Between January and February 2015, more than 600 LGBTQ community members and allies participated in small-group community conversations, one-on-one discussions, all-community town hall meetings, and online and paper surveys. This community engagement process was intended to help Q Center’s leadership better understand our community’s experience with the center, needs, hopes and expectations for the future, and what the community in general is needing. We are carefully reviewing this important information to help chart our future.
What we knew already was that Q Center has made mistakes in the past. Among them are missteps that further marginalized parts of our own community. HIV/AIDS survivors, Trans women, People of Color and others have been led to feel unseen, unheard and unwanted. This doesn’t align with Q Center’s mission and values, and we all should have been more active in making Q Center safer.
The new leadership at Q Center today is very sorry for the mistakes that have been detrimental to these parts of our community. We are committed to making amends and doing better in the future. We have great hope that we can change the experiences and perception of Q Center for some of our most vulnerable LGBTQQIAAP family, and move forward together.
As we walk the talk, new policies and procedures have been adopted, specifically defining discrimination and oppression, how we prevent it and how we deal with it when it happens. There are also new bylaws being drafted to govern Q Center staff, volunteers and board members, and we are exploring movement towards a member-based organization. As we continue to expand the board and hire a new Executive Director in the coming weeks, you can expect to see a new Vision and Mission Statement for Q Center, as well.
In the meantime, know that your voice is heard: we are listening. We hope to have an additional town hall and more information about Q Center’s future in April. Onward!
Staff Transitions: Congratulations Stacey Rice!
Steadfast Q Center staffer, Stacey Rice, is now Director of Operations & Programs. Stacey’s responsible for program coordination as well as oversight of volunteer-led administration. She’s the glue that holds us all together. Please be sure to say congratulations when you see her next. Thank you for all you do Stacey!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Pride Northwest Open House
Wednesday, March 25th, 6-8pm
Housewarming for Pride Northwest’s new office and collaboration with Q Center. Drop by, say hi, get the latest on Pride 2015, and check out their great work.
Saturday, March 28th, 7pm
Hosted by The Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, this will be a fabulous night of fun with proceeds benefitting Q Center. $15 for 10 games of Bingo. Food, Games, Bar and Prizes!
Open House Celebration
Sunday, April 19th, 2-6pm
Connect, learn and talk directly with many of the groups who meet at Q Center. More info to come.