Statewide: N.C. native elected to PFLAG board

North Carolina News Notes

N.C. native elected

WASHINGTON, D.C. — PFLAG National announced on Oct. 26 that the Reverend Gilbert H. Caldwell of Asbury Park, N.J., was elected to its national Board of Directors. Caldwell, a straight, African-American minister (retired) in the United Methodist Church, will focus his work with PFLAG on outreach to faith communities and to LGBT people and their families in the African-American community.

“I have always been committed to the freedom struggles of all people,” said Caldwell. “I hope that my experiences as a minister and as a person of color will help me serve as a bridge between PFLAG and the communities where I have done my life’s work.”

“Gil Caldwell is an exceptional straight ally and leader of change,” said John R. Cepek, PFLAG National President. “PFLAG is very lucky to have the support and leadership of someone with Gil’s history of activism and advocacy.”

Rev. Caldwell is a founding member of United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church, Black Methodists for Church Renewal and the Church Within a Church Movement. He is also a member of the Board of Preachers and Scholars of the Martin Luther King International Chapel at Morehouse College and the author of two books and numerous book chapters, newspaper and magazine articles. He was born in Greensboro, N.C., and is a graduate of North Carolina A&T University and Boston University School of Theology, and did graduate study at Harvard Divinity School.

A self-described foot soldier during the March on Washington in 1963, the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Caldwell’s activism in civil rights spans more than four decades. In addition to serving as senior pastor for churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York (Brooklyn and Harlem), Pennsylvania, and Denver, Colo., Caldwell’s leadership in the United Methodist Church includes work as a district superintendent in both Boston and West Chester, Pa.; associate general secretary, United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race; and executive director of the Ministerial Interfaith Association of Harlem.

In addition, he has served as adjunct faculty at Harvard Divinity School, Boston University School of Theology, Yale Divinity School, University of Massachusetts/Amherst and New York Theological Seminary. He resides in Asbury Park, N.J.

Caldwell’s connection to PFLAG extends back to 1997, when he became the first African-American senior pastor of multi-racial Park Hill United Methodist Church in Denver. Among his parishioners were PFLAG National President Elinor Lewallen and her husband Tom. Caldwell credits his understanding of LGBT issues to Elinor Lewallen, and says “I developed a deep appreciation and respect for the parents of lesbian and gay people who, in many instances, had to not only live with the prejudices of their families and friends, but also had to wrestle with and overcome their own prejudices.”

Lewallen sent her congratulations to Caldwell upon his election to the PFLAG Board of Directors. “I am thrilled, both for Gil and for PFLAG,” she said. “In the years since I have known him, Gil has expanded his concern for all kinds of discrimination and I can see him helping tremendously to inspire more people of color to realize that PFLAG is a healing place for families, saving lives over and over.”

Recruiters sought

STATEWIDE — Campus Pride Summer Leadership Camp for LGBT and Ally Student Leaders is seeking recruiters. Campus Pride hopes to identify colleges and universities across the country that may want to be Camp Host for Summer 2010. Hosts benefit from positive publicity and the satisfaction of providing a top quality experience for the only LGBT and ally leadership camp of its kind in the nation.

High preference will be given to campuses who believe in the camp mission and offer a quality, competitive bid.

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For more information, call 704-277-6710 or email info@campuspride.org.

To download a bid proposal form, visit http://www.campuspride.org/campbid2010.doc.

In other Campus Pride news, the organization officially released its 2009 Hot List. The list represents the top 25 LGBT favorites — lecturers, comedians, musicians, poets, artists, researchers, activists and more. Every year Campus Pride picks the most diverse, provocative, inspiring and enlightening artists/speakers as a resource for LGBT student organizations. The purpose is to provide a recommendation of the best of the best in planning campus events and activities.

Those listed rate highly among recommendations from LGBT young adults at colleges and universities across the country.

To see who made the grade, visit www.campuspride.org/hotlist2009.asp.

Training dates set

CHARLOTTE — Stop the Hate, a national bias and hate crime prevention program for colleges and universities, has announced the dates for its upcoming Stop The Hate Train The Trainer program. The three-day training will begin on Dec. 3 at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude on Dec. 5 at 2:30 p.m., hosted on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNC-C). Registration is open until Nov. 26.

Bias incidents and hate crimes are a prevalent, growing issue at colleges and universities across the U.S. — even the Carolinas.

Stop The Hate planners remind campuses that bias incidents happen everywhere and justly states that “hate crimes do not discriminate.” Registered-to-date are participants representing colleges and universities from across the country including the University of New Mexico, Babson College, University of Toledo, Miami University, Winthrop University, UNC-Charlotte and Guilford College. Although the training focuses on higher education institutions, participants are welcome from the local community, businesses and other educational organizations.

“I have wanted to go to the Stop The Hate training for a couple years now. The scholarship is helping me and many others receive this valuable training in a tight budget year,” said Adrienne Jones, a student at University of South Carolina-Upstate. “I can’t wait to take Stop The Hate back to my campus.”

Food Lion and the Charlotte Lesbian Gay Fund, a collective giving and endowment initiative of Foundation For The Carolinas, provided grant support to fund scholarships for area colleges and universities. Stop The Hate along with its founder Shane L. Windmeyer are based in Charlotte. According to Windmeyer, this is the second year for the training being offered in the Carolinas and the goal is to host the training annually in Charlotte.

Over the last decade, the organization has trained more than 1,200 students, faculty, staff and administrators at colleges and universities across the United States. The Stop The Hate program is an educational initiative of Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit 501(c)3 for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students across the country.

The Train the Trainer is nationally recognized as a leading resource where participants become skilled in 12 different learning modules (such as Understanding Bias/Hate Crimes, General Terminology, Hate Crime Law, Offender Typologies/Motivations, Victim Support, The Attraction of Hate). Each participant leaves with an action plan and how to combat bias and hate crimes the following year. The Stop The Hate program is in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, Association of College Unions International, The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Napa Valley College Criminal Justice Training Center and the Wilbron Institute.

Registration is $495 per participant which includes the 250+ page training manual, audio-visual teaching aides and all the materials necessary for the three-day training. Special scholarships are still available. Register online at www.stophate.org/events.html.

For more information or questions, call 704-277-6710 or email info@stophate.org.

ENC marches on

RALEIGH — Equality NC, in its effort to continue to achieve equality across the state, has chosen employment non-discrimination as its next major initiative. ENC has provided the following steps to help you make your workplace, social or recreational club more LGBT-friendly.

Know where your organization stands. Find out about its non-discrimination policies, including those based upon sexual orientation and gender-identity and -expression. Is there diversity education? Are there committees, officers or an HR department that deals with its constituent’s concerns?

Once you know what already exists, then lay the groundwork for more inclusivity.

• Request or initiate diversity training. By just talking about different groups of people, your group protects against civil rights violations, increases the inclusion of different identity groups, and promotes better teamwork.

• Form a safe space program. These programs are designed to create a safe environment and let workers know that a company values and respects all people. Safe space programs usually post stickers, magnets, flyers, and/or posters to create an environment that lets LGBT employees know they are supported and safe.

• Be out yourself, either as an LGBT person or an ally. The coming out process varies from person-to-person, and openness and acceptance varies from organization-to-organization, but this is the simplest and most significant way you can impact those around you. Discrimination thrives on ignorance and by coming out you humanize the issue, normalize diversity and begin the conversation.

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Once the basic foundation is in place, get the organization to formalize its non-discrimination.

• Ask your group to create an inclusive non-discrimination policy. (If a policy exists but does not include sexual orientation and gender-identity, ask that they be added.) The best policies are clear and specific. They list the groups most often facing discrimination (including all LGBT people); enumerate the types of behaviors that will not be tolerated; and include a grievance procedure, penalties for violating the policy and protections from retaliation.

• Form a diversity or LGBT employee resource group. These groups can be simple social networking or support groups, or centers of activism that advocate for organizational change. Find out if there are policies for creating such groups, what kind of support or sponsorship is needed, and what kind of representation or resources they will have.

• Work with other non-LGBT groups within the organization and community. Joint activities and other collaborative events strengthen all involved and increase visibility and awareness of LGBT members.

• Organize and make the case for domestic partner benefits, where a company or organization offers the same benefits to committed unmarried couples as married couples.

These steps are just the tip of the non-discrimination iceberg. ENC will offer more information on an ongoing basis. Online resources are also available.

If workplace discrimination has been experienced, share the story with ENC.

For more information or to make a valuable contribution, visit www.equalitync.org.

Intern alert

RALEIGH — ENC is looking for a few good students! Want to make a difference in winning equal rights and justice for LGBT North Carolinians? Want to serve as a part-time intern for the upcoming spring semester?

If selected, participants will gain valuable experience working for a non-profit advocacy organization. Course credit may also be secured in the process. However, stipends are not available.

Focus will be database/data clean up, grassroots organization, development/fundraising, communications, volunteer management/outreach, transgender policy and outreach and communities of color outreach.

For a full description of each internship and to learn how to apply, visit equalitync.org/news1/portal_factory/News%20Item/jobs.

Gala date announced

RALEIGH — The 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Carolinas Gala will be held on Feb. 27, 2010 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Tickets are available now at a cost is $175.

Host hotel is the Marriott City Center. For those who want to book rooms, ask for the HRC Carolinas special room rate of $134 per night.

The Gala Committee and the North Carolina Steering Committee are seeking nominations from residents of North and South Carolina for the annual Equality and Legacy/Trailblazer Awards. Nominations must be received no later than Nov. 27. These awards are to recognize individual and organizational leadership related to the service of the LGBT community in North and South Carolina and to the HRC mission statement. Award recipients demonstrate a passion and the drive to eliminate discrimination for LGBT people.

On Oct. 21, Scott Bishop and Ron Sperry kicked it off with a table captain recruitment and on Oct. 25 Philip L. Pieper and Daniel L. Fulkerson launched their efforts for table captains, as well as sharing HRC’s need for support for the Federal Club.

For more information, to purchase tickets or to obtain nomination forms, visit hrccarolinas.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.