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The DC Center Announces Reception Honorees

Eboné Bell, David Perez, Ellen Kahn, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Sapna Pandya
Eboné Bell, David Perez, Ellen Kahn, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Sapna Pandya
Eboné Bell, David Perez, Ellen Kahn, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Sapna Pandya

The DC Center is proud to announce our honorees for our Annual Reception.   This year we will recognize Eboné Bell, David Perez, Ellen Kahn, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Sapna Pandya for their contributions to the LGBTQ community.    The reception takes place Thursday May 11th at the Warner Building from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Get your tickets here and learn more about our honorees below.

Sapna Pandya

Sapna Pandya has served as the Executive Director of Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) since April 2010. Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) fosters leadership and facilitates community-led initiatives to increase the meaningful inclusion of immigrants in the District of Columbia who do not speak English as their primary language.

Sapna’s connection to the Center dates back to June 6th, 2011, when she spoke on a panel entitled “Celebrating Queer People of Color: Activism, Leadership, and Community”

Born and raised in DC, Sapna comes from an immigrant family which deepened her passion to work towards social justice for priority populations, particularly immigrant communities and LGBTQ communities. Sapna and MLOV have been powerful and effective voices advocating for all immigrants during this challenging moment in our nation’s history.

Sapna is a commissioner for the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. She has served as Vice President of KhushDC (which meets at the DC Center).

Sapna has a Masters in Public Health from George Washington University. She has received awards from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.

Ellen Kahn

Since 2005, Ellen Kahn has served as Director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Program. In her role, Ellen provides national leadership and expertise in public education and advocacy efforts to achieve full equality for LGBT families.

From October 1999 to November 2005 Ellen served as the Director of the Lesbian Services Program (LSP) at Whitman Walker Clinic. The DC Center hosts programs to this day that were housed at LSP including Women in their Twenties and Thirties (back then it was Women in their Twenties) and Center Aging (which back then was called the Elder Think Tank).

For over six years, Ellen served as Board President of Rainbow Families DC, a DC Area LGBT Parenting Organization providing educational and social programming for prospective parents and LGBT-headed families.

Eboné Bell

Eboné Bell has served as the managing editor of Tagg Magazine since 2012. Tagg Magazine is your connection to the DC Metropolitan lesbian community. Tagg Magazine was created to give the LBT community a one-stop shop for content and events. Tagg is distributed in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Rehoboth Beach.

Eboné has been a longstanding supporter of both the DC Center and the LGBT communithy as a whole. Eboné has served as co-chair of the DC Center Beaujolais Nouveau party for two consecutive years.

Bell received the Capital Pride Hero award in 2010. She has also received the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Entrepreneur Award, Metro Weekly’s Next Generation Award , and  EV’s OUTstanding Virginian Award.

David Pérez

David Pérez is Director of Development for the League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Latino membership organization in the U.S.

Pérez served as president of the board of the Latino GLBT History Project (LHP) from May 2011 to February 2015. During his tenure David expanded the project’s programs in history, education, and cultural celebrations for metropolitan Washington, DC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Latino community.

David currently serves as chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Affairs.

Gil Steinlauf

Rabbi Steinlauf is the senior Rabbi of Adas Israel.  Rabbi Steinlauf is the first senior rabbi of a large, historic, conservative congregation to come out as openly gay. During this journey, he has sought to create an atmosphere of constructive dialogue on the issues facing modern culture and Judaism. Since then he has been an active member of the Washington DC LGBTQ Jewish community and  hosts a monthly Queer Torah Study group in his synagogue.  Steinlauf has also published an op-ed in the Metro Weekly describing the various ways that Trump’s agenda conflicts with the values of Judaism.
As a rabbi and leader in the community, Steinlauf has helped raise the spirit of debate regarding LGBTQ issues in Jewish spaces and serves as role model for young LGBTQ students intersted in joining the Rabbinate. His impact on the community has been wide and truly embodies the values of Judaism such as Tikkun Olam – or repairing the world.

New Data on DC LGBTQ Youth

Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Results from the 2015 District of Columbia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) released today by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) show positive trends related to obesity and sexual activity among DC youth, but troubling data on LGBTQ Youth.   Lesbian, gay, or bisexual high school students were two to three times more likely to feel sad or hopeless and to think seriously about, plan, and attempt to kill themselves. For example, one out of 11 lesbian, gay, or bisexual high school students had to be treated by a doctor or nurse as a result of an attempted suicide.  Survey results highlight areas of concern related to mental health that must be addressed to ensure DC students are reaching their maximum academic potential and living healthy lives.

“This rich data source allows us to know what is going well and what may be problematic across the city and in individual schools,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “Additionally, knowing what pockets of students are most at risk allows us to target those individuals with appropriate programming and development of policy at the state level.”

The biennial YRBS evaluated a representative sample from both District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools (PCS) in 2015, compiling data from more than 30,000 District students in grades six through 12. YRBS data are compared to results from 2012, the last year the survey was administered, and include data from 2007, the first year OSSE administered the survey, to show trends over time.

The survey covers the following risk behavior categories, which coincide with the categories of OSSE’s Health Education Standards: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs, Mental and Emotional Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity, Disease Prevention/Sexual Health, and Safety Skills. The report notes significant differences within subgroups of the DC youth population (e.g., sex, grade, race/ethnicity) for various health behaviors and describes behaviors that have undergone significant changes since the YRBS was previously administered in 2007 and 2012.

Results show positive trends in student well-being with a nearly 2 percent drop in the number of high school students who were obese in 2015. Results for middle school students who described themselves as slightly or very overweight remain unchanged since 2007. DC has worked to combat obesity and hunger since 2010 through the D.C. Healthy Schools Act – a landmark law designed to improve the health and wellness of all District public school students.

Other positive trends include a 4 percent drop in the pregnancy rate among high school students since 2012, the last year the survey was administered. Condom use among high school students increased, while sexual activity declined. And more than 60 percent of our students have a supportive adult at school, which we know is vital, particularly for those that experience trauma in their lives. Despite these positive findings, results also highlight areas of concern, including a decrease in testing rates for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases among high school students and a large percent of students who reported feeling depressed, hopeless or suicidal, particularly among Hispanic/Latino students.

Hispanic/Latino high school students reported significantly higher rates of attempting suicide (14.4 percent for boys, 18.3 percent for girls) compared to non-Hispanic black (10.2 percent for boys, 13.2 percent for girls) and white students (6.2 percent for boys, 4.7 percent for girls). Compounding the problems reflected in these data, Hispanic/Latino middle and high school students were significantly less likely than their peers to have a teacher or other adult that they could talk to if they had a problem.­

Results also indicate troubling trends among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students in several categories. While LGB youth made up 7.3 percent of the District middle school population and 14.4 percent of the District high school population, they were disproportionately represented in youth who used alcohol (21.2 percent of middle school students, 23.5 percent of high school students), tobacco (23.5 percent of middle school students, 22.1 percent of high school students) and other drugs (23 percent of middle school students and 22.1 percent of high school students who used marijuana).

Lesbian, gay, or bisexual high school students were two to three times more likely to feel sad or hopeless and to think seriously about, plan, and attempt to kill themselves. For example, one out of 11 lesbian, gay, or bisexual high school students had to be treated by a doctor or nurse as a result of an attempted suicide.

The YRBS also shows a correlation between academic outcomes and health behaviors. For example, mood and suicidal behaviors were associated with academic performance among high school students, with more than one quarter of students receiving mostly D’s and F’s reporting having attempted suicide one or more times during the previous 12 months. High school students who receive mostly D’s and F’s were approximately two-and-a-half times more likely to use marijuana and about seven times more likely to use synthetic marijuana. Results also indicate that students who participate in sports and eat breakfast have significantly better academic outcomes than those who don’t.

OSSE will use the data collected through the YRBS to target trainings for all District teachers and principals at public and public charter schools and licensed personnel at child development facilities on how to identify and refer students with behavioral health needs. Data also will be used for public awareness campaigns and training parents, family members, teachers, school personnel and peers on how to assist youth facing mental health challenges or crises. OSSE is strategically partnering with various agencies and organizations to address the issues reflected in the report.

It is important to understand these risky behaviors, in order to create appropriate multifaceted programs. OSSE is revamping current programs and initiatives to focus on the whole child to coordinate and systematically address issues that are intersected. By doing this, OSSE will focus on expanding the availability of resources to schools and families to address the issues both at school and at home. OSSE also understand the importance of diversifying professional development offerings and including youth at the table to address some of the risky behaviors identified.

Read the full 2015 DC YRBS report on OSSE’s website.

 

2017 LGBTQ Community Survey

LGBTQ Community Survey
LGBTQ Community Survey
LGBTQ Community Survey

The DC Center for the LGBTQ Community is proud to partner with Community Marketing Inc for the 11th annual LGBTQ Community Survey.  When you complete the survey using our unique link (tinyurl.com/lgbtqsurvey17) your survey data is shared with the DC Center.

In 2016 we had 299 individuals complete the survey.  Download this PDF File and see the complete results of the 2016 survey.

2016 LGBTQ Community Survey

Here are a few of the things we learned from the 2016 Survey.

Top 3 LGBTQ Priorities

The top three priorities identified in 2016 were:

  • 63.5% LGBT youth/anti-bullying/teen suicide prevention (connect with thedccenter.org/youth to learn more about our work in this area).
  • 58.9% Stopping anti-LGBT “religious freedom” legislation (connect with thedccenter.org/faith for faith community resources).
  • 50.5% Workplace Equality (connect with thedccenter.org/careers to learn about our work around employment)

Top 3 General Priorities

The top three general priorities (aside from LGBT Equality were) in 2016 were:

  • 79.3% Affordable healthcare (visit thedccenter.org/health to learn about our LGBT health related work).
  • 76.8% Racial Discrimination (visit thedccenter.org/poc to see information and resources for LGBTQ People of Color)
  • 75.8% Homelessness/Poverty

Demographics

Our oldest respondent was 75 years old and our youngest was 19%.  While over 60 percent of our respondents came from folks who identify as gay men, many diverse identities were reported including same gender loving, non-binary, genderqueer, pansexual, asexual, genderfluid and  genderqueer.

In terms of race/ethnicity 68% identified as White, 17% identified as Black or of African descent,  4.7% identified as mixed ethnicity, 4% identified as Latin(o/a) of of Hispanic descent, and 2.3% identified as Asian or of Asian descent.

Next Steps

We’re counting on you to make your voice heard in the 2017 survey.  Take a few minutes now and visit tinyurl.com/lgbtqsurvey2017.   We look forward to the results and better understanding our local LGBTQ community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trans Youth Leadership Summit Applications Open

Trans Youth Leadership Summit (TYLS) is a collaborative fellowship program providing young transgender people the opportunity to work toward liberation through collective organizing for solidarity, advocacy, and empowerment. TYLS fosters the skills of dozens of emerging trans leaders and puts them at the forefront of critical issues transgender people face. We are bringing together revolutionary young trans leaders to heal from transphobic violence, build communities, learn how to enact restorative justice, and create direct action. TYLS looks toward root causes rather than simply covering up the effects of anti-transgender violence.

Few people recognize that some of the most influential uprisings in our community were incited by young gender nonconforming and trans people of color. Sylvia Rivera was only 17 and Marsha P. Johnson was only 23 at the time of Stonewall.
Now, there are currently no other national programs centering the leadership of young transgender people. Recognizing this, we will provide participants with funding for future conferences and events after the summit and connect with them through check-ins to further foster activism in their communities. TYLS is NOT just a summit, it is an ongoing relationship between trans community members.

Eligibility requirements:
1. You are trans, two spirit, Hijra, genderqueer, or nonbinary (please contact us if you feel your identity should be included on this list)
2. You are located in the United States
3. You are available to go to our Summit in Los Angeles on July 13th-16th
4. You are a youth (under the age of 26)

We hope to be as transparent as possible in our signup process. We are able to cover all expenses incurred during the summit for our participants (travel, food, etc), so please consider applying even if you are not able to pay for them yourself. You can sign up and learn more about selection on our website Trans Youth Leadership Summit. To make TYLS as accessible as possible, we also have an essay-optional video application as well as a mailable/printable application. If you cannot apply but know someone who can, you can also nominate them!

Important Dates:
March 13th-April 10th 11:59 PM PST: Applications for TYLS open
April 10th-22nd: Applications for TYLS close, selection process begins, finalists are chosen and reached out to
April 23rd-May 1st: Trans Student Educational Resources members collectively choose participants
April 25th-May 5th: Transportation is booked for participants
May 15th: Social media groups for participants are created for collaboration and introductions
July 13th: Participants fly into Los Angeles and are introduced
July 14th: First full day of workshops, stories, and education
July 15th: Second full day of workshops and education
July 16th: Evaluations and additional workshops, participants depart
July 22nd: Participants are given final evaluations
July 22nd-ongoing: Participants collaborate with Trans Student Educational Resources on making TYLS sustainable and spreading what they learned at the summit at conferences and events

If you have questions, you can contact us at TSER [at] transstudent.org.

The DC Center Seeks Nominees for our 12th Annual Reception

The DC Center Annual Reception
The DC Center Annual Reception
The DC Center Annual Reception

The DC Center will once again honor members of our community at our 12th Annual  Reception taking place Thursday, May 11th from 6:00PM to 9:00PM on the roof deck at the Warner Building (1299 Pennsylvania Ave, NW).

The Board of Directors of the DC Center invites you to nominate those you believe should be recognized. To nominate an individual please e-mail contact@thedccenter.org and include your name, the name of the nominee, and a detailed explanation of why this individual should be recognized.

We are looking for individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the LGBT community in Washington, DC. All nominations must be received by 5:00 PM on Monday April 3rd.

Previous honorees may not be nominated again. Previous honorees are listed below for your reference.

2016 Honorees

David Grosso
Barbara Chinn
Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus

2015 Honorees

Jim Marks
Sharon McGowan
Rayceen Pendarvis
Imani Woody

2014 Honorees
Pete Cahall
Sergeant Jessica Hawkins
Sterling Washington

2013 Honorees
Mayor Vincent Gray
Ruby Corado
Wanda Alston House

2012 Honorees
Michele Zavos
Ron Simmons
Joseph Palacios

2011 Honorees
Frank Kameny
Earline Budd
Rick Rosendall
Sheila Alexander-Reid

2010 Honorees
June Crenshaw
D.C. Allen
Councilmember Jim Graham
Linda McCalister

2009 Honorees
Jonathan Blumenthal
Councilmember Phil Mendelson

2008 Honorees
Ken South
Wallace Corbett
Kathleen DeBold

2007 Honorees
DC Crystal Meth Working Group Founding Members
Christopher Dyer
Brett Parson
David Schwartz
Kevin Shipman
Bruce Weiss

2006 Honoree
Councilmember David Catania

 

 

New Beginnings and Continued Leadership

The DC Center Board
The DC Center Board
The DC Center Board

New Beginnings and Continued Leadership

DC Center Elects New Board Members and Officers at Annual Meeting

February 1st 2017 – The Board of Directors of the DC Center for the LGBT Community elected new board members and officers at its annual meeting on January 9th, 2017. Returning to the Board of Directors are Michael Fowler, Tonya Turner, Chuck Chesson, and Mindy Michaels. The newly elected Board members are: Lance Macon, W. Taylor Monson, Bryan Murrell, and Jonathan Gilad.

The DC Center Board of Directors also elected new officers the 2017 Executive Committee. Returning officers for 2017 include: Michael Fowler as chair, Tonya Turner as vice chair, and Chuck Chesson as Chief Development Officer. Joining the Executive Committee is Lance Macon as Treasurer, W. Taylor Monson as Secretary and Jonathan Gilad as chief Communications Officer.

“ We are delighted to have such a diverse, qualified, and energetic Board to lead us going forward into 2017. I’m confident that Lance, Taylor, Bryan and Jonathan will be excellent additions to the Board” said David Mariner, the DC Center Executive Director.

Lance Macon is a seasoned real estate executive with nearly 23 years of diversified experience, and the founder and Director of Client Services for Metro Home Managers, a locally based real estate services firm. Be it one unit or 1,000 units, Lance brings this wealth of experience in all property types to bear in order to help his clients reach the goals they have for their real estate assets. Lance is also a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Lance believes in giving back to the community and has previous board experience with an emerging non-profit organization that offers transitional shelter for the homeless, and a national non-profit that promotes educational equality.
Lance holds Bachelors of Business Administration from Florida A&M University, and earned a Masters of Science in Management at the Sloan School of Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additionally, he is proud to be a Robert Toigo Fellow.

W. Taylor Monson is currently the Manager for Research and Innovation at the American Gastroenterological Association, where he manages a biomedical research grants portfolio worth approximately $3,000,000 annually. Mr. Monson has lived in Washington DC for 5 years and has worked with several locally-, nationally-, and internationally-focused health and science nonprofits in a variety of roles ranging from research, policy, and project management. Outside of his career Mr. Monson is an avid volunteer in the LGBT community with organizations such as Capital Pride, Whitman Walker Health, the DC Center, and the Gay District conversation group. Mr. Monson came to DC after completing a Master’s Degree in Cognitive and Social Psychological Processes at Ball State University, where his research focused on LGBT-issues and health disparate populations. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alabama, where he was twice awarded the Elliot Jackson Jones Memorial Scholarship for LGBT activism for his work leading the student LGBT organization. Mr. Monson is originally from a family farm in Wetumpka Alabama and can be seen enjoying the cityscape while walking his rescue dog, Zeak.

Bryan Murrell currently works as Principal PPM (Project & Portfolio Management) Consultant & Trainer with iSystems Group, LLC. He has worked as a Senior Project Server & SharePoint Systems Administrator and Information Technology Consultant for such organizations as General Atomics, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, CareFusion, L-3 Communications and LeonardoMD. He’s additionally been assigned to projects for clients including Department of Treasury and Federal Reserve Thrift Investment Board, since retiring from the military as a Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant and former Drill Instructor after 20 years and 3 days of active service where he took part in making over 10,000 Marines, founding one of the first data communication units in the military and participating in several combat deployments. He has been a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) since 1999. Bryan also volunteered, working with the Junior Naval ROTC program at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, California for over 10 years. He now lives in the Washington, DC. Bryan was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and spends his free time road cycling and perfecting the art of baking cheesecakes.

Jonathan Gilad has been active in the Washington DC Jewish LGBT community since moving to DC over eight years ago. He served as Chair of Nice Jewish Boys DC (NJB), a social group that serve GBT men in their 20’s and 30’s in the Washington DC area. While chair of NJB, Jonathan initiated innovative and inclusive programing towards welcoming new members and partnering with other organizations. Jonathan has also been on the Programing Committer of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center’s Kurlander Program for LGBTQ Engagement since 2009. Aside from volunteering in the Jewish LGBTQ community, Jonathan was also elected co-Chair of the Senate LGBTQ staff association (GLASS caucus) in 2010 and continued in that role until leaving the Hill in 2012. Professionally Jonathan is a freelance communications consultant focusing on social media and membership engagement. He has a masters from the George Washington University Graduate of Political Management where he focused on digital advocacy. Jonathan moved to DC after completing his bachelors in political science in 2008 from Queens College, City University of New York, where he received the Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Civil Rights Award for his work combating homophobia and all forms of bigotry on campus. He is also an active member of the Matzo Balls, a Thursday Stonewall Kickball team, which he helped create in 2013.

“We are delighted to welcome such distinguished members of DC’s LGBT community to the Board of Directors and are excited to see a new leadership team take the helm in 2017. Their diverse backgrounds, experiences and interests demonstrates is a true testament to the diversity of the DC LGBTQ community and the people we serve,” said David Mariner.