Friday, June 28, 2024

Feel Good Friday - SF LGBT Center

It’s Pride weekend in San Francisco, which culminates in a giant parade on Sunday. What a great time to learn about an organization that supports the LGBTQ+ community year round, the SF LGBT Center.

Opened in 2002 and located in San Francisco, California, the mission of the SF LGBT Center (the Center) is “to connect our diverse community to opportunities, resources and each other to achieve our vision of a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBT people and our allies.”


The four priorities of the Center are: “to foster greater opportunities for people to thrive, organize for our future, celebrate our history and culture and build resources to create a legacy for future generations.” They do this through their programming and resources.

Programs cover areas such as arts and culture, community building, and services focused on employment, finances, small businesses and youth. Specific examples include art gallery exhibitions, first-time homebuyer workshops, a New Entrepreneur Training Program and a drop-in program and mental health services for LGBTQ youth. This calendar shows upcoming events.

In addition to the programs and resources located at the Center, this link on the website has information about 181 other Bay Area organizations which you can filter by education, employment, health, housing, immigration, legal, social, trans and youth. If you have questions, the Center has answers.

In 2023, the Center saw over 100,000 visitors and provided direct services to almost 6,000 people. That’s 1,500 people attending programs and events, 1,000 hours of gender-affirming mental health support to LGBTQ youth, 1000 people accessing financial literacy resources and over 500 job seekers receiving employment support. You can read more details about the Center’s impact in the 2023 Year in Review.

Much of the way the Center achieves these results is with the help of over 1,000 volunteers who provide administrative and event support as well as staff the welcome desk and provide drop-in mentoring. 

If you’re looking for a way to help the Center build a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, volunteering is a great way to do it. Other ways to support the Center include making a donation and amplifying their work on social media. Follow the SF LGBT Center on Facebook or Instagram and subscribe to their YouTube channel. Happy Pride!

Friday, June 21, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Family Equality Council

Pride month is in full swing and it’s a great time to learn about organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community. The focus of today’s Feel Good Friday is Family Equality Council.

Founded in 1979 as the Gay Fathers Coalition and headquartered in New York City, the organization officially changed its name to Family Equality Council in 2007. The mission of Family Equality is “to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing equality for the LGBTQ+ community.”

In order to achieve the goals of their mission, Family Equality has several strategic priorities that inform their work such as advancing racial and social justice, shaping the LGBTQ+ family narrative through storytelling, and building resilient communities. They advocate for policy changes at both state and federal levels, develop programmatic initiatives to protect LGBTQ+ families and youth from discrimination in schools, and help families share their own stories. These stories are given to decision-makers and the media so they have the tools they need to treat families with dignity and respect. You can view some examples in the story library, including this one from Niecy Nash.

Family Equality also provides LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion training for employers and professionals involved in family-building such as healthcare providers, family law practitioners and social workers. With an estimated 3.9 million LGBTQ+ millennials planning to build their families in the next few years, it’s important that providers are equipped to support these families.

People looking for connection and resources can find both on the Family Equality website. For those interested in starting a family there is information on all the ways to do so, as well as a provider directory. There are also virtual peer support spaces and in-person events to help families build community. 

If you’d like to help Family Equality protect love, family and freedom, there are many ways to do so. Share your story, shop for merch, donate your money and amplify their work on social medial. Follow Family Equality Council on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Juneteenth USA

Next week, on June 19th, people in the United States will celebrate a recently recognized federal holiday, Juneteenth. That makes today a great day to learn about the oldest Juneteenth nonprofit advocacy organization in the United States, Juneteenth USA.

Founded in 1985 by the late Hon. Al Edwards Sr. (D-TX), the original purpose of Juneteenth USA (J-USA) was “to raise awareness and advance the Juneteenth holiday to a national one.” Today, their mission is “to fund exceptional projects to bring all Americans to celebrate, support, and continue to elevate the common bond of freedom through the recognition, observance, education, and historic preservation of Juneteenth in America.”

First let’s start with a history lesson from “Juneteenth is the oldest internationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.”

In 1979, legislation recognizing Juneteenth Day was initiated by Senator Edwards. It passed the Texas State Legislature and was signed into law that same year. In 1985, J-USA was founded to raise awareness and advance the Juneteenth holiday to a national one. Sadly, Senator Edwards passed away in 2020 a year before Juneteenth became a federal holiday.

Now J-USA supports several projects such as the Absolute Equality mural at the site where General Granger issued General Order Number 3, and purchasing the OST Theater in Houston to use for Juneteenth related and culturally relevant events. They also offer scholarships for HBCU students and funding for community projects highlighting the arts and education.

If you’d like to support Juneteenth USA in their continued advocacy and education work, there are many ways to do so. Make a donation and raise awareness on social medial by liking their Facebook page and following them on Instagram or LinkedIn.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Lesbians Who Tech & Allies

If you’ve noticed more rainbows than usual this week that’s because June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month. That makes today a perfect day to learn about Lesbians Who Tech & Allies.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, the mission of Lesbians Who Tech & Allies (LWT) is "to reach pay equity and representation at every level, for women, women of color, and nonbinary leaders.” With a global community of over 110,000 LGBTQIA+ women, trans and nonbinary individuals, and allies, they are the largest LGBTQIA+  technology community in the world!

LWT programs are designed to ensure these leaders have the skills and support they need to achieve success. These programs include the Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship Fund, which provides coding scholarships for non-binary and LGBTQIA+ women, and a Squad Leadership Program that supports members moving into senior leadership roles and onto corporate boards. There’s also a job board where companies can post openings and techies can look for work.

Another big focus Lesbians Who Tech are the summits held in San Francisco and New York. The 5th annual Pride Summit in San Francisco takes place June 11 - 13. The agenda  is packed with presentations and networking opportunities. Best of all it’s virtual and FREE! Find more information and register here.

The New York Summit takes place in person September 17 - 20. If you’re interested in going but unsure you can get approval, LWT provides a letter template called Convince Your Boss, which you can download and modify before sharing with your employer.

If you’re not able to attend one of the upcoming summits, there are still many ways you can help LWT promote equity, visibility and intersectionality in the tech world. Volunteer your time, shop for merch and spread the love on social media. Like the Lesbians Who Tech & Allies Facebook page and follow them on Instagram and LinkedIn.