Triad: Honored Professor, Foundation Grants, Church Recognition

Carolinas News Notes

Professor honored for trans healthcare research

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine has been honored for his research on transgender community healthcare, WRAL reported.

Scott Rhodes, who is gay, has taught at Wake Forest for 15 years with a focus on HIV prevention and public health. He has worked with the Latinx transgender community to improve healthcare outcomes.

Often overlooked, Latinx transgender women have a strong need for better access to public healthcare, Rhodes asserts.

“There is just a need for information, a need for access to care among this population who tends to be isolated, who tend to be pretty hidden,” Rhodes told WRAL.

Research efforts have been directed toward the ChiCAS group, where study and safe-sex promotion among transgender women who have sex with men focus on HIV prevention and PrEP. The research shows that Spanish-speakers across the U.S. are “pretty nervous” to welcome care due to the current situation surrounding undocumented individuals.

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With ChiCAS, Rhodes’ goal is to provide new ways for the Latinx community, who are underserved, to obtain access to public health. His assertion is that barriers can be overcome with public help.

Five metropolitan areas in North Carolina are part of ChiCAS’ study and healthcare promotion efforts.

info: bit.ly/2tCgfbd. wakehealth.edu.

Grant recipients honored

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Guilford Green Foundation will hold its granting ceremony on June 29, 12 p.m. at the LGBTQ Center of Greensboro, 1205 W. Bessemer Ave., Suite 226.

This year the foundation will award six local organizations with a total of $30,000. These recipients were selected for their impact on the LGBTQ community.

Receiving grants are: One Step Further Family Factor Program, $10,000; Youth Focus Act Together Crisis Center, $5,000; Family Service of the Piedmont LGBTQ Domestic Violence Services, $5,000; Greensboro Mural Project Queer Ancestors Mural, $4,000; North Star LGBTQ Center, $3,500; and PFLAG Winston-Salem Rainbow Conference, $2,500.

“We got a wide range of incredible applications this year. We’re excited to be able to help these organizations meet the needs of our community with critical programs to assist teens in crisis and better serve individuals dealing with domestic violence,” said Executive Director Jennifer Ruppe. “We’re also proud to support the creation of a ‘Queer Ancestors’ mural to be painted at the YWCA and an upcoming PFLAG conference in Winston-Salem.”

To attend the ceremony, RSVP by calling 336-790-8419 or email info@ggfnc.org.

The Guilford Green Foundation has established the Pearl Berlin Scholarship Fund in memory of Berlin’s contributions to the marriage equality fight.
Pictured here are Lennie Gerber
(left) and Pearl Berlin.

In other news, the foundation has launched the Pearl Berlin Scholarship Fund to honor a marriage equality fight hero. Pearl Berlin and her partner of 52 years, Ellen “Lennie” Gerber, of High Point, N.C. were plaintiffs that upended North Carolina’s Amendment One, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, Guilford shared. The couple were the first winners of the Guilford Green Visionary Award.

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The scholarship is being offered as a way to honor Berlin’s lifetime of work as an advocate for equality and same-sex marriage. It will be awarded in the spring of 2019 to graduating seniors who have demonstrated leadership in the LGBTQ community.

info: guilfordgreenfoundation.org.

Church gets recognition

GREENSBORO, N.C. — First Lutheran Church, 3600 W Friendly Ave., has been recognized by Reconciling Works (formerly Lutherans Concerned/North America) as a Reconciling in Christ congregation. This recognition comes after the congregation officially adopted a public statement of welcome for individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

The statement read: “As a Christian community, we are compelled to be God’s agents of reconciliation and healing within society, embracing diversity and uniqueness. We are therefore committed to sharing God’s love and Christ’s mission with all people without regard to age, cultural or ethnic background, gender identity, sexual expression, or sexual orientation, economic or life circumstances, physical or mental ability, spiritual beliefs, or any of the things that so often divide us.”

The Rev. Jay Hilbinger, senior pastor of First Lutheran, sees this statement as “a way to live out the teachings of Jesus by loving our neighbor and welcoming all.” A motto of the church is: All are welcome — and all means ALL.

The Reconciling in Christ recognition means that the congregation will be listed on a roster of congregations, organizations and synods in the United States and Canada, which publicly welcome members of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

“We welcome First Lutheran to the Reconciling in Christ family,” said Aubrey Thonvold, executive director of Reconciling Works. “It is with love we are called to welcome all God’s children into our congregations, communities and our world. We thank First Lutheran for being an active member working for reconciliation and growth within the church so people of all sexual orientations and gender identities can share a lived experience of love, welcome and family.”

Reconciling Works is a Christian ministry affirming God’s love for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Reconciling in Christ is a program of Reconciling Works.

info: firstlutheran.com. reconcilingworks.org.

Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@goqnotes.com.

Share your news with us

Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to specialassignments@goqnotes.com. In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBTQ issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBTQ rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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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.

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