News Briefing: June 8-14, 2018


Free Library holds second Pride celebration

The Free Library is hosting its second Pride month with a series of programming running throughout the month. Neighborhood libraries throughout the city will host more than 30 LGBTQ-themed events including film screenings, “rainbow” story times — story time featuring children’s books read by drag queens about diversity and self-love — a pizza party with The Attic Youth Center and an all-ages drag show.

“Philly has a strong and vibrant LGBT community. It’s integral to the city. We’re the people’s library and it is our job to represent and reflect all people; that means sharing the lives and the stories of the LGBT community,” said Andrew Nurkin, head of the Free Library’s Center for Public Life. “More than 20 neighborhood libraries will host events throughout the month. This is a space where all identities can celebrate individual histories and culture. We’re sharing that LGBT legacy with the newer generation.”

William Way’s new Home-coming cocktail reception

The annual William Way LGBT Community Center Homecoming is changing things up this year with a cocktail reception 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 8. Attendees will enjoy recent gallery and archival installations in the center’s lobby as well as hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and an open bar. The event will feature a live performance by John Jarboe along with music by pianist and vocalist V. Shayne Frederick.

“Last year’s event was earlier in the day. We’ve moved back to an evening event, allowing guests to make Homecoming an early stop before the official Pride kick-off party,” said Shana McMahan, William Way’s development director. “We are cutting down the length of the program — no lengthy speeches or awards —  so that guests can really enjoy each other and our space.”

Philadelphia FIGHTs back with annual HIV summit

Philadelphia FIGHT will host its annual June AIDS Education Month featuring the End AIDS: The HIV Prevention and Outreach Summit June 13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The summit will provide the latest information about research, evidence-based HIV prevention, outreach strategies and best practices in caring for the most at-risk groups in Philadelphia. Jesse Milan, president and CEO of AIDS United, will be the keynote speaker.

“This year, we’re offering programming through FIGHT’s community health-training alliance,” said Kyle Chvasta, Philadelphia FIGHT’s public-programs associate. “The summit has something for everyone — such as a faith-based workshop or sessions about mental health and HIV. We’re focusing more on community-based trainings at this year’s summit.”

William Way helps community digitize LGBT archives

The William Way LGBT Community center will be hosting the LGBTQ Community Digitizing Days event June 30 from noon-4:00p.m.

The public is encouraged to bring awards, banners, signs, buttons, T-shirts, diaries, correspondence, newsletters, flyers, photographs and more. All are welcome to contribute but the center is focusing on collecting archives from women, people of color and trans people, said Chris Bartlett, executive director of William Way.

“This is a chance to cement the community’s legacy in a more permanent way,” he said.

The archiving project is funded by the National Endowment for Humanities Common Heritage grant program.

Valley Youth House awarded

The Valley Youth House has been selected as the first Outstanding Nonprofit Organization by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. The award will be presented to Valley Youth House at the Excellence in Business Awards June 13 at ArtsQuest in Bethlehem.

The Valley Youth House provides a home for nearly 30,000 abused and homeless youth in Pennsylvania. The Excellence in Business Awards showcase the impact and role that small- to mid-size businesses play in the overall economic development of the Greater Philadelphia region.

“This is a huge accomplishment for us. We’ve been operating for the last 45 years and our goal has always been to change the lives of the youth and families in our community,” said Shani Meacham, Valley Youth House’s director of Philadelphia Housing and Emergency Services.

The Moshulu gets a Pride makeover

The Moshulu deck is getting a rainbow makeover for the annual “Big Gay Boat Party Pride” June 9 from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Amber Hikes, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, will host the VIP pre-party along with Brian Sims, state representative for Philadelphia’s 182nd district. Proceeds from the event will support Galaei, the queer Latinx social-justice group.

“There’s no better way to celebrate Pride than on the waterfront,” Hikes said. “This is a great opportunity to have fun and support the community at the same time.” 

— compiled by Adriana Fraser