Screen Theatre in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., at a gala celebration.

Awards were presented in 21 categories, judged by a distinguished panel of 85 participants, from a pool of 463 books.

A local celebration is in the planning stages.

MacGregor was a former elementary school educator. She earned a Ph.D. in Media Research from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Upon graduation, she was a political pollster, but branched into strategic market research, concentrating mostly in publishing, television, travel and non-profits. She now spends most of her time writing.

For more information, email LaurieBWeiner@yahoo.com or visit www.kgmacgregor.com or www.lambdaliterary.org.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.