PFLAGPNW Conference In Boise Oct 2-5 features Bishop Gene Robinson, Dr Caitlin Ryan

pflagThe 2014 Pacific Northwest PFLAG Conference is inviting people in the Boise/Treasure Valley and surrounding areas to join them on Friday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 in the North Star room at the Riverside Hotel. After a short welcoming speech by Bishop Gene Robinson, there will be a film and presentation by the Family Acceptance Project.

Dr. Caitlin Ryan will provide a brief overview of the Family Acceptance Project’s work to support diverse families and will screen her award winning film – “Families Are Forever” – the moving documentary of a devout Mormon family’s journey to accept and support their young gay son. Mitch Mayne, former executive secretary in the bishopric (religious leadership) of the LDS Church in San Francisco, a national voice on Mormon LGBT issues and a Boise native, will share his experiences supporting Mormon families with LGBT children and will facilitate a discussion with the audience.

“Families Are Forever” has received 18 awards from film festivals across the U.S. and in India, to date. This work is also of important interest in people working in schools, counselors, health care providers, social services and law enforcement. People not attending the conference are welcome to make a small donation.

Bishop Robinson and Dr Ryan will also be presenting in plenary sessions on Saturday October 4th, and we conclude with an ecumenical healing service with Bishop Robinson on Sunday October 5th.

More information on the conference can be found here: http://www.pnwpflag.org/2014-regional-conference/

My interview with Bishop Robinson is here.

Pride Foundation Named One of Top Twelve Nonprofits

 

ImageProxy.mvc

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,

ImageProxy.mvc

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.

Pride Foundation to ‘Make Waves’ on Flathead Lake August 12

Beach-themed fundraiser to raise money for Montana grants and scholarships

Join me on a Flathead Lake cruise!

Pride Foundation aims to “make waves” with the first-ever Flathead Lake Equality Cruise on Sunday, Aug. 12, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The boat will depart KwaTaqNuk Best Western Resort at 4 p.m. sharp, so guests are encouraged to arrive by 3:45.  Tickets are $45 for individuals and $80 per couple and can be purchased online at www.pridefoundation.eventbrite.com.

Seattle-based Pride Foundation has made a big splash in Montana since hiring on-the-ground staff in 2011, sextupling the number of active donors in less than two years. Pride Foundation has increased from $19,000 to nearly $50,000 the amount of grants and scholarships given out in the state over the past year.

According to Regional Development Organizer Caitlin Copple, who is also the first openly gay member of the Missoula City Council, Montana is part of a larger national trend toward greater acceptance of people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

“From the city ordinances protecting the community from non-discrimination 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 more friendly 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 in our state.”

Indeed, co-hosts for the upcoming cruise include Rep. Ellie Hill (D-Missoula) and Dr. Tyler Smith of Missoula, Cathy and Ned Cooney of Bigfork, Mary Stranahan of Arlee, and Beth Frazee, Paul Vestal, and Bryony Schwan, all of Missoula.

Special thanks to event sponsors KwaTaqNuk Resort, Mamalode Magazine, and FlatheadEvents.net. If you would like to sponsor or co-host, please contact Caitlin@pridefoundation.org.

And yep, I’m gonna be there.

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 In Montana: Promoting Equality And Generosity- With A New Website

Pride Foundation launched a new website this week, making it much easier to focus on the great work we are doing throughout the Pacific Northwest. And yes, I say we. And so should you.

Since 1985, Pride Foundation has been promoting a culture of philanthropy and generosity among LGBT people and our allies- most recently supporting Marriage Equality in Washington State. And we’re not stopping there.

Pride Foundation is proud to support LGBTQ equality in Montana. Building on the first Montana grant awarded in the 1990s supporting a LGBTQ youth conference, we have been growing support for Montana organizations and scholars thanks to donors and volunteers with more than $300,000 awarded to date. For every $1.00 given in Montana, $3.80 is returned to Montana by Pride Foundation.  Seriously. That’s a firm and amazing commitment.

As a donor-supported community foundation and a catalyst for change, we support transformative philanthropy, programs, and individuals in the Northwest that help people find joy and strength in who they are and where they are—in urban, rural, and remote communities.

Caitlin Copple is Pride Foundation’s full-time Regional Development Organizer in Montana, based in Missoula. But Caitlin travels throughout the Treasure State meeting donors, volunteers, grantees, and scholars—building a community to move LGBTQ equality forward in Montana. She’s on the road for Pride Foundation every week.

Contact Caitlin to learn more about Pride Foundation’s work in Montana and to find out how you can get involved. Be sure to sign up for Pride Foundation’s monthly eNewsletter to learn more about our supporters, grantees, and scholars. You can also read all of Caitlin’s Montana stories online.

Local Leadership: For Montana, By Montana

Local leadership makes Pride Foundation’s work meaningful and relevant as local Montana volunteers help award our grants and scholarships in Montana. Montana’s Leadership Action Team is one group of volunteers that provides guidance and advice to staff. I am proud to be a part of this group of amazing individuals. With representation from Arlee, Billings, Bozeman, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula, the members of the 2012 Leadership Action Team are:

  • Chris Bedoian
  • Rep. Bryce Bennett (D-Missoula)
  • Aaron Browning
  • Suzie Eades
  • Mel Fisher
  • Ginny Furshong
  • Shelley Hayes
  • David Herrera
  • Pat Kemp
  • Tom Marsh
  • Greg Smith – Chairperson
  • Mary Stranahan
  • Mike Wessler
  • Bobbie Zenker
Look for us this summer at Montana Pride- and remember, groups/events can request sponsorships ($50.00 to $500.00 separate from the larger grant cycle) from Pride Foundation through a quick and easy form. Pride Foundation is committed to LGBT Equality and philanthropy in Montana- we want you with us. Remember, for every dollar given by Montanans to Pride Foundation, $3.80 comes back to Montana. That’s an incredible return on your investment.
And our lives here are more than worth it.

Montana Pride 2012 Early Bird Tickets Now Available!

Did you have trouble getting into Montana Pride events last summer? Well, you won’t this year.

Promise.

From Montana Pride’s website:

WE HEARD YOU!
2012 Montana Pride is looking to answer and address all the feedback
—GOOD AND BAD— that we received from our 2011 Pride Questionnaires…

This year, we’ve chosen BIGGER venues to accomodate our growing community, we’ve scheduled TWO NIGHTS of fabulous drag-talent, extended our VIP options across the whole weekend, and focused our WORKSHOPS and PRESENTATIONS to be more effective. We hope you’ll plan ahead, book early, and get your seats!

There will be youth activities/events, childcare and more family-friendly events and spaces; nationally recognized speakers and performers; and a parade that finishes with a rally on the front lawn of The Bozeman Public Library!

To get your weekend passes (at a discount) GO HERE!

I’m on the planning committee and trust me, this year is going to be epic.

Pride Foundation: Big Plans for Montana

By Caitlin Copple, Montana Regional Development Organizer, Pride Foundation

During new Executive Director Kris Hermanns’ inaugural visit to Montana, the state’s Leadership Action Team volunteers convened at a retreat center in Red Lodge January 28 to assess the first year of Pride Foundation’s regional expansion in Montana and to help set the course for 2012.

“The Montana retreat recognized, created and harnessed some of the most encouraging energy I’ve been a part of in a long time,” said volunteer and monthly donor Greg Smith of Bozeman. “There is a unity of purpose and vision among us that’s palpable, and we are absolutely committed to LGBTQ equality in Montana.”

Added volunteer and donor Mary Stranahan of Arlee: “It was a good whirlwind of networking and making connections across the state, and I am very glad to have met Kris.”

Among the highlights were the notable increase in the number of LGBTQ events around the state, feeling more connected as a statewide community, giving away more money than ever, and feeling like we are working to create a better world through social change.  Wishes from team members included the need for more political and legal change, more visibility to reach people outside the “choir” of progressive and LGBTQ activists, and to diversify in fundraising strategies.

LAT Members with Pride Foundation's Amy White

The team, which functions much like a statewide board, decided to split into three subcommittees focusing on fundraising, visibility and communications, and leadership development.  The fundraising committee, co-chaired by Aaron Browning of Billings and Ginny Furshong of Helena, will focus on major donor and monthly giving development and donor retention, as well as connecting with Montana’s many “expats” who have left the state for either coast but remaining committed to social justice here.

The communications committee will develop Montana-specific “talking points” about the impact of Pride Foundation and its grantees in Montana, and work to present to businesses and service clubs.

The leadership development committee will focus on power-building by providing capacity building and technical assistance to grantee organizations and allies, as well as providing greater volunteer support to grantees, especially those focused on advocacy and education.

“Volunteering with and donating to Pride Foundation means being a part of something bigger than myself without losing my individual identity – or my voice,” explains LAT member and monthly donor Greg Smith of Bozeman. “In fact, Pride Foundation amplifies my voice because it is the vehicle for change in the Pacific Northwest for all LGBTQ persons and our allies, urbanand rural. Pride Foundation’s investment in my home state of Montana couldn’t be clearer- it’s professional, it’s consistent and it’s becoming stronger every day.”

Moving forward, the Leadership Action Team plans to meet quarterly in person and monthly in subcommittees.  If you have feedback or suggestions for how Pride Foundation can better serve your community, please contact Caitlin@pridefoundation.org or one of your local LAT members.