Hopes and aspirations for paying it forward

Community leaders share their New Year’s resolutions

The new year is upon us and what better time to discover and reflect on what we want this annual restart to become for us.
Carolinas LGBTQ and allied community leaders have shared their resolutions and hopes for 2019 which can be read below.

Our board is working hard in 2019 to: enhance business and professional membership to increase visibility within the Charlotte area; advocate for LGBTQ owned businesses to be included in our municipal Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) contracting and increasing the number of certified businesses in our area; provide access to our corporate partners for supplier education and contracting; create a non-profit foundation that focuses our educational, support and incubation efforts for small business owners, non-profits and entrepreneurs.
Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2019-2020
Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte, N.C. now has 68 affirming churches, which is wonderful, with every tradition covered by at least one church (except for the Pentecostal traditions). I would like to see the Pentecostal traditions join the other Christian traditions in 2019, affirming that LGBT+ people are loved by God and deserving of a safe place to worship where they are respected and affirmed.
Rev . Dawn Flynn
Pastor, New Life MCC
Gastonia, N.C.

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My mantras for 2019: “Abundance & Transformation” for my personal journey. “Opportunities & Access” for the voices that often go unheard.
Ann Gonzales
Owner, Create-ster
Charlotte, N.C.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is always the same: “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” It guides my work for equality and equity and day-to-day interactions with random folks. We never know our impact on others, so work for good.
Kendra Johnson
Executive Director, Equality North Carolina
Raleigh, N.C.

Too many friends, family and colleagues were struggling, working multiple jobs and still not making ends meet. This compelled me to establish Poor No More (PNM). PNM is a community service project that offers emergency funds, a food bank and a free store to underprivileged families. Paying it forward…
Jermaine Nakia Lee
Founder & Artistic Director
Carolinas Pride Theatre Ensemble,
Owner & Operator
NoDa@28th Creative Arts Studios,
Charlotte, N.C.

2019 will continue my journey of “Knowing My Why.” My hope is to continue to push the conversations on bias and how it affects and infects all of us. I look forward to learning more about my community and myself. I see so many opportunities in Charlotte to change through policy how housing is made more accessible through education and gaining better job skills. I see more opportunities for God to open doors knowing some will be difficult to walk through but also knowing that I have been given all that I need to make the first step. I dream of a city that reflects the values so many say they share oppose to turning a blind eye to those in need while personally making better choices to change our own lives. I dream of days where we push ourselves from our self created boxes to Be Better. 2019 will be an amazing year as long as we take one day, one smile, one hug, one selfless act, one opportunity to forgive at a time. My hope is that any/all who read this know that you were created for greatness and you have the power to achieve all good things by believing in yourself, trusting in love, believing in a Higher Power and allowing others to be there for you to give strength when needed.
LaWana Mayfield
Councilmember, City of Charlotte
Charlotte, N.C.

I dream of time when Queer & Trans folx would build each other up and stop allowing the hate from outside to permeate our communities. We have a rich diversity. Let’s build not destroy each other.
Jack Register
Therapist
Greensboro, N.C.

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2018 saw many setbacks for the LGBTQA community. We could choose to be bitter, resentful, and fearful or we can be thankful for these challenges and struggles as they are our best teachers in resilience and compassion. May 2019 bring us a peace to forgive those who have been unkind to us.
J. Wesley Thompson, MHS, PA, AAHIVS, DFAAPA
Medical Director of HIV Care, Amity Medical Group
Charlotte, N.C.

The LGBTQ Democrats of North Carolina move into 2019 with optimism, even in the midst of chaos in Washington, following the great Democratic victories in N.C. and throughout the country in the 2018 mid-term elections! We recognize there’s much work left to do and as an official North Carolina Democratic Party Auxiliary, with a seat and voice at the table, we will continue to work within the party at the local, district, state and national levels to elevate and support legislation and resolutions that guarantee full equality for LGBTQ citizens, and others who face discrimination. We will do all that we can to continue our momentum in chapter and membership growth, to increase our visibility, our value and, of course, elect LGBTQ and allied Democrats to office in 2019.
Ginger Walker, President
LGBTQ Democrats of North Carolina
Charlotte, N.C.

This year I am thinking about the experiences I want to have during the year. As I get older, I certainly think about time and the desire for more meaningful time with my partner, family and friends. Art has been such a big part of my life and I want to devote more time to working in my studio, as well as visiting museums. I am deeply grateful for my health and I plan to do more to ensure I’m able to serve our community for a long time.
Rev. Debbie Warren
President & CEO, RAIN
Charlotte, N.C.

My hope is that people working for fair and equitable communities here and abroad can take down the walls we have erected separating ourselves from one another. My personal goal is to be more engaged in that work, and more patient with people who feel left out.
Tom Warshauer
Assistant Director
Community Engagement, Housing &
Neighborhood Services, City of Charlotte
Charlotte, N.C.

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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.