Our last community update shared information about the changes, challenges and opportunities we faced at the end of 2014. 2015 is a new year and so it is at Q Center…
Growing Interim Leadership
Two co-chairs have been elected to the Interim Board of Directors: Antoinette Edwards and Karen Petersen. Antoinette is the founder of PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, whose life’s work centers on healing community violence and trauma in communities of color. She is committed to helping right some wrongs, assist with community healing, and chart the course forward. “I believe in and am inspired by Q Center’s mission, vision, and values,” says Antoinette. “I value the power of relationships and the importance of pursuing, developing, and nurturing even beyond the difficult times.”
Karen returns to Q Center in an extraordinary role, fulfilling co-chair duties on the Interim Board, while volunteering her time in day-to-day operations on site at Q Center. Karen brings 13 years’ experience in fundraising and nonprofit management, a masters degree in nonprofit management and fundraising, and a long history of involvement as a straight ally in LGBTQ issues. “I’m deeply, personally invested in seeing Q Center succeed. It’s a new day, a new time, and a new year at Q Center, and it’s an irreplaceable asset for all of us who count ourselves as part of the LGBTQ community.”
Also joining the interim board of directors is Jose Rivas. Jose is the Events Director for the Portland Business Alliance and a long time community advocate. He has served as Festival Chair of Latino Pride, worked in Membership and Outreach for Human Rights Campaign, and serves on the Board of Directors at Our House of Portland.
Community Committee for Future of Q Center
A small but growing group of people have formed the Community Committee, charged with organizing and facilitating the community engagement process to help determine the needs of the community and Q Center’s role. Initial planning includes a town hall forum in the end of January (date TBD). A basic survey to be available both online and in paper form is being finalized and small group discussions have begun, led by and for some of Q Center’s most affected and/or disenfranchised communities.
These will be a chance to participate in much needed conversations about multigenerational, community-based LGBTQ support and services in Portland. Some of the questions that we might ask ourselves and each other in this process: What do we currently do well as a community (in and across our intersectional communities) in terms of support and services? What’s missing and most needed? How do we fund what we need? What funding models match our mission(s), are sustainable, and get the work done? Do we still need a multigenerational LGBTQ community center in Portland? If so, how can Q Center be that place? What can we do to return stewardship of our community center back to the community?
SMYRC is moving
Earlier this week, we announced that SMYRC will be moving to a new location downtown, thanks to an exciting new partnership with New Avenues for Youth. Community response to the upcoming move has been overwhelmingly positive.
“This is another positive step in righting the big queer ship–both Q Center and SMYRC are vital community resources, and they must be preserved. Q’s interim board and advisory committee certainly seem up to the task.” — PQ Monthly
What now and what can I do?
There are many wheels turning at Q Center, programming continues, and numerous people are working hard to keep the doors open. Q Center staff are bringing their talents, commitment and passion to their work every day, and more and more volunteer community members are stepping in to help during our reorganization and assessment.
“I’ve been asked why I took a board level position with Q Center. It’s because it’s where my heart was in the beginning. If I just sit here and complain, then take me out of the equation. I want to be a part of the solution.”– Robert Goman, Q Center Interim Board
We need your support now more than ever: be a part of the solution, and DONATE ONLINE
Know your voice matters: connect directly with the Interim leadership at Q Center by emailing us at: Leadership@PdxQCenter.org