DC Center – Closed Effective 3/16/20

Image of the Coronavirus and the works COVID-19

Taking guidance and recommendations about social distancing from the DC government and the CDC, effective Monday, March 16th, The DC Center for the LGBT Community’s office will be closed. Staff are still working remotely, and will be checking emails and voicemails multiple times each day. Please reach out to supportdesk@thedccenter.org to connect with the DC Center, as we are still able to provide services and support.

If you are interested in attending support groups remotely, please reach out to your facilitator or supportdesk@thedccenter.org and we can provide options for remote meetings using conference lines.

The situation is changing rapidly, please refer to the CDC’s website and coronavirus.dc.gov for up-to-date information on what you can do to help prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The DC Center team will be meeting regularly to assess the situation and rest assured that we will open as soon as it is safe to do so, as we know that many of our clients and participants are vulnerable and will need support. If you are able, please consider donating and supporting organizations that provide food, medicine, and other support to marginalized populations. 

 

If you are facing a life threatening situation or seeking immediate care:

DC Mobile Crisis: 202-673-9300
DC Shelter Hotline: 202.399.7093 or 311
Maryland Mobile Crisis: 240-777-4000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
LGBTQ under 25: Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
LGBTQ National Help Center (all ages – various lines/hours): 888-843-4564 www.glbthotline.org

 

Health and Wellness Festival Vendor Registration – Postponed

Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information.

On March 28th, the DC Center will host its first ever health and wellness fair, as we work towards putting the finishing touches on our programming schedule, we are encouraging small to large organizations, businesses and nonprofits to sign up for a table or sign up to become a partnering sponsor of this wellness event. So far, we have organizations and businesses from varied backgrounds that are partnering with us. This Health & Wellness Fair represents The DC Center’s commitment to a strong and healthy community and is part of our ongoing effort to provide a safe space for the LGBT community to access basic health screenings and important information. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. We seek to provide a comprehensive offering geared towards the health and wellness of LGBTQ people in body, mind, and spirit as such we will be having several different workshops,pop-ups and panel discussion on LGBTQ health and wellness. We will have a day full of hands-on health and wellness activities including yoga, self-defense, tai chi, meditation, acupuncture, and massage. HIV testing, STI testing, and other health screenings will be available. Space is limited. Click the link below to register:
https://thedccenter.org/events/healthfest/

When: Saturday March 28, 2020
Time: 10:00am-6:00pm
Where: The DC Center for the LGBT Community
2000 14th St NW, Suite 105
Washington
DC 20009
Questions: supportdesk@thedccenter.org
202-682-2245

UPDATE : DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Festival

LGBTQ Health & Wellness Festival

*** Hello friends,
In order to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the DC Center is closed effective Monday, March 16th. To protect the health and safety of everyone we have decided to postpone our health and wellness festival, we will no longer have the event on March 28th , a new date will be decided in the future. Please consider how you can help delay the spread of coronavirus by consulting sites such as https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ for more information. ***

Due to unfortunate circumstances, we have been forced to reschedule our Wellness Expo. Join us on Saturday, March 28th for our first-ever DC LGBTQ Health and Wellness Expo.

Please click here for the updated event information, and if you have previously registered there’s no need to re-register. Thank you for your patience. If you have any questions please email supportdesk@thedccenter.org.

How To Access A Free Sexual Assault Exam In DC

If you’ve been sexually assaulted in the last 96 hrs, go to MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) at any time 24/7/365.

To ask a nurse or an advocate your questions first or to receive a free Uber ride to the hospital, call the DC Victim Hotline @1-844-4HELPDC .


For evidence collection (“rape kit”), in case you decide to report to police, try to avoid:

Showering, urinating or having a bowel movement, eating/drinking or smoking, chewing gum, douching, brushing teeth or changing clothes.


Arrive to MWHC , emergency department and let them know you are there for a SANE exam

You will be checked out by an ER physician first. Expect to be at the hospital for an average of 4.5 hours. You will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered by a nurse and an advocate before the exam begins.


If needed, receive free HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention medications

The nurse and physician will run some lab tests to make  sure it is safe for you to take these meds. You will also have the opportunity to follow up for more meds if possible. Please note that if you believe you were exposed to HIV, you will need to arrive at MWHC  72 hours or before to get HIV prevention treatment known as PEP. PEP is only effective in stopping HIV when taken 72 hours after exposure.


Decide whether or not to report to law enforcement

It is 100% your decision whether to report to the police or not. Your kit will be held for a minimum of one year. You may request for MWHC to hold your kit longer but you may have the right to report any time within the statute of limitation.


Rest and track you kit

You can visit a website to track your kit. Your kit will only be sent to the crime lab for testing if you decide to report to law enforcement, but MWHC can send it for toxicology testing if you’d like regardless of your reporting decision.


Receive ongoing support and connection to resources

If you choose , the advocate will continue to support you in any way that you need and connect you to basic , education, legal, and / or social services.

 


  Information sourced from 

 

 

 

Call for Volunteer Attorneys for Center Global

Center Global Call for Volunteer Attorneys
Center Global is seeking attorneys who would be able and interested in taking on an asylum case pro bono.   Richard Kelley, coordinates legal program efforts for Center Global.  Richard would be able to mentor you through the process if you’ve never done an asylum case before.  If you are willing, we can use your effort.
If you are an attorney, and would be able and interested in taking on a case pro bono, please fill out this form.
Since 2012, Center Global has served 200 LGBT individuals from Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union countries and Russia seeking asylum in the United States. A program of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, Center Global provides a welcoming environment to LGBTQI asylum seekers, and works to address individual legal and social needs

Center Global to be Honored by GLAA

GLAA to Honor Center Global

GLAA, one of the US’ oldest LGBTQ advocacy organizations, will honor Center Global, with its Distinguished Service Award during GLAA’s 48th Anniversary Reception on April 18, 2019. The GLAA cited Center Global for its unique support model, its aid to over 300 asylum seekers, and its creation of an LGBT-safe community. Center Global began in 2012 when Matt Corso and Eric Scharf co-founded the program, a part of the DC Center for the LGBT community. Tom Sommers, chair and Eric Scharf, vice-chair lead Center Global with the help of many volunteers and their time.

Find out more about the GLAA Awards Reception Here.

Center Global Award Nominations

Center Global Award Nominations

Center Global will be presenting two awards at its annual fundraising reception on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at Room & Board in Logan Circle.

  • The Global Advocate Award is awarded to an individual or organization that has helped to advance global LGBT human rights and to support asylum seekers, asylees, and refugees in the United States
  • The Global Courage Award is awarded to an individual asylum seeker, asylee, or refugee who, while in the diaspora, has worked to support the cause of global LGBT human rights and supported their fellow immigrants in the US.

Please submit the name of the individual or organization whose work you believe is deserving of the Global Advocate Award and/or theGlobal Courage Award using the link below. Please include a brief explanation of the reasons why you believe the individual or organization deserves the award(s).

Please submit your nominations by April 1, 2019.  Nomination Form for Center Global Awards

Center Global Volunteer Opportunities

Center Global: Help LGBT Asylum Seekers & Refugees

Benefits of Sharing Your Expertise

Sharing your talents with Center Global and our program participants/asylum seekers is a chance to learn about your LGBTQI peers from areas including: Africa, Latin America, West Indies, the MENA Region, Eastern Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia. You’ll experience a diversity of cultures and customs while gaining life-altering experiences and meeting new Center Global folks.

There are multiple ways and time commitments for which you can volunteer – share your skills in as much or little time as you prefer.

Volunteering Categories:

  • Volunteer Coordination/Committee
  • Administrative Support
  • Fundraising
  • Media/Marketing/Communication
  • Programming
  • Legal Consultation
  • Housing Support
  • Community Outreach and Education

Each role includes coordinating with a Center Global leader to plan and execute each area.

Areas starting below in rank order of priority:

Volunteer Coordinator/Committee

Seeking an individual or committee to follow up with volunteer “leads,” track them in a volunteer database and ultimately match them to Center Global projects. We get one-five volunteer requests per month via our website and community outreach efforts. We can rely on the volunteer database to provide support during events, e.g., the monthly support dinner, annual reception/fundraising events and ad-hoc community outreach activities.

Administrative Support

Provide administrative support and liaison between the Center Global leadership and the DC Center staff in maintaining program participants’ files, scheduling meetings/events and support to program participants. This position requires working some regular hours at the DC Center.

Community Outreach and Education

Center Global’s mission also includes engaging the local community to raise awareness of international human rights transgressions for the LGBTQ asylum community.

We receive invitations to speak to community/faith groups and business organizations about Center Global’s work. We also conduct an Asylum 101 session to give volunteers an overview of the asylum-seekers’ process and challenges; plus we coordinate and sponsor a panel discussions to address the broader social issues impacting our asylum seekers – these are open to the larger DC community, not just volunteers.

There are opportunities to help organize, coordinate and lead both the Asylum 101 and the Panel Discussion/Town Hall format.

Fundraising

Center Global is funded by individuals’, community organizations’/faith communities’ and private businesses’ contributions. You can assist in building support for Center Global via:

  • A planning committee for the May 2019 Annual Reception at Room & Board on May 9th. We need an individual to lead this planning effort.
  • Working with our Grants Team to identify potential grant making organizations and prepare appropriate proposals
  • Design and implement a program for individual gift solicitation throughout the year.
  • Coordinate with Center Global partners to plan and execute marketing or fund-raising activities (i.e., a book-signing event).

Programming

Our Center Global community of LGBTQ asylum seekers is a hallmark of our organization. We help our participants to socialize, meet and work with one another in their new DC home.

We need volunteers who can:

  • Liaise with community, corporate sponsors, and faith leaders to plan topics and execute topics for the monthly Program Meeting that informs and educates our volunteer pool.
  • Develop community resource materials that help to educate program participants about their adjustment to life in America and living in the region.
  • Create a mentoring program to work one-on-one with individuals as they assimilate to their new life in the United States.

Media/Marketing/Communication

Coordinate with Center Global leadership to reach out to DC-regional and LGBTQ-focused media contacts to raise awareness of Center Global and the issues faced by LGBTQ asylum seekers.

  • Write or co-author articles for the media
  • Craft marketing content for the CG website
  • Develop content for our social-media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

For More Information

For more information about these volunteer opportunities, please e-mail centerglobal@thedccenter.org.

 

LGBTQ Community Centers Support Fair Treatment for LGBTQ Asylum Seekers

#queertranscaravan

Across the United States, people of all backgrounds are reacting with outrage in light of the Administration’s announcement that people who attempt to seek asylum outside of ports of entry will be denied the right to this protection.

On Sunday, November 11th, an estimated 78 LGBTQ asylum seekers reached the United States border in hopes of escaping persecution in Central America. Originally traveling with a larger group from Honduras, they left the caravan after experiencing discrimination and threats from others. Many LGBTQ migrants were denied food and access to showers by caravan members or local groups providing aid. “There was no physical abuse but there was plenty of verbal abuse,” a transgender woman told reporters, although she added it was nothing compared to the reality of living as a transgender woman in her home country of Honduras.

As they await the opportunity to begin the asylum process in Tijuana, the group continues to be targeted simply for being part of the LGBTQ community. They were met with anger from locals, who said they should have been warned by authorities that LGBTQ people would be staying in their neighborhood.

Members of the group originate from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, and include a handful of children. Most plan to use their status as members of a persecuted class to request asylum in the U.S. as early as Thursday.

Unfortunately, the government reacts to their plight with armed forces and threats of denying entry to begin the asylum process, essentially signing their death orders. LGBTQ people flee to the U.S. because they cannot live safely in their home countries. They are in danger of persecution, prosecution, imprisonment, blackmail, discrimination, torture, sexual assault and in some cases, death based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

If LGBTQ asylum seekers are granted the opportunity to have their case heard, they can be detained until trial, which may take months. In detention centers, transgender women are often housed with men or placed in solitary confinement. LGBTQ immigrants report high rates of sexual assault and abuse during their time in detention, and proper medical care is often denied.

These asylum seekers have faced challenges and painful barriers in receiving equal treatment during every step of their journey. The undersigned LGBTQ Community Centers strongly support them in their quest for a better life and demand that they be treated fairly and equitably as they seek their legal right to asylum.

Adair Co. GLBT Resource Center

ALSO Youth

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

Center on Halsted

Freedom House Detroit

Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center

GALA LGBTQ+ Center

Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center

Latino Equality Alliance

LGBT Center OC

LGBT Center of Central PA

LGBT Center of Raleigh

LGBT Detroit

LGBT Equality Alliance of Chester County

Los Angeles LGBT Center

North County LGBTQ Resource Center

Open Arms Rape Crisis Center & LGBT+ Services

Pride Center at Equality Park

Pride Center San Antonio

PRISM-Q, LGBT & Allies Resource Center

Proud Haven Inc.

Rainbow Center

Resource Center

Ruth Ellis Center

Sacramento LGBT Community Center

Safe Schools South Florida

San Francisco LGBT Center

Stonewall Coumbus

SunServe

Tacoma Older LGBT

The DC Center for the LGBT Community

The Pride Center at Equality Park

The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico

Triangle Community Center

Standing with LGBTQ Dreamers

Dream Act
Dream Act
LGBTQ Dream Act

The DC Center is proud to be one of 127 LGBTQ and allied organizations calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act in the following letter.    (You can also download the entire letter with footnotes and signatories here)


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
card holders.

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.