News Briefing: November 9-15

Biz council trains in LGBTQ cultural competency

The Montgomery County LGBT Business Council will partner with 1776 at Ambler Yards to host an interactive training on LGBTQ cultural competency in the workplace.

The two-hour training session will focus on strategies to create inclusive work environments for LGBTQ workers. Todd Snovel, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, will be the lead trainer.

“This workshop will equip community leaders with the information, skills and language to be forward-thinking when it comes to engaging their LGBTQ populations,” Snovel said.

The business council worked with 1776 at Ambler Yards — an incubator-styled co-working space — on creating its nondiscrimination policy that was implemented in September.

Upon completion of the training, participants will receive certification for LGBTQ cultural competency in the workplace from the Montgomery County LGBT Business Council. The training will be held 3 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Ambler Yards camps in Lower Gwynedd Township.


William Way hosts lunchtime discussions on LGBT issues

The William Way LGBT Community Center will host lunchtime table discussions Nov. 8 on challenges facing the LGBTQ community.

The event is the second installment of On the Table Greater Philly, a project started by the Philadelphia Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to create a series of roundtable discussions on the same day at locations throughout Philadelphia. Participants share a meal with eight to 12 people on the issues they are facing in their communities. Last year, more than 2,000 people took part in discussions at 150 host locations.

Participants are encouraged to bring a brown-bag lunch to William Way, 1315 Spruce St., at noon for a one-hour discussion. Chris Bartlett, executive director of William Way, said the center will hold two lunches simultaneously to discuss “innovative ways to solve problems.”

The ideas generated at the discussions will be presented to the Philadelphia Foundation, the oldest and largest community foundation that provides residents of the Greater Philadelphia area with grants and scholarships. The foundation will award up to $50,000 in grants to help organizations implement the ideas from the conversations.

To RSVP, email Chris Bartlett at [email protected]


It’s lesbian-movie night

William Way LGBT Community Center will screen “The Watermelon Woman” Nov. 13 for the 2nd Tuesday Café, the monthly meet-up group for LGBTQ women.

The 2nd Tuesday Cafe holds meetings for women to engage in conversations on personal stories and issues within the LGBTQ community. This month’s film was written and directed by Philadelphia native Cheryl Dunye. The movie follows Cheryl, a young, black lesbian working in Philadelphia with her best friend on a film project. The two go on a search to find a black actress — known as The Watermelon Woman — who appeared in films in 1930s.

The screening will be held 6-8 p.m. at William Way, hosted by Kelly Burkhardt. Admission is free and open to the public.


Mazzoni Center’s new community spaces

Mazzoni Center has introduced two new “drop-in” spaces that provide peer counseling, discussion groups, health resources and legal services for two specific groups within the LGBTQ community.

The Freedom Space is the health center’s newest space specifically for gay, bisexual and sexually fluid men of color. It offers a place to convene and learn more about safe-sex practices. The space is run by the Trip Project, a social movement created at Mazzoni Center for men of color who have sex with men. Participants have access to information on sexual health and HIV- and STI-prevention methods. Freedom Space is hosted every Tuesday from 5-8 p.m.

The other new option is OURSpace, which meets every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m., a community space for transgender and gender-nonconforming people. The group provides specific resources for the trans community and anyone questioning their gender identity. Resources include art therapy, creative writing and one-on-one peer support. The space also includes an advice hour as well as health, wellness and legal referrals.

OURSpace offers a clinic that assists participants with paying fees to change their legal names.



A brief included in the Nov. 2-8 issue included two errors about the Cabaret Vérité VIII: TRUTH BE TOLD event. The performance will be held Nov. 17, not Nov. 19, at William Way LGBT Community Center. The correct title of the event is “Cabaret Vérité VIII.” PGN apologizes for the errors.