As I get older, I am finding that I ask myself increasingly, "What will my legacy be?" When I started my career, almost 15 years ago, I thought my legacy would be whatever career goal I would achieve. Then something changed; I started working with LGBTQ youth in my mid-20's. I was exposed to the isolation, trauma, violence, and discrimination so many LGBTQ youth face, especially street involved youth and youth of color. As my work progressed, the idea of legacy became secondary as being present to support these young people became the primary purpose of the work. More than a decade after starting my journey, former young people who have become productive adults, began to reach out to me and express how much my time and attention to their lives have meant to them. The more young people reached out, the more I began to realize what my legacy is: them, the next generation of leadership.
Coretta Scott-King wrote "Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation." The next generation certainly has a lot to fight for; protection of LGBTQ rights, economic equality, immigration rights and gun control to name a few. To do this, these young people need the support of LGBTQ adults and allies. The heart of The Pride Network’s mission is to prepare youth for the challenges of protecting and changing their communities. To do this, we need your support. Please consider donating to The Pride Network. All donations go directly to our programming. You can donate here and be a part of The Pride Network legacy.
Yours in the Fight,
I am not sure about you, but every time I turn on the news or scroll through a news feed, all I see is tragedy and injustice. School shootings. American cities being bombed with the targets being affluent African-Americans. Hate crimes against transgender people increasing over the last year. Gun rights activists sending children death threats for speaking their truths. An unarmed, young Black man killed by the police in his grandparent's backyard. All horrific. All want to make you want to put your head in the sand and hope the horror passes.
I, however, see hope. I see a new generation of activists, taking to the streets and demanding to be heard. I see the hope in the hundreds of thousands of young people who marched this past weekend for gun control reform. I see hope in the Black Lives Matter protest in Sacramento in the name of the fallen Stephon Clark. I mostly see it in the youth of The Pride Network who are working to make their communities a better place. The events of the last year and a half have galvanized a generation to fight for the disenfranchised. So, let's not waste this moment. More than ever, the youth of The Pride Network need our support and guidance so that they can go out into the world and give it some much needed healing.
One way you can support is by participating in our Upside Down Triangle Project. For a $50 donation, you will receive a triangle pin and a hand written thank you card from myself. All proceeds will go directly to our youth social justice programming. The triangle is symbol of LGBTQ resilience. The Nazis made homosexuals wear pink triangles to categorize them with a scarlet letter of sorts. Decades later, the LGBTQ community reclaimed the triangle and made it a symbol of pride and a call to action.
Help The Pride Network keep the momentum of these young people going. You can support our Upside Down Triangle project by going Here.
We will be seeing you on the front lines of change!
Just Announced: The Pride Network's next Speak Summit will be held at Rutgers Newark. A free, day-long social justice conference for youth where young people will be able to meet other LGBTQ Students from the tri-state, participate in amazing, innovative workshops, and meet gnarly professionals who are also changing the world. This a FREE event. Breakfast and lunch will be served. You can RSVP here:http://www.thepridenetwork.org/spring_2018_speak_summit. The theme for this Speak Summit is simply "The Power of Youth."
Just announced: The Pride Network will be hosting a Donor Cultivation event in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. We are hoping to create stronger community support in NYC. If you are interested in empowering and uplifting LGBTQ youth, please join us. You can rsvp here:http://www.thepridenetwork.org/house_party_for_a_purpose.
The Pride Network thanks Sean Jackson for so generously allowing the use of his home for the event.