Last month, Stonewall Sports Norfolk announced that their Winter Dodgeball league will be played at the Salvation Army Kroc Center of Hampton Roads, triggering an uproar amongst some of their members due to the Salvation Army’s reputation as an anti-LGBTQ organization.
Yesterday, Lt. Anthony Bridges, Senior Kroc Officer at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Norfolk issued a welcoming statement to the Stonewall Sports community that affirming that “we serve and meet human needs without discrimination, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
The statement mentions ‘past instances’ and their commitment to give staff additional training so LGBTQ patrons with dignity.
“The Salvation Army as an organization is comprised of Officers, Employees, Members, Volunteers, and Donors, many of whom are a part of the LGBTQ community. We are honored and proud that they are part of our cherished family. We are aware that in the past some within The Salvation Army have not always represented us well in this regard. While we cannot speak to isolated past instances, we can assure you that we at the Kroc Center take seriously our commitment to be a community of love that has no place for discrimination.”
“The staff at the Kroc Center is trained to treat every guest with respect and dignity. We understand however, that additional training is a critical first step to ensure we are doing our best for guests who identify as members of the LGBTQ community. We are emphasizing inclusivity and diversity training, using tools from a variety of sources to improve cultural competency, awareness, and language. While front-line staff will receive training, our management team will receive additional training in order to correctly address any concerns/issues as they occur.”