The Capital Pride Alliance (CPA) and The DC Center for the LGBT Community (The DC Center) announced today a special collaboration to maximize both organizations’ ability to provide services and programming to the LGBTQ+ community. #StillWe, the community’s theme for Pride 2020, is a powerful statement about the resilience, struggles, celebrations, and pride that exist within us.
“When we first developed #StillWe, we never imagined just how important that message would become,” said Ryan Bos, CPA Executive Director, “Together with The DC Center and our partner Pride organizations, we are taking this opportunity to reimagine how we work together to better support and advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.”
“Pride is certainly one of our favorite times of year in Washington, DC — an opportunity to uplift our LGBTQ community and celebrate our city’s progress as a leader in LGBTQ rights,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Thank you to everyone who is helping us save lives by celebrating Pride at home. While events will certainly look different this year, our pride remains as strong as ever.”
This June and moving forward, CPA and The DC Center will be offering a variety of programming, in partnership with many of our LGBTQ+ organizations, small businesses, and sponsors. These include, for example, monthly virtual town halls, expanded resources available on our websites, and a shared community calendar. Many of The DC Center’s and CPA’s annual special events are being retooled to comply with social distancing requirements. And when the time comes for us to gather again, we will continue to work together collaboratively to advance the interests of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The DC Center Board looks forward to collaborating with the Capital Pride Alliance to serve the LGBTQ+ community during this difficult time,” said Rehana Mohammed, Chair of the DC Center, ”The DC Center and CPA are both dedicated to offering creative ways to help the community thrive, connect and engage with each other. Our partnership will enable us to maximize our impact and expand the ways we can serve the community.”
The first joint initiative will be monthly Community Conversations/Town Halls. The first one will include leaders from the LGBTQ+ organizations to discuss how the community recovers and moves forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be a webinar that will take place on Monday, June 1. The DC Center and CPA will also offer a range of remote and online services, including support and social groups, individual mental health counseling for members of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, we will make available resources, such as a combined community calendar of events/programs and a directory of LGBTQ+ affirming businesses, organizations, and services within the National Capital Region.
In lieu of traditional Pride events and in-person gatherings, Pride 2020 Reimagined is being developed. It will include new programming for Pride Month this June, on-going monthly programs, and potential events for later this Fall dependent on social distancing requirements at that time. Some highlights include:
- On Monday, June 1, Pride month will kick-off with a #StillWe Pride video montage that will include greetings from local community organizations, businesses, sponsors, leaders, and influencers.
- On Saturday June 13, Pride will be taken to all eight wards of Washington, DC with the first ever official Pridemobile Rainbow Blast to document how businesses, residents, and neighborhoods show they have Pride, and to entertain our neighborhoods with beats from local DJs and performances from local drag queens and kings.
- On Sunday, June 14, CPA and The DC Center will launch an original web series titled “Pride in the City.” The first episode will focus on #StillWe Entertain to provide a platform to showcase the talents of our local and regional performing and visual artists.
- On Saturday, June 27, the National Capital Region will participate in Global Pride 2020, the only worldwide virtual Pride event led by Pride organizers.
- Also in the works is a Pride Summit in collaboration with Pride organizers from DC Black Pride, Latinx Pride, Capital Trans and API Prides, Leather Pride, and Silver and Youth Prides.
- The Capital Pride Honors nomination process has been extended.
- CPA and The DC Center have begun to put plans in motion for additional programming this fall, in compliance with then-existing social distancing requirements, and because #StillWe Vote there will be an emphasis on voter registration and voting.
In addition, many of The DC Center’s special events are being reimagined:
- Reel Affirmations On Demand: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival and Monthly Film Series.
- Virtually Outwrite: Washington DC’s LGBTQ+ Literary Festival.
- Outwrite Book Club: Virtual discussion group about queer books by queer writers.
- Taking A Stand: LGBTQ+ Voices Against Violence
- TransMasculine Survivors of Violence and Abuse SPEAK OUT.
“Although we won’t be able to celebrate Pride in the traditional way, and for now we aren’t able to welcome people physically in The DC Center, we look forward to new and innovate ways to come together as a community to support, resist, love, and persist,” said Ashley Smith, CPA Board President, “Knowing that our community is often more adversely affected by events such as this pandemic, I look forward to what CPA and The DC Center may be able to accomplish through our new collaboration.”
Times are uncertain, so The DC Center and CPA are committed to remain, flexible, innovative, and creative as we address and support the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.