Each year, PFLAG National distributes grants to support the critical diversity work so many of our chapters engage in to meet the specific needs of their communities. From supporting families of color to providing bilingual resources and support to chapter members, our organization’s diversity work remains a critical component to expanding our support, education, and advocacy efforts. It’s our goal to work towards building a truly inclusive organization that can meet the needs of all of our PFLAG family members. This year, we are very pleased to award diversity grants to the following outstanding chapters who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to this diversity work:
PFLAG Greater Boston received a $1,000 grant for their collaborative community outreach project with the newly formed Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) and prominent African American religious leaders. The project focuses on empowering African American moms to be the catalyst for change. The participants will receive current data which stresses the need for supportive family, life saving resources, and strategies to accept their LGBT loved ones. PFLAG Greater Boston anticipates organizing three meetings for mothers following church services. The facilitators and speakers of the groups will be members of African American clergy and members of the HBCG with direct guidance and support from PFLAG Greater Boston. The chapter hopes to draw more interest from other people of color within the community by visiting families at their homes and sharing PFLAG literature and support resources.
PFLAG Columbia-Howard County received a $1,000 grant for their safe schools work within their African American, Korean, Indian and transgender communities. The chapter is committed to ensuring that all LGBT students, especially LGBT students of color, have safe learning environments and family support. The chapter is going to bridge the gap by hand delivering reference materials to all seventy-two schools in Howard County. A significant amount of meeting time with the schools will be devoted to discussing and offering resources for more teacher education around transgender and LGBT youth of color issues. The chapter plans to establish safe schools contacts in every school with the expectation that the newly formed relationships will foster follow-up meetings and further outreach.
PFLAG Greensboro received a $1,000 grant to support their work with the Dinner and a Movie project which started as a partnership with Guilford County Department of Public Health, the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and the Triad Health Project. Health concerns among young men of color and lack of support resources prompted collective efforts to address the needs of LGBT communities of color. PFLAG Greensboro, in partnership with the local departments of health, will host four family and friends nights in an effort to provide Latino and African American youth and their families with PFLAG and health resources and support. The events will feature two movie nights and two OUT Bowling nights to encourage the youths and their families to have fun while discussing the support programs of PFLAG and the local health departments. The chapter hopes to sustain their work within the community by actively reaching out to a variety of local organizations including; Acceptance Without Exception, the GSA at North Carolina A&T, and offering PLFAG support and resources for their meeting on campus.
PFLAG Modesto received a $1,000 grant to start their Spread Respect-Stop Bullies conference. The event will encourage LGBT diversity and tolerance through workshops and roundtable discussions. In an effort to reach out to all communities, the chapter will have a planning meeting, which will include local groups like the NAACP, the Hispanic Youth Leadership Conference, leaders from Jewish, Islamic and other non-Christian faiths, Gay Straight Alliances and local groups for people with disabilities. The Spread Respect-Stop Bullies event will highlight how bullying and discrimination affects each group in different ways, but ultimately impacts the community as a whole. The event will also share best practices to reduce bullying on a broader scale and within each community. Participants at the conference will have the opportunity to learn ways each group could work together to create welcoming environments and learn about PLFAG resources and activities. The chapter plans to sustain their program by providing schools with current LGBT and diversity resources and information such as posters, literature and training opportunities.
PFLAG Mi Familia (PFLAG en Espanol), a support group of PFLAG San Diego, received a $250 grant to sustain their efforts to support Spanish speaking parents who are dealing with LGBT loved ones. The chapter will provide written materials that describe their support group and hotline. The materials will be placed in all Spanish speaking communities, including schools and counseling centers. The chapter will also promote their documentary, “Mi Familia” which highlights Latino families and their journey toward accepting their LGBT children.
PFLAG Northern IL Council, (a coalition of PFLAG chapters in and around Chicago) received a $250 grant to provide cross cultural competency training to their chapter members in an effort to help the members become aware and sensitive to the challenges of LGBTQ people of color. The Council plans to hold a half day cultural awareness workshop for their members, designed to analyze ways to diversify their meetings and outreach efforts in order to foster positive relationships with the diverse communities. The workshop will be facilitated by special service agencies that work with LGBTQ people of color along with families and other concerned members of the community. To sustain their project, each chapter in Northern IL will have a PFLAG participant devoted to maintaining relationships with local communities of color.
PFLAG Rocky Mount received a $250 grant to launch their Crossing the Lines initiative designed to build LGBT support and stop anti-LGBT messages in some local churches. The group will host multiple showings of For the Bible Tells Me So, a film highlighting the journey of families of faith supporting their LGBT children. Directly following the film, the chapter will host a positive dialog led by welcoming church leaders in the community. The chapter will also provide PFLAG literature and support group information directly following the screening.
PFLAG Taos received a $250 grant to organize presentations to Native American and Spanish communities on PFLAG’s mission and support resources. The chapter will strengthen their relationships with the Native American and Spanish communities by partnering with existing and new contacts that are respected in each community. Along with resources translated in to the native languages, the chapter will also work with the local radio station to promote PFLAG Taos. The chapter expects the added outreach will bring the communities of color to their meetings and on their board.