Welcome, Kim!

Kim Leighton, Regional Development Organizer in Montana
Pride Foundation is pleased to welcome Kim Leighton as the new Regional Development Organizer in Montana!
Kim was born and raised in Helena, Montana and graduated from the University of Montana in 2003. Throughout her career in Montana, she has worked with many of our closest partners and allies first with the YWCA of Missoula Domestic Violence shelter as an advocate and also with the ACLU of Montana. Most recently, Kim has served as the Program Director at NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, working both on the policy level as well as doing grassroots advocacy throughout the state to ensure that reproductive freedoms remain protected in Montana.
“As a queer woman with a background in organizing, networking, and volunteer coordination, I am thrilled to join the Pride Foundation team and represent the great state of Montana. I am excited to be a part of an organization whose mission, vision, and values resonate strongly with my own.”
Kim has seen firsthand how issues affecting the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups overlap, and in turn, how these intersecting concerns inform strategy and alliances. She is very passionate about this work as it affects her own life, but also that of so many others in Montana.
Kim is looking forward to further building a strong community with all of you. She is also eager to dedicate time to creating collaborations with organizations, businesses, faith leaders, and other foundations to continue moving equality forward in the Treasure State.
We are so delighted to have Kim as part of the Pride Foundation team! Please join us in welcoming Kim.
Thank you. Please be in touch if you have any questions.
Kris Hermanns
Executive Director

Pride Foundation Executive Director On SCOTUS Rulings

 Truly unbelievable—it’s hard to know where to begin, what to feel, how to put into words what this day represents for our community and for our country.
Equality, fairness, and love won. Twice.
Today, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) “as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment,” allowing same sex couples legally married in 13 states and the District of Columbia access to federal protection and benefits. The Court also ruled that proponents of Prop 8 did not have “standing” to appeal the federal court ruling that invalidated Prop. 8, reinstating the right of same sex couples to marry in California once again.
As the DOMA and Prop 8 challenges wound through various federal courts, we patiently and anxiously waited for this moment—the recognition that the U.S. Constitution guaranteed equal protection for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We persisted as a community in spite of every obstacle faced along the way.
The legal implications of these rulings are significant and complex. Over the next few days and months to come, experts will translate the details of the decisions so that we can understand what the rulings mean long-term and how each will impact the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ people and our families—both for those same-sex couple who are legally married and for LGBTQ people who live in states that do not currently have relationship recognition laws.
If you’re not already connected to us on Facebook or Twitter, please do and we’ll be sure to keep you posted as we learn more along the way.
As we celebrate the enormity of this historic moment, let’s hold on to and remember what it took to reach this mountain top. We are here thanks to the courage and leadership of pioneers who toiled through the decades and carried us to this moment.
We have gained another victory to guide us as we strive for equality in all aspects of our lives and for all LGBTQ people, here in the Northwest and across the country. Because of our hard work as a community and the help of passionate allies, we are closer to that vision. Today represents a giant leap forward. It will take our ongoing commitment and continuous energy to keep crossing the mountains to full and lasting equality.
Congratulations to all of us—this celebration is for everyone. Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do to bring full equality home to every person and every family.
With great Pride,
Kris Hermanns
Executive Director
http://www.pridefoundation.org | info@pridefoundation.org | 1.800.735.7287 | Headquarters Mailing Address: 1122 E Pike St PMB 1001 | Seattle, WA 98122 US

You’re Invited

Pride Foundation - Celebrate!
JOIN THE CELEBRATION – YOU ARE INVITED! 

Announcing a special reception to honor the 2013 Montana Pride Foundation Scholars and the 20th Anniversary of the Pride Foundation Scholarship Program! 

Twenty years ago, Pride Foundation received a special request to memorialize a family member by starting a scholarship fund in his honor. Growing from that first, single scholarship award to six scholarships awarded the following year, we never could have imagined the growth and joy that would follow. This year, Pride Foundation will support the educational dreams of more than 100 students from across the region—bringing the total number of students supported since 1993 to over 1,000. In partnership with and with great thanks to the thousands of volunteers, fund-holders, and donors of the Scholarship Program, nearly $3 million has been awarded.

We will be celebrating this special anniversary as well as honoring the 2013 Pride Foundation Scholars at events across the region. Please join us as we celebrate our scholars, acknowledge family members, teachers, and mentors in their lives, and also thank our generous donors and volunteers for their support.

Please join us:

  • Missoula, Montana
  • Friday, May 10
  • 5:00 PM
  • The Florence: 111 North Higgins Avenue | Missoula, Montana 59802

This event is free to attend. Hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine will be hosted.

It is important that you RSVP to Caitlin at caitlin@pridefoundation.org or by calling 406-546-7017 by May 8. Space is limited.

We look forward to seeing you there!

With Pride,
Kris Hermanns
Executive Director

PS: If you cannot join us but would still like to support the Scholarship Program, pleaseclick here to make a secure gift online.

Pride Foundation Gathering In Billings tomorrow

English: Rainbow flags at the end of the gay, ...

Leaders from two of the nation’s largest gay rights funders will help raise money for students and organizations in Montana at a fundraiser at Corby Skinner’s historic “Castle” on Friday, January 25 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Kris Hermanns, the Executive Director of the Pride Foundation, and Tim Sweeney, CEO and President of the Gill Foundation, will speak about the state of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality movement in Montana and the impact of recent marriage equality wins in the region.

For more information, to RSVP (invite yourself!), go to the Facebook event page here.

Tim Sweeney, Kris Hermanns to Attend Billings Pride Foundation Benefit

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 Leaders from two of the nation’s largest gay rights funders will help raise money for students and organizations in Montana at a fundraiser at Corby Skinner’s historic “Castle” on Friday, January 25 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Kris Hermanns, the Executive Director of the Pride Foundation, and Tim Sweeney, CEO and President of the Gill Foundation, will speak about the state of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality movement in Montana and the impact of recent marriage equality wins in the region.

Sweeney, a Billings native and graduate of the University of Montana, joined the Gill Foundation as executive director in October 2007, bringing three decades of leadership experience in the movement to advance equality for all Americans. Prior to joining Gill Foundation, Sweeney worked to build national efforts to support the rights of lesbian and gay couples to civil marriage and provided support for organizations implementing a California law that safeguards the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.

From 1986 to 1993, Sweeney led the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, helping to build the largest community-based HIV/AIDS service, prevention, and advocacy organization in the world. Under his leadership, the organization formed a national coalition to press Washington to pass antidiscrimination legislation. Working with allies, they secured passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Ryan White Care Act.

Hermanns is a self-described “country girl” from rural Wisconsin, with nearly two decades’ experience and expertise as a program manager, fundraiser, and nonprofit administrator. Before joining Pride Foundation last year, she was the deputy director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Prior to that, she was a program officer with The Rhode Island Foundation, where she created Equity Action, a field-of-interest fund for LGBTQ concerns, and developed the grantmaking program for the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. Hermanns earned a master’s degree from Harvard University and a B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to her professional work, Kris served on the board of directors of Funders for LGBTQ Issues and is a partial owner of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.

Skinner, a Pride Foundation volunteer, will provide appetizers and beverages in the “Castle,” located at 622 N. 29th St.  The event is free, but donations to support Pride Foundation’s grants and scholarships in Montana are encouraged.

Seattle-based Pride Foundation has made a big splash in Montana since hiring on-the-ground staff two years ago. There are now six times as many donors in the state, and an active statewide board that includes Shelley Hayes of the Billings Clinic and Aaron Browning, principal at Hilltop Public Solutions. Last month, Pride Foundation awarded $23,000 in grant funds to ten Montana organizations, including Billings-based Yellowstone AIDS Project and TAP 365.

According to Montana Regional Development Organizer Caitlin Copple, Montana is part of a larger national trend toward greater acceptance of people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“From the inclusive non-discrimination ordinances in Missoula and Helena to the increase in the number of high school Gay-Straight Alliances around the state to the changes in both the Republican and Democratic Party platforms, Montana is rapidly becoming a friendlier place for gays and lesbians,” Copple said. “Most importantly, more of our heterosexual family, friends, and colleagues are also ‘coming out’ as supporters of full equality for all Montanans.”

Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation is dedicated to inspiring a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality across the Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pridefoundation.org or email Caitlin@pridefoundation.org.

Pride Foundation Named One of Top Twelve Nonprofits

 

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Dear friends,

After a year that has included many celebrations at the local and national level, we have one more exciting headline to share.

Pride Foundation was just named one of the Top 12 high-impact nonprofits working in the field of local LGBTQ equality and support.
 This esteemed award from comes from Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar. The rankings are based on in-depth surveys and conversations with hundreds of experts, including academics, foundation leaders, policy makers, and consultants.

Pride Foundation is honored to be recognized for such a prestigious award. We are also thankful to each of you—we reach our successes only with your support. As the holiday season continues, we are reminded of what matters most in our own lives and in the life of an organization like Pride Foundation. We are so grateful for the opportunity to champion for inspired students and innovative nonprofits all year long.

Here is a link to two stories 
of one scholar (Andrew Nichols) and one grantee (Gay Straight Alliance at Salish Kootenai College) that exemplify what can happen when you take the risk to do what you believe in and when you have a community of friends at your side. These stories also point to the reason Pride Foundation was honored with this award—together we are transforming the lives of people in the Northwest.

I understand that so many of you have contributed generously to many causes this year. Knowing that achieving full equality for all is important to you, I would ask that you consider making a personally significant year-end gift to Pride Foundation. To those of you who have already given generously, thank you. Your gift will be joined with the voices and momentum of the entire community and region. And you never know—you may profoundly change or even save a life.

Thank you.

With Pride,

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Kris Hermanns, Executive Director

Pride Foundation

 

 

Greer Among Young NW LGBTQ Leaders Invited to The White House

So proud of my friend Jamee….


VP Biden and Dr. Biden to celebrate the next generation of LGBTQ leaders
 
Jamee Greer has been told in public meetings that his kind deserves to be sentenced to death and ridiculed as “Tinkerbell” by a prominent gun lobbyist. Last week, the White House confirmed what members of the LGBTQ Montanans and their supporters have long known: That Greer is one of the finest leaders in the country, and his policy and organizing expertise is essential to ensuring dignity and fairness for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
 
Greer will join other Northwest LGBTQ leaders including Josh Parrish of the ACLU of Idaho, Heather Purser of the Suquamish Tribe (Washington), and Kyle Rapiñan of Seattle Queer Youth Center for a tour of The White House, LGBTQ policy roundtable, and end-of-summer BBQ reception in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, September 19. A fifth community leader, Christian Baeff of CAUSA (Oregon), was invited but is unable to attend.
 
“Jamee’s work on non-discrimination ordinances in Missoula, Helena, and Bozeman, and his steadfast advocacy for all the underdogs in our society made him a clear choice for this invitation,” explains Kris Hermanns, Executive Director of Pride Foundation, the Northwest LGBTQ community foundation that was asked by The White House to suggest people that are leading change in their LGBTQ communities.
 
“Each of these young leaders inspire change by working with their local communities—their dedication to and passion for full LGBTQ equality is inspiring,” adds Hermanns.
 
Greer is employed as a full-time community organizer and lobbyist for the Montana Human Rights Network, a longtime grantee and partner to the foundation.
 
“It’s an incredible honor and very humbling to be chosen for something like this when there are so many qualified LGBTQ Montanans working every day for equal treatment under the law, and I couldn’t even think of this sort of opportunity happening without their help, including from the folks at Pride Foundation,” Greer said.
 
Greer was born and raised in Bozeman and has worked for the Montana Human Rights Network since the 2009 Legislature. He was lead organizer on the campaign to pass Montana’s first LGBTQ non-discrimination protections through the Missoula City Council in 2010 and is currently leading the campaign to pass a similar ordinance in the state capital of Helena. During legislative sessions, Greer lobbies for MHRN, working on policy related to social and economic justice, including reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, immigrant rights, and access to health care.
 
Greer previously worked as an HIV/AIDS tester and counselor with the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force and as a volunteer organizer through the Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center.
 
 
Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation is dedicated to inspiring a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality across the Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pridefoundation.org or email Caitlin@pridefoundation.org.