Friday, May 1, 2009

Pride NW Letter to Community

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. With that in mind, Pride NW wants to give tribute to the past and present accomplishments of our global community in relation to civil rights. Additionally, the past year has been one of highs and lows for the LGBTQ community. Both locally (with the division amongst our community about mayor Sam Adams), and on a National level (with anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8 in California and similar measures in other states) we have seen visible division. These facts, in combination with Pride Northwest's continued efforts to reach out to the many facets of our diverse community by building community partnerships over the last few years with, including but not limited to; Portland Latino Gay Pride, Black Pride (put on by The Unity Project), Basic Rights Oregon, the Portland Area Business Association, the Q Center, SHARE, the Sexual Minorities Youth Resource Center, Our House of Portland, and many others, has led us to choose this year's theme, "United We Stand."

The process for choosing this theme was extensive. Pride Northwest Inc. asked for community input via our website, word-of-mouth, advertising in Just Out magazine, a press release, and lengthy discussion amongst our board members. In addition to this process, Pride Northwest Inc. board members checked in with other west coast Pride celebrations to see what their themes were this year. It seemed that everyone was trying to create a comprehensive message of unity. Pride Northwest Inc. is not exempt from this effort. Especially considering that, in the past, we fully acknowledge that this nonprofit organization has not always been proactively inclusive or successfully built bridges within all areas of our community as is our responsibility. This sad fact has left deep wounds in some facets of our lives and Pride Northwest Inc. is dedicated to doing as good a job as possible in repairing past shortcomings and in new ways to be the best we can be. We serve this community and that is our only function.

We cannot do this alone. We are not perfect. We need community input, direction, guidance, and checks and balances to help us all do our best. We always invite positive new energy on our board and within our organization and constructive criticism from the community whose diversity is our soul. We thank you for caring about the Portland Pride celebration and ask you all to stand united with us to make our world a better place.

For us, Pride Northwest is a work in progress and we are completely committed to working toward that vision of inclusion and representation that the community looks for and expects from us.

This year's festival is the weekend of June 13-14, with the parade on Sunday the 14th. More details at

And here is the rest of it.


brenda said...

Sounds Great! wish I could be there.

Diane J Standiford said...

Good motto.

Anonymous said...

Hey Debra... I almost forgot you have such an integral part in this. I am SOOOO bummed that I won't get to go this year! And then in days... I move to PA.
I hope it is wonderful!!