Roughly 25 people attended a March 10 virtual meeting hosted by PHL Pride Collective (PPC) in order to onboard interested volunteers. During the meeting, which took place over Zoom, Lee Carson, PPC general body and finance committee member, and Eric Schroeckenthaler, PPC marketing and communications committee member, provided background on PPC’s mission and plans for June’s Pride events as well as answered questions from prospective volunteers.
Meeting attendees, whom PPC requested not be identified by name or any other identifier, asked questions including how they can join specific committees, how the committees are structured and how frequently they meet, and how PPC currently envisions its Pride month activities.
A PPC member said that the collective is planning to hold Pride activities over the course of the weekend of June 3-5, and that instead of a Pride parade with floats, the collective will have a march to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Philly’s first Pride event. The collective also hopes to team up with other local organizations that are planning events during Pride weekend in order to coordinate schedules and elevate those organizations.
Another potential volunteer asked a question about the date of PPC’s march to avoid schedule conflicts with a Pride-related event that their organization is planning, to which a PPC member responded that they could not share specific dates and times at the meeting, but they hope to make an announcement later in March after the logistics committee votes on a proposal.
At the start of the meeting, PPC members shared the collective’s points of unity and its philosophy about Philly Pride, which “centers Black and Brown queer and trans communities and highlights the stories of LGBTQ+ Philadelphians fighting for equality,” according to the PPC website. The PPC team plans to root its Pride activities in the legacy of LGBTQ liberation, which includes the Stonewall riots, the sit-in at Dewey’s restaurant in Philadelphia, and Philly’s very first Pride demonstration in 1972. GALAEI has been partnering with PPC for the first year of its operation to help house the collective and provide administrative support.
In addition to learning about PPC’s mission, attendees learned about PPC’s seven organizational committees, including accessibility; finance and fundraising; logistics and entertainment; marketing and communications; safety and medical; volunteer outreach and youth. The organization’s goal is to have 10 members per committee, and most committees currently have fewer than 10 members who have been attending planning meetings, with the exception of the finance committee, PPC members said at the meeting.
Carson told PGN that security and accessibility for the June Pride event is “still in the works for us at this point, and we’re really looking to develop that committee more.” One of PPC’s points of unity is that they “will not communicate, collaborate or coordinate with the police.”
Another attendee asked to hear more about PPC’s youth committee and how the collaborative plans to work with other youth organizations in the community.
A PPC member responded by saying that its youth committee is planning specific events under the PPC brand, but its members have also established relationships with several other local organizations to partner with them, including GALAEI’s youth program, Philly Family Pride, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Attic Youth Center.
In terms of other potential partnerships, Schroeckenthaler told PGN that PPC members have had unofficial conversations with members of several organizations, including other Pride entities. “We’ve been using some documents or artifacts from some of them as models for our own development,” he said. “But we don’t have any formal relationship with any of them.”
Another integral aspect of PPC’s planning is funding. In addition to a GoFundMe page where members of the public can donate, PPC members have been in touch with several organizations that are interested in donating to the collective, as well as those who requested sponsorship opportunities.
“We’ve also been focusing on grant applications,” Schroeckenthaler said. “We currently have funding from the Philadelphia Foundation and the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, and we are waiting on the public announcement of another grant that we were recently notified that we received.”