News Briefs for 09.04.20

Beyond the Carolinas

AIDS walk goes virtual

The House of Mercy will host its 27th Annual Walk for AIDS on Sept. 12 using a virtual platform for the first time in the history of the event. One hundred percent of the funds raised from this year’s virtual Walk will directly support those living with HIV who receive services through House of Mercy. The fundraising goal is $50,000. Registration for the event is available online.
info: thehouseofmercy.org/walk.

Military scholarships announced

The Modern Military Association of America has announced the recipients of their MilSpouse Scholarship. Funds are provided to support often overlooked and under appreciated spouses in their pursuit of obtaining a higher education. Ten winners were chosen for the 2020 class. Funding for the initiative comes from Amazon.
info: modernmilitary.org.

Campaign funding addresses trans community

A GoFundMe initiative was launched to support the Trans People Are Sacred – 100 Cities Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to place a billboard exhibiting artwork saying “Trans People Are Sacred” in 100 cities across the country. The initial goal is $152,000. Each $1,000 raised will allow organizers Jonah Welch to place a billboard in another city. The additional $52,000 will be used to pay 52 transgender and non-binary BIPOC artists $1,000 each for their work (50 visual artists and two curators). Welch is a transgender artist and activist who launched the campaign in Detroit, Mich. in July 2019 with Save Art Space and Ellen Rutt. The phrase used comes from something that Dakota Camacho said to Welch years earlier while they were residents of the Audre Lorde Cooperative in Madison, Wisc. What was once a localized effort has now gone global. There is an expressed interest in mounting campaigns in conservative areas in the South and Southwest. Target dates for installation are between mid-September and mid-October, just ahead of elections. So far $22,736 has been raised.
info: bit.ly/3hJqkeA.

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Lifetime beats Hallmark

It seems that Lifetime Movie Network will be the first to present LGBTQ romance films this year ahead of Hallmark which has been in the news recently over their willingness or not to feature such themes as these. The Hollywood Reporter shared, “Lifetime’s push to further diversify its holiday slate comes in the wake of criticism of its Christmas movie rival, Hallmark Channel. Former CEO Bill Abbott was pushed out in January following Hallmark’s removal of a commercial featuring a same-sex couple (the channel later backtracked and apologized for the move). New CEO Wonya Lucas is expected to up the diversity of the slate, but Lifetime will be first out of the gate in centering LGBTQ characters in one of its movies.” On the line-up is “The Christmas Set Up” for the holiday season fare.
info: bit.ly/3hL38fH.

Homebuyers resource available

House shopping can have its own set of challenges and stresses, but there is now a salvo to help ease concerns in the form of an insurance guide for LGBTQ community members. The resource breaks down a variety of resources and tools to assist in finding the best options or insuring their property and belongings.
info: bit.ly/2QGuRm2.

Port city compiles history

Charleston, S.C.’s Harlan Green has taken on the mantle of compiling materials into a viable archive of LGBTQ life in the historic city. Greene is a College of Charleston Library scholar-in-residence. He kicked off “The Real Rainbow Row,” a live-streamed walking tour of the peninsula’s LGBTQ site in July 2020, WCIV reported. During the event, participants were able to engage in an edit-a-thon to help bridge gaps and inequities in Wikipedia content to create new articles, expand ones in existence and add sources of a scholarly nature. The event was part of the college’s LGBTQ Life in the Lowcountry project and Special Collections project.
info: speccoll.coc.edu/lgbtq. bit.ly/34QmxIA.

Orgs ‘thrive’ together

Three LGBTQ organizations in Winston-Salem, N.C. are banding together to host an event on Nov. 12 to celebrate and honor local businesses, non-profits and faith communities who are committed to the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community. Partners in “Together We Thrive” include OUT at the Movies, PFLAG Winston-Salem and North Star LGBTQ Community Center who will host their annual “In Good Company Gala.” The focus this year is to show the importance of collaboration and strategic partnerships in the era of COVID-19. The fundraiser will help support the mission of these organizations throughout the Piedmont-Triad area. For more information, email igc@northstarlgbtcc.com.
info: northstarlgbtcc.com/in-good-company.

Toronto film fest goes virtual

The first-ever online edition of Toronto, Canada’s “Inside Out” film festival will be held from Oct. 1-11 amidst concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The event is considered one of the largest festivals in North America.
info: insideout.ca.

Journalist to meet online

The NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists will hold their annual convention online from Oct. 12-25. The virtual event will feature a career and community expo, breakout and plenary sessions and opportunities for networking and connection. The convention was originally slated to take place in Chicago, Ill., but due to COVID-19, everything was moved online.
info: nlgja.org.

Scientists, tech pros offer scholarship

The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Inc. have announced that applications are now being accepted through Sept. 30 for their Ben Barres Fellowship, an award of $2,000 to $5,000 for “the professional development of trans, intersex, and non-binary graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).” Barres, transgender and a distinguished professor of neurobiology at the Stanford University, was an outspoken champion of marginalized minorities in academia and society. The fellowship is a merit-based award that provides support for the recipient’s professional development. Award decisions will be announced the first week of December. Full details are available online.
info: bit.ly/34PMc4n.

MPact ED to step down

Dr. George Ayala will end his 16-years-plus tenure with MPact on Sept. 30. The organization’s board has already mounted a public search for Ayala’s replacement. Deadline for application is Oct. 5. Dr. Mohan Sundararaj will serve as interim executive director until a replacement has been found.
info: mpactglobal.org.

Coalition urges delay of NBPP

As part of its Copays Count Campaign, the National Coalition for LGBT Health is urging Congress to pass legislation that would delay the implementation of the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) rule until at least 2022, and reinstate the limitations on copay accumulators included in the 2020 NBPP. The Trump Administration’s new regulations will increase prescription drug costs for many patients with chronic illnesses, including HIV, viral hepatitis, and STIs, the organization shared.
info: healthlgbt.org.

HRC to host national fundraiser

The Human Rights Campaign will hold its National Virtual Event fundraiser on Sept. 24 as a replacement for several in-person galas which were canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. Now, the organization is calling on people to step up as Equality Captains. An online sign-up form is available for those who wish to serve. Gala events help fund HRC’s fight for equality.
info: bit.ly/2QHibeQ.

Brief filed on adoption, foster care agencies

Joined by the former U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, and U.S. Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, the Modern Military Association of America, along with the Williams Institute and 49 other scholars in filing amicus briefs during late August with the Supreme Court of the United States in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case that could decide whether adoption and foster care agencies can use taxpayer funds to discriminate against qualified LGBTQ parents.
info: modernmilitary.org.

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Alaskan city bans conversion therapy

Anchorage, Ak. became the first city in the northwest state to pass an ordinance protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy, The Trevor Project reported.
info: thetrevorproject.org.

Pastor lashes out at Harris

Metro Weekly reported that North Carolina Bishop Patrick Wooden, Jr. who leads the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, N.C., used a sermon attacking Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris for officiating a same-sex wedding in 2013 when she was serving California as its attorney general. He stated, “anybody who’s trying to turn America into Sodom and Gomorrah is not good for this nation, she ain’t good for the state, and she ain’t good for Black folk.”
info: bit.ly/3lDPi15.

FCSJ adds staffer

The Freedom Center for Social Justice has added a new staff member to the organization. Autumn Alston, who has joined the team as intersectionality program manager, is a graduate student at Northeastern University and is pursuing her Master’s in Global Studies with a concentration in Diplomacy.
info: fcsj.org.

Anti-hate campaign launched

Alliance for Full Acceptance has launched a campaign in partnership with Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Charleston, Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston Hispanic Association, Lowcountry Coalition Against Hate, the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Columbia Jewish Federation, Charleston Jewish Federation and others to “Stamp Out Hate South Carolina.” The state is one of three in the U.S. with no law specifically protecting citizens targeted by hate crimes. In other news, AFFA has welcomed new board members empowerment speaker Sunshine Bella Goodman, medical accountant Keller Lee, education professional Portia Neat and software leadership team member Ashley Peele.
info: stampouthate.sc. affa-sc.org.

Google celebrates the QC

The third city in the U.S. and the first one in the South, Charlotte, N.C. has been chosen by Google to be featured on its global Arts & Culture website. Among those places and faces that viewers can explore are artist John W. Love, Jr., a virtual field trip at the Levine Museum of the New South, a lesson in the city’s Civil Rights Movement, public artworks, and more. Google Arts & Culture Charlotte partners include: the Mint Museum, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Levine Museum of the New South, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Arts & Science Council, Atkins Library at University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Goodyear Arts, Carolina Raptor Center, Charlotte Symphony and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation.
info: g.co/explorecharlotte.

Diverse writers join class

Two LGBTQ writers, Sam O and Kate Sisk, have joined NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop. The program is dedicated to discovering and developing late night and sketch comedy writers of diverse backgrounds.
info: nbcuni.com.

Trans murder victim suspect arrested

An arrest was made in Greensburg, La., by St. Helena Parish sheriffs in the murder of Shakie Peters of suspect Lynette Muse. Peters was one of two transgender women killed in July in the area, The Associate Press reported. More arrests are pending.
info: bit.ly/3jvOsld.

Park named after trans activist

In a first for New York state, a waterfront park in Manhattan will be named after LGBTQ civil rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, People magazine reported. The transgender person of color was memorialized as one of the prominent leaders of the Stonewall Uprising in 1969.
info: bit.ly/3gJk2dC.

Tribes file foster care protection suit

Two federally recognized Indian tribes, a California-based coalition of tribes, a foster youth and foster care alumni group and three organizations that work with LGBTQ and two-spirit youth in foster care sued the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The coalition of groups sued HHS and ACF for unlawfully rescinding requirements that child welfare agencies report data about the tribal membership and affiliation of foster children, voluntarily disclosed data about the sexual orientation of foster youth and foster and adoptive parents, and about how agencies identify and serve American Indian children and LGBTQ youth in the foster care system. The plaintiffs, California Tribal Families Coalition, Yurok Tribe, Cherokee Nation, Facing Foster Care in Alaska, Ark of Freedom Alliance, True Colors, Inc. and Ruth Ellis Center, are represented by Democracy Forward, Lambda Legal and the Michigan State University College of Law’s Indian Law Clinic.
info: lambdalegal.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.

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