The DC Center for the LGBT Community has several recurring volunteer opportunities for groups and teams. In the past we’ve had many teams volunteer at the center including: fraternities and sororities, faith communities, employee resource groups, and sports teams. It can really be any group of people who want to give back to the community and build team spirit and connection through service. Here are some great opportunities for your team:
Your Team Can Host a Dinner for our LGBT Asylum Seekers
Center Global hosts a monthly dinner for LGBT asylum seekers typically on the third Saturday of every month. Our Asylum Seekers are folks who have fled their home countries and are seeking asylum based on their sexual orientation or gender identity//expression. They come from many countries including Russia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Iraq, and Jamaica. The dinner is a great opportunity for them to find community and support; to share experiences; and to learn about the asylum process and establishing a new life here in the United States. Your team can provide the meal for approximately 20-25 individuals. You would provide and serve the meal here at the DC Center. (We only have a microwave here, so it would need to be prepared off site) If you are interested, please e-mail Don Driver at email@example.com and CC Christopher Rothermel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Team Can Join us for Volunteer Night
Volunteer Night is the first Monday night of every month from 6:30 PM to 8:30. Most volunteer nights are spent assembling safer sex kits. This is an activity you can do while sitting and talking with friends, as well as meeting new people. If you are bringing more than 10 people to volunteer night as a group, please be sure to let us know ahead of time by e-mailing email@example.com
Your Team Can Provide Dinner to Homeless LGBTQ Youth at Casa Ruby
The DC Center recruits a team of volunteers every month to provide dinner to homeless LGBTQ Youth at Casa Ruby on the third Sunday of every month. If you are helping with this project please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com.
Your Team Can Join us for a Packing Party
One of the easiest ways to help out around the Center is to attend one of our ‘Packing Parties’ and help assemble safer sex kits. Anyone can come to these events and it’s a great way to give back to our community. Parties are usually held on the first and third Tuesday night of the month from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at The DC Center for the LGBT Community. Please let us know in advance if you plan to bring a group of more than ten people to a packing party.
Your Team can provide lunch for our LGBT Seniors
LGBT Older Adults meet on the fourth Friday of every month for a lunch gathering. Socializing is very important for all older adults, but especially for LGBT older adults who more often feel isolated. We rely on volunteers to help us by providing a meal and by staying and hanging out for lunch. Sometimes groups will plan entertainment for the lunch, or bring games. Your team can prepare and serve the meal (remember, we have a kitchen, microwave, and heated buffet style servers, but no oven). If you are interested in this opportunity please e-mail Adam Heller at firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com
Your Team can volunteer at Food and Friends
The DC Center recruits volunteers to work in the Kitchen on the fourth Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. If you are interested in this opportunity sign up online at thedccenter.org/volunteer and if you have any questions, please e-mail David Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com
Make ‘Clean the World’ Care Kits for Homeless LGBTQ Youth and Adults
The DC Center distributes care kits to homeless youth and adults. The kit includes information about local resources (where to find food, where to shower, where to get employment help) along basic toiletry items (toothbrush, shaving cream, lotion, razor, etc …). We can schedule a specific time for volunteers from your group to come assemble the kits. However, we would require a donation of $750 or more to assist in purchasing the supplies. We would partner with Clean the World (which collects and recycles soap and hygiene products discarded every day by the hospitality industry) to keep costs to a minimum and help your team make as many kits as possible. If you are interested in this opportunity please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Team Can Host a Condom Packing Party
Can’t make it to the Volunteer Nights or regularly scheduled Condom Packing Party? If you would like to host your own packing party at the DC Center we can accommodate you! For a small donation of $500 we can supply you with the condoms, lubricant, and safer sex messages to create the kits. Please give at least 2 weeks notice. For more information please e-mail Chris at email@example.com
Included below are a list of major events taking place in 2018 at the DC Center as well as other major events in the local LGBT Community. If you have an event you would like included on this list, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: MPD REPORTS THAT LaKeisha has been located.
LGBT Activist LaKeisha Washington was reported missing to the MPD on December 3rd. Keisha was last seen on November 29th on the Unit Block of Galveston Place, SW.
In 2014 LaKeisha challenged discrimination against transgender women at the John L. Young Center for Homeless Women. LaKeisha, the DC Trans Coalition, DC Trans Coalition attorney Jeffrey Light were successful in forcing the shelter to end their policy of excluding transgender women. (click here to read the Washington Blade Story).
Help us find LaKeisha
If you have information please call the MPD at 202-727-9099 or text 50411
CenterLink (The National Association of LGBT Community Centers) is partnering with The Center for Black Equity, InterPride, and SAGE on an age-friendly* Pride initiative.
The goal of this initiative is to encourage the inclusion of older LGBT individuals in all aspects of Pride parades, marches, and festivals and we need your help! Below is a link to two surveys that we are hoping you will push out. One is for participants, and one is for people who have a Pride planner, sponsor, or organizer role.
The results of these surveys will inform the creation of an Age-Friendly Pride Toolkit (a set of tools, such as guidelines, resources, and checklists) that we hope will increase the age-friendliness of Pride parades, marches, and festivals nationwide. The audience for the toolkit are organizers, sponsors, and providers responsible for planning and implementing Pride-related activities.
We would be grateful if you took a few minutes to complete a brief survey. The results will inform the creation of an Age-Friendly Pride Toolkit, which we hope will be used to increase the age-friendliness of Prides across the country. Thank you in advance for taking the time to give us your feedback!
The undersigned 127 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and allied
organizations call on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act before the end of this year. Congress
has no excuse not to pass the Dream Act of 2017. The bipartisan bill has the support of a
majority of Americans, including those who identify as Trump supporters. Congress has a
responsibility to address this issue and to be in solidarity with immigrants by passing the Dream
Act without harmful provisions such as increased border or interior enforcement as well as any
cuts to other immigration categories, such as refugees, diversity visa lottery recipients, and green
Dreamers are a part of the American family and help make our communities vibrant. Moreover,
passing the Dream Act would add a total of $22.7 billion to the United States’ GDP every year;
gains that could add up to as much as $1 trillion over the next decade when including the
productivity bump that would result from dreamers’ increased educational attainment.
Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), thousands of LGBTQ
people have been able to pursue higher education, improve their economic security, and live
securely with their families and in their communities.4 Additionally, DACA has empowered a
number of its recipients to come out as LGBTQ to authentically live their lives. If deported,
many LGBTQ people will find themselves in a country where they have little to no legal rights
and are more likely to experience anti-LGBTQ violence and possibly death. Nearly 80 countries
criminalize same-sex relationships and many without explicit laws remain very dangerous for the
LGBTQ community. For example, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported that nearly 600 people died from anti-LGBTQ violence in Latin America between January 2013
and March 2014.
Adding increased enforcement provisions to the Dream Act is unacceptable because those
measures will further endanger LGBTQ asylum seekers seeking protection. Additionally, they
will increase the risk of profiling, detention, and deportation for LGBTQ immigrants in the U.S.
Because the LGBTQ community faces discrimination in many aspects of life (i.e. being fired or
not hired, or being refused housing), they face higher incarceration rates than those who are not
LGBTQ. Given these forms of discrimination, many LGBTQ people have a higher rate of
contact with law enforcement, and are therefore at higher risk of deportation because of 287(g)
agreements and policies which encourage local jails to identify and hold immigrants for
Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The President’s decision to end DACA is an attack on immigrant young people and families
living in our communities, as well as on our values of fairness, equality, and opportunity. The
decision has left many individuals feeling helpless and powerless over their future, and fearing
that they may be taken from their families and communities at any moment. For example, the
Trevor Project has received multiple contacts from those experiencing suicidal ideation and crisis
due to the immigration policies that would return LGBTQ youth to their potentially anti-LGBTQ
countries of origin. These calls to national LGBTQ youth suicide prevention services continue to
occur as the immigration policies remain uncertain. You have the power to restore to these
individuals the hope and opportunity that should be hallmarks of our country.
We call on Congress to be on the right side of history by passing a clean Dream Act before going
home for the holidays. The time is now.
The National Center for Transgender Equality has released a new fact sheet with the District of Columbia results of the 2015 US Transgender Survey, which documents widespread discrimination against the transgender community in employment, housing, healthcare, and public accommodations.
Of the over 27,000 respondents from across the country, 214 were Washington DC residents
Among the findings:
Identity Documents: Only 16% of respondents reported that all of their IDs had the name and gender they preferred, while 49% reported that none of their IDs had the name and gender they preferred.
Health: In the past year, 24% of respondents did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being
mistreated as a transgender person, and 32% did not see a doctor when needed because they could
not afford it
Police Interactions: Respondents experienced high levels of mistreatment and harassment by police. In the past year, of respondents who interacted with police or other law enforcement officers who thought or knew they
were transgender, 44% experienced some form of mistreatment. This included being verbally harassed,
repeatedly referred to as the wrong gender, physically assaulted, or sexually assaulted, including being
forced by officers to engage in sexual activity to avoid arrest.
Employment: 10% of respondents in Washington, D.C. were unemployed 26% of respondents who have ever been employed reported losing a job in their lifetime because of
their gender identity or expression
The full Washington, DC Report is available on the National Center for Transgender Equality website:
The 30th Creating Change Conference returns to Washington DC on January 24-28 at the beautiful and spacious Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in the Woodley Park neighborhood.
Be part of the magic of Creating Change 2018.
How? Read on, friend.
Volunteer for CC18. We need 500 DMV volunteers to provide essential on-site people power for this year’s conference: the nation’s largest annual conference of the LGBTQ movement. In exchange for every 4-hour volunteer shift, we invite you to attend the rest of the day’s program! That’s right: volunteer and help us out for four hours and then attend any of the sessions that interest you at no charge. Click here to register and get more info.
Host an Out of Town Attendee. For some Creating Change attendees, the cost of a hotel stay exceeds their ability to pay. We need spaces for at least 75 people, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the exhilarating and life-changing 2018 Creating Change Conference. There is no friendlier way to say “Welcome to DC!” than to open your home to a traveler. Click here for much more information and to register as a Community Housing Host!
2017 was an exciting year for arts and culture at the DC Center. For the first time ever, the DC Center appointed a Director of Arts and Cultural Programs. Kimberley Bush, who was previously the Director of our film festival, Reel Affirmations, stepped into this new role and worked with our dedicated and amazing chairpersons and volunteers to coordinate all of our arts programming including:
Reel Affirmations: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ Film Festival
Reel Affirmations XTRA: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ Monthly Film Series
OutWrite: Our LGBTQ Literary Book Festival
DC Queer Theatre Festival
Center Arts Gallery: Our LGBTQ Visual Arts Space
Ignition: The Spoken Word Series
2017 brought the 24th Annual Reel Affirmations Film Festival which was held for the 3rd year at the historic Gala Hispanic Theater. We screened over 40 films over the course of 4 days ( up from 3 days in 2016) to hundreds of LGBTQ individuals, our allys and supporters. Over the course of the 4 days, over 10 filmmakers participated in Filmmaker TalkBacks/Q&A with a catered meet and greet reception. Ticket sales was not as fruitful as originally expected mostly due to the myriad of events occurring on the same weekend including Howard University’s 150th Anniversary/Homecoming and the Marine Corps Marathon just to name a few.
RA also held its first ever collaboration screening with The Studio Theatre of the film “Kiki” in conjunction with The Studio Theatre production “WigOut” in June as well as a LGBTQ film showcase during their “Taste Of Studio” celebration in August.
RA XTRA experienced huge success with 13 screenings, typically one per month and on one occasion two in one month. RA also held, apres film screening, a quarterly, multicultural director/producer Talkback/Q&A with catered cocktail reception. This year, RA introduced its’ Countries and Closets Sub-Series, which explores films that depict the lives of individuals who live in countries where to be LGBTQ is illegal or banned. We also held our first Reel Trans Film Festival during Captial Trans Pride and 2017 will mark our 3rd annual World Aids Day Film Screening.
Outwrite was extraordinarily successful with over 300 attendees over the course of 3 days in August 2017 with over 40 well received presenters/speakers and 25+ literary vendors. Many of our readings/presentations were sold out/at capacity.
The 5th annual DC Queer Theatre Festival took place October 13th and 14th at the Anacostia Arts Center and featured six talented performers in solo plays. Our artists were Elizabeth McCain, Christopher Prince, DeLesslin George-Warren, XemiyuluManibusan, J. Scales, and Regie Cabico.
Center Arts Gallery opened in April 2017 featuring all genres of art created by LGBTQ Artisans. Our Grand Opening Reception of our first installation, in April, was free and open to the public. Our full-color exhibit showcased 14 pieces of visual art created by the group members The Art and Peer Support Group facilitated by Antonio Pineda. Mr. Pineda is a Treatment Navigator at the Infectious Disease Clinic at MedStar Health Research Institute at Washington Hospital Center, NW Washington D.C., where he specializes in helping clients who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Our next exhibit in Dec 2017, will feature the work of Jo Martinez. Jo’s art centers primarily on topics of sexuality, psychological and gender identity with recurring themes of power, vulnerability, domestic violence and the sway between them.
Finally this year’s Capturing Fire Poetry Slam took place June 9-11th. The DC Center is proud to have been the first home for the Capturing Fire slam, founded by Regie Cabico. We are equally excited that the slam will continue, now as an independent project, under Regie’s Leadership.
Our new spoken word initiative, Ignition, was developed in 2017 and will officially launch next year. The Spoken Series seeks to empower Trans & Queer people through spoken word art culture. The genres include performance art, poetry slam, story telling. Ignition seeks to fuse the spoken word with all genres of expression. Ignition The Spoken Series programs are open to all Trans & Queer Allies. Look for more information about this new initiative soon.
Center Arts received generous support this year from AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Cherry Fund, the Mayor’s Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. We also received generous in-kind support from the Human Rights Campaign as well as Tito’s Vodka, Barefoot Wine and Lagunitas Beer.
And of course, none of this work would be possible without generous supporters like you.
Over the past year, the DC Center for the LGBT Community, has been able to provide vital mental health support services and outreach opportunities to individuals in the community that are both survivors and supporters of survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. This work is made possible with the support of the Office of Victim Services and the CenterLink-Johnson Family Foundation Mental Health Initiative.
We provided individual and group therapy, case management, and intake assessments to over 50 survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. Sam Goodwin, LGSW, and Dr. Zelaika Clarke provided over 470 individual therapy sessions and provided case management to a total of 42 individuals through warm handoff referrals to trauma-informed providers and organizations.
The DC Anti-Violence Project, a program of the DC Center, has also lso focused on engaging and educating community members through presentations and outreach events, such as our ‘Taking the Stage, Taking a Stand: LGBTQ Voices Against Violence’ event, which uplifted the voices of LGBTQ individuals affected by violence and trauma through various artistic mediums of expression, including dance, song, slam poetry, storytelling and rap. In addition to the 5 ‘Taking the Stage’ events held over the past year, The DC Anti-Violence Project launched several presentations to increase awareness and educate community members, specifically around issues in the LGBTQ community.
One of these community presentations occurred on September 6th, 2017, when The DC Anti-Violence Project provided a community presentation training to rape crisis hotline trainee staff at The DC Rape Crisis Center. This presentation provided an overview of LGBTQ issues and terminology, which included interactive and experiential activities for participants to learn about the needs of LGBTQ survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. Role plays, videos, and didactic learning material were provided to trainee staff, and participants were invited to look at the differences between a negative experience for LGBTQ individuals in contrast to an experience in which service providers practice cultural competency and cultural humility. The DC Anti-Violence Project received a great deal of positive feedback from both participants and DCRCC staff, and have been invited back to train hotline staff in the next year.
Additionally, monthly meetings for The DC Anti-Violence Project are held on the 4th Thursday of every month, from 7-8:30 PM at The DC Center. These meetings attract members of the community searching for ways to get involved with local action to eradicate targeted violence against LGBTQ individuals, and over the past year, have focus on the following efforts: organizing action around local violence and hate/bias crimes against transgender women of color; working with Council Member David Grosso to support legislation for both increasing bystander awareness/intervention and for legalizing sex work in DC; writing community impact statements for LGBTQ-centered cases currently in the DC court system; and planning future community events and outreach with local survivor-serving organizations, such as Safe Bars, Defend Yourself, End Rape on Campus, and Casa Ruby.
Over the past year, The DC Anti-Violence Project has doubled in size of membership, demonstrating the draw and sustainability of this work, propelled forward by the deep passion and commitment of our increasing member base.
This year, The DC Anti-Violence Project was successful in referring over 122 unique individual clients to vital resources and trauma-informed services such as the DC Victim Hotline through the LGBTQ Violence Response Hotline, psychiatrists, medical doctors, and free legal aid services (e.g. The DC Volunteer Lawyer’s Project), Crime Victim’s Compensation, vocational and employment resources and classes, and law enforcement services.
Support this Work
If you would like to support work like this at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, make a donation here.