June 06, 2023

From the Desk of Daquetta Jones, Director, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives

June 1 marked the first day of Pride Month! Pride Month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and the fight for equal rights. The Community Foundation is committed to building a more vibrant, inclusive, equitable and just community where every person has access to resources so they can thrive. We are proud to have funds like the Ernest Otho Reaugh Advised Fund for LGBTQIA+ Advocacy.

The Ernest Otho Reaugh Advised Fund for LGBTQIA+ Advocacy’s Grant Committee met recently to review applications for 2023. Congratulations to @Pride Center of the Capital Region and @WMHT Educational Telecommunications, Inc.

The Pride Center of the Capital Region’s mission is to promote the well-being of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified people and those affected by discrimination based on gender identity and expression. The Reaugh funds will be used for a 4-step program to prepare college students to advocate for LGBTQ issues at Advocacy Day at the Capitol. Last year, the Pride Center partnered with Russell Sage Colleges to implement the program and the organization hopes to expand to SUNY Schenectady’s LGBTQ+ student group. I had the pleasure of experiencing my alma mater, Russell Sage’s  newly created Queer Collective lead by Geoffrey Miller, Dir, DEI and in partnership with the Pride Center of the Capital Region. The Queer Collective is a student-run organization that creates a safe space for individuals who identify or are allied with the LGBTQIA+ community.

WMHT Educational Telecommunications, Inc.’s mission is to use media to enrich our communities with programs and services that advance education, culture, and civic engagement, empower individuals, celebrate our diversity, and reveal what we have in common. During Pride Month WMHT will broadcast the documentary, Casa Susanna, a new film from the iconic PBS series, THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Casa Susanna, in Jewett, New York, was a popular weekend destination for cross-dressing men and transgender women in the early 1960s. WMHT is excited to share Casa Susanna with our community. In addition, WMHT will produce a broadcast premiere screening and discussion event around the Casa Susanna film, exploring issues of rights, and what it means to create an inclusive society.

Thank you to the local organizations for providing essential services to the LGBTQIA+ community: Alliance for Positive Health, GLSEN – Upstate New York, In Our Own Voices, Pride Center of the Capital Region, Albany Damien Center, Rainbow Access Initiative, Inc., Safe Haven Lgbtq+ Shelter and Community Center. Be sure to follow them on their social media platforms!