OutWrite, Washington D.C.’s LGBTQ Literary Festival, Welcomes its Next Chairperson

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Marlena Chertock, Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs
outwritedc@gmail.com

OutWrite DC is welcoming a new Chairperson on board, local poet Emily Holland. After 2 years of service, Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson are stepping down as Co-Chairs after the 2022 festival. They are thrilled to be passing the baton to Emily.

“As a queer writer who largely came-of-age here in DC, I am immensely excited to be the next Chairperson of OutWrite,” says Emily. “Under the expert guidance of Marlena and Malik, and also of Chair Emeritus dave ring, OutWrite has thrived as a literary festival created by — and for — the trans/queer community.”

“Malik and Marlena had the daunting task of adapting the festival during the ongoing pandemic, and their leadership was instrumental in not only shifting to an accessible virtual festival, but also championing Black writers, Indigenous writers, writers of color, and disabled writers. I have forged so many nurturing connections at past OutWrite festivals and hope to use my time as Chairperson to support trans/queer writers in the same way.”

“We are extremely excited to pass the torch to Emily!” said Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson, the current Co-Chairs of OutWrite. “Our tenure has been a huge learning experience and it would not have been possible without the support of Kimberley Bush, Executive Director of the DC Center, dave ring, OutWrite’s chair prior to our tenure, Justin Johns, DC Center Office Administrator, Tahirah A. G., editor of our 2021 journal, as well as our Volunteer Coordinators Derrick Brown, Jacob Budenz, and John Copenhaver.”

“We chose Emily to take up the mantle of Chair because of her impressive, years-long commitment to D.C.’s LGBTQ+ literary community. We are excited to experience the future of OutWrite with Emily at the wheel,” Marlena and Malik said.

Mark your calendars for this year’s festival, which will be held August 5-7, 2022. Currently, all events are virtual; we will release more information on whether any events will be held in person or hybrid as soon as possible. Please visit outwritedc.org for more information.

More about the new Chairperson of OutWrite

Emily Holland (she/they) is a genderqueer lesbian writer living in Washington, D.C. She received her MFA from American University, where she won the Myra Sklarew Award for outstanding thesis and was the Editor-In-Chief of FOLIO. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications including Shenandoah, Black Warrior Review, Nat. Brut, DIALOGIST, Homology Lit, and Wussy. Her chapbook Lineage was published by dancing girl press in 2019. Their work has been supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Currently, she is the Editor of Poet Lore, America’s oldest poetry magazine published by The Writer’s Center.

 

 

 

 

 

About OutWrite

OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. The 2021 festival will be August 6-8, 2021. For more information, visit: thedccenter.org/outwrite.

About the DC Center

The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

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DC Center Reopening FAQ

As we reopen, the DC Center is doing our best to meet the needs of our community while creating a safe environment for our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Please see below some of the information available about our space, our meetings, and other questions. We will update this information as necessary as the situation changes or we understand better what information people are looking for.

 

What are The DC Center’s hours of operation?

  • Mondays through Fridays from 12pm to 6pm
  • Saturdays from 11am to 3pm
  • Sundays are closed

 

Are support groups/meetings meeting in-person, virtually or hybrid?

Based on surveys and conversations with peer group facilitators and participants and abiding by social distancing guidelines, we are offering a hybrid (physical with webstation for Zoom) option for some while a completely virtual option for others, at each groups’ discretion. The information is available on the event sign-up for each group (easily found via: thedccenter.org/calendar

 

Which groups/meetings, and when, are offering a hybrid (in-person with webstation) meeting option? (This list subject to change as groups choose to return to the DC Center’s offices)

Fridays: Tea Time from 2 – 4 pm.

2nd Tuesday: Coming Out Group from 7 to 8:30pm.

2nd & 4th Wednesdays: Job Club from 6 – 7 pm.

3rd Saturdays: KhushDC from 1:30 to 2:30pm.

4th Saturdays: Black Lesbian Peer Support Group from 11 am – 1 pm

 

Which groups/meetings, and when, are offering a virtual (Zoom) only meeting option?

Any groups not listed above are meeting virtually.

Can I just walk-in to participate in a hybrid support group/meeting?

Currently, the Center is unable to accommodate walk-ups for peer support groups. Registration in advance will be required for peer support group meetings. Information in this regard will be circulated among peer support group leaders and participants as well as be listed on the Center’s website.

 

Are therapy meetings still being offered at the Center?

At this time all mental health therapy groups and sessions are remaining virtual via HIPAA compliant Zoom due to the continuing rates of COVID-19. A hybrid model of virtual and in person therapy services will be re-evaluated once the pandemic conditions permit safe in-person meeting.

 

When is the Center expected to open back up and what are some of the processes?

  • Monday October 4th; Monday through Friday 12 to 6pm; Saturday 11 to 3pm.
  • CyberStation social distance with three separate computers.
  • Peer and Support groups able to offer hybrid options depending on the comfort level of members and facilitators STARTING on Oct 13th. Option to sign up and come to join the Zoom meeting.
  • Mental Health services are to remain virtual at this time.
  • The Library and Lounge will have social distancing with fewer seats available to accommodate social distancing.
  • New and expanding clothing closet and food pantry for those in need of clothes and food.
  • The Art Gallery is opening up Saturday October 2nd with new artists. Art will be up for the next three months so it can be seen.

 

Now that the Center is reopening again, what kind of opportunities are available for those in the community who would like to get involved?

  • The best way to stay current with the Center’s activities is to subscribe to our newsletter via our website which comes out every week. This includes volunteer opportunities, information about art installation, monthly programs, and all different social media accounts to get news updates.
  • Volunteers wanting to become a support group facilitator are provided with the necessary training.
  • Joining a support group is the best way to stay connected to the Center and others in the community.
  • There is an events volunteer list to help in events like help preparing to open before events.
  • Members of the community can also join a board committee to help and learn how the Center works.

 

What will be the mitigation efforts to reopen the Center back safely?

  • Self-screenings will ask questions with regards to health symptoms.
  • Per DC law all staff are required to be vaccinated. However, proof of vaccinations or recent test are not going to be asked from community members.
  • In the center social distance practices and mask wearing will be mandated.
  • Peer support groups are being offered in hybrid format so those who are not feeling well do not feel obligated to come into the Center.
  • In accordance with CDC guidelines contact-tracing will be implemented so signup sheets will be mandatory for all who visit the center with their name, phone number and email address.
  • 2 portable air filters have been purchased for the DC Center’s meeting space. They are rated to filter down to .01 microns in size.

 

Are masks required at the Center?

Per CDC guidelines all staff/participants (2yrs or older) physically at the building are required to always wear masks to stop the spreading of COVID-19.

 

What will happen if either staff or participants test positive for COVID-19?

  • The Center will be closed until a full deep cleaning is completed.
  • Staff present/exposed will be asked to quarantine and work remotely until such time as they can provide a negative non-rapid COVID test, per CDC guidelines.
  • Participants/guests who visited 3-4 days prior will be notified of the potential exposure and be asked to contact the DC Center if they are showing symptoms.

 

Will social distancing be enforced at the Center?

The maximum number of people in the DC Center at one time has been adjusted to a maximum of 25 to 30 to accommodate enough space for social distancing.

 

What kind of sanitation procedures will be implemented to prevent the spread of the COVID-19?

  • Sneeze Guards will be installed at the Cyber Center and front desk, as well as 6-foot distance floor markers.
  • A sanitation station will be set up outside the Center that includes wipes/sanitizer, gloves, mask and health self-assessment.
  • Using a clean pen and used pen system, all who enter the Center will need to fill out a log for contact tracing purposes with information such as name, phone number and email address.
  • Cleaning and sanitation procedures will be implemented more frequently throughout the day.
  • Air purification system will be provided for various spaces within the Center.

 

If I am unwilling or unable to comply with mask mandates, will I be turned away from the Center?

To enter the DC Center, you will be asked to wear a mask. If someone is unwilling or unable to wear a mask and/or mentions health issues, assistance will be provided to them outside the DC Center in the Atrium to the best of our staff’s ability. We ask that everyone consider that many people come through the DC Center on a regular basis, so it’s important to make sure everyone is protecting the community by doing what we can. 

 

If rates of COVID continue to rise in DC will the Center remain open?

Federal and local guidelines will be closely monitored and adhered to, up to and including closing the Center due to an increase in COVID cases in the DC area to ensure the safety of our employees and constituents.

Job Opening at the DC Center : Community Engagement Specialist

Job Type

Full-time
Number of hires for this role – 1

Qualifications

    • Associate (Preferred)

    • Spanish (Preferred)

Full Job Description

The qualified individual will be responsible for the following:

  • Collect and enter data from focus populations in respective systems (Careware, Link U)
  • Engage groups and individual in sexual health education and planning sessions
  • Provide referrals to eliminate barriers, thus increasing positive health outcomes
  • Assist in meeting program goals that reduce harm and risk, improving the quality of life
  • Provide client-centered service that reflects status neutral healthcare and education
  • Engage and retain a focused population client in HI-V programing and their individual goals.
  • Educate on viral suppression and PrEP; providing timely linkage to care
  • Contribute to programming, marketing, and branding of culturally competent services
  • Assist in testing, inreach, outreach, representing the organization in professional settings
  • Engage volunteers and clients as directed to meet program and grant deliverables
  • Facilitate or Coordinate testing for focus populations
  • Promote Rapid treatment and Comprehensive Harm & Risk Reduction initiatives
  • Assist in Facilitating Cultural Competency trainings for organizations and individuals
  • Assist with Consumer Satisfaction Surveys and data to ensure program effectiveness
  • Assist in implementing and tracking medical and non-medical support and client outcomes
  • Work with associated staff to ensure grant deliverables and promote program continuity
  • Provide good customer service and assist in various capacities as needed

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $22.00 – $25.00 per hour

Benefits:

  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off

Schedule:

  • 8 hour shift

COVID-19 considerations:
At this time our team is working remotely. We are developing our re-opening plan. it will adhere to any and all government and CDC guidelines.

Education:

  • Associate (Preferred)

Experience:

  • HIV/PrEP Prevention/Care/Education/Grant Implementation: 1 year (Required)
  • working with the LGBTQ community: 1 year (Required)

Language:

  • Spanish (Preferred)

Work Location:

  • One location

Work Remotely:

  • Temporarily due to COVID-19

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Happy Presidents’ Day

Holiday Closing. Information about our holiday schedule below.

Happy Presidents Day from the team at the DC Center.

On this day we look forward to seeing all the promises that the Biden Administration has made, come to fruition. We believe Mr Biden is an ally to our community, in 2012, in the midst of what many expected to be a tough reelection campaign for the Obama White House, Biden surprised the political world during an appearance on “Meet the Press” by becoming the first national leader to publicly support same-sex marriage as president the Joe Biden administration issued an executive order that is aimed at preventing discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation and prohibiting workplace discrimination in the federal government, he also signed an order reversing a Trump-era Pentagon policy that largely barred transgender individuals from serving in the military. President Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Job Opening at the DC Center : Trauma-Informed Licensed Contract Therapist

Job Opportunities at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

Are you a trauma-informed, licensed mental health clinician interested in remote work for an established community organization in Washington DC serving the LGBTQ+ community? Are you available 10 hours per week? The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring!

The DC Anti-Violence Project of the DC Center for the LGBT Community is seeking a licensed clinician (LICSW/LPC/LGSW) with interest and experience in working with LGBTQ+ survivors of trauma, violence, and abuse. Exceptional interpersonal, ethical and client care skills are required. Fluency in both Spanish and English, and/or expertise in transgender and gender non-binary clinical issues are a plus. Familiarity with MyClients+ or other EHR systems also a plus. Experience in providing telecounseling via Zoom HIPAA-compliant video platform is desired.

Contract Therapist Position:

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. Licensed therapists (LICSW, LGSW, LPC) help to achieve this mission by providing trauma-informed mental health support services to survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). The trauma-informed licensed Contract Therapist is a part-time (10 hours per week, $40/hour) position in the DC Center’s Anti-Violence Project, with funding at minimum through March 31, 2021 and potential continued funding through 2022. Currently, the work is remote. If the pandemic conditions shift toward reliable public safety, work may resume in-person at The DC Center’s location in Northwest Washington, DC. Limited street parking is accessible. The U St Metro is one block from the center. Agency does not pay for parking. There is limited funding available for weekly clinical supervision if desired. The position may be extended upon receipt of additional funding and could expand to a full-time opportunity. The person who fills this position is also responsible for keeping notes in the MyClients+ EHR system. The Contract Therapist will report to the full-time licensed Therapist/Advocate. Schedule is flexible. Stable internet and a remote working environment which protects confidentiality is essential.

Special Skills:

The Therapist/Advocate must have the appropriate licensure to practice in DC (LGSW, LICSW, LPC) and have at least 2 years’ experience working as a clinician with a diverse client population. They must also have a demonstrated ability to work with LGBTQ+ adults, to work well in a team, to problem solve and communicate at all levels verbally as well as in writing. Must be self-motivated, ethical, and ideally be knowledgeable with key stakeholders in the larger victim-serving network of Washington, DC. Bilingual capabilities in Spanish and English is desired. Expertise in transgender and gender non-binary clinical issues is a plus.

Functions and Duties:

  • Provide individual and group mental health support services, via telecounseling or in-person if public safety permits the DC Center to return to in-person operations, to a minimum caseload of 5-8 unique clients, 45-minute individual sessions and/or 1.5-hour group sessions.
  • Conduct intake assessments with all new potential clients to assess safety, job status, financial resources, living arrangements, current support system, type and history of victimization, legal issues, related medical history, and clinical symptomatology.
  • Provide clients with LGBTQ-friendly and affirming referrals to community-based services, aimed at assisting individuals affected by crime, violence, and trauma.
  • Assess clients and provide necessary intervention in crisis situations (safety plans, hospitalization, referrals, etc.)
  • Keep current and accurate records of all clinical interactions in an electronic clinical database system (MyClients+).
  • Meet weekly with Therapist/Advocate for case review and/or support.
  • Work well with a diverse staff to facilitate an open, supportive and warm environment for all individuals who connect with The DC Center and represent the DC Center professionally within the community.

Please send resume and cover letter to kimberley@thedccenter.org.

 

Washington D.C.’s LGBTQ Literary Festival OutWrite Welcomes New Leadership

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Marlena Chertock, Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs
outwritedc@gmail.com

Local poets Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson have been announced as the new Co-Chairs of OutWrite. After 5 years of service, culminating in the 2020 festival being nominated for the 35th Annual Mayor’s Arts Award, writer and editor dave ring is stepping down as Chair of the festival. We thank him for his many years and support of OutWrite.

Malik and Marlena look forward to continuing OutWrite’s mission of cultivating inclusive literary programming that reflects and uplifts trans/queer literary communities. Both poets come to this work after being engaged in literary community — including festivals, conferences, poetry readings, open mic series, and writing workshops — at both the local and national level for years. OutWrite is delighted to have them at the helm, looking towards 2021 with the intention of centering BIPOC writers, Indigenous writers, and disabled writers.

OutWrite has extended the submission deadline for 2020’s two special edition festival journals: Ten Year Retrospective and We Got This: Black Writers on Imagination, Joy and Liberation. The new deadline is November 30. View submission guidelines here.

Mark your calendars for next year’s festival, which will be August 6-8, 2021. Due to this uncertain time, we will be planning OutWrite 2021 with the assumption that it will be virtual. We will release updates as the situation develops. Please visit outwritedc.org for more information and submit your ideas for panels and readings!

More about the Co-Chairs of OutWrite

Marlena Chertock, a white writer with short brown hair in a jean jacket with a space scarf holding a copy of her book.

Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized: Poems (Unnamed Press) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press). She uses her skeletal dysplasia as a bridge to scientific writing. She is queer, disabled, and a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee. Marlena serves as Co-Chair of OutWrite, Washington, D.C.’s annual LGBTQ literary festival, and on the Board of Split This Rock, a nonprofit that cultivates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. Her poetry and prose has appeared in AWP’s The Writer’s Notebook, Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, Lambda Literary Review, Little Patuxent Review, Neon Hemlock Press, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Paper Darts, Paranoid Tree, Plants & Poetry, Rogue Agent, Unheard Poetry, Washington Independent Review of Books, WMN Zine, Wordgathering, and more. Find her at marlenachertock.com and @mchertock.

 

Malik, a queer Black man, in front of a purple wall.

Malik Thompson is a Black queer man proud to be from D.C. A bookseller, anime fanatic, and workshop facilitator. Malik has worked with Split This Rock, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Moonlit DC as a workshop facilitator. He also organized the Poets In Protest poetry series at the Black queer owned bookstore Loyalty Bookstores. Malik’s work can be found inside of Split This Rock’s Poetry Database as well as the mixed media journal Voicemail Poems. You can find Malik’s thoughts on literature via his Instagram account @negroliterati.

 

 

 

About OutWrite

OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. The 2021 festival will be August 6-8, 2021. For more information, visit: thedccenter.org/outwrite.

About the DC Center

The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

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COVID-19 : Know Your Rights

Helpful resources created by Legal Aid Society of DC

Housing

  • The Office of the Tenant Advocate can be contacted here or by calling (202) 719-6560.

Employment Services

Child Care

Job Opening at the DC Center : Social Worker/Therapist

Job Opportunity at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is hiring! We are looking for a full-time social worker/therapist. Bilingual in Spanish, a plus. See below for details.

Social Worker/Therapist Position:

The DC Center for the LGBT Community has a mission of educating, empowering, celebrating, and connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Washington, DC. The Social Worker/Therapist helps to achieve this mission by providing mental health support services to survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. These services are available free-of-charge to our community members due to grant funding from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). The Social Worker/Therapist will see clients individually and in group settings, as well as in a couples/collateral therapy capacity, if requested. The person who fills this position is also responsible for assisting on other related projects, such as quarterly reporting and management of the OVSJG grant, outreach and education in the LGBTQ community, and assisting the mission, vision, and values of The DC Anti-Violence Project (DC AVP). The Social Worker/Therapist will report to the Executive Director.

Special Skills:

The Social Worker/Therapist must have the appropriate licensure to practice in DC (LGSW or LICSW) and have at least 2 years’ experience working as a clinician with a diverse client population. They must also have a demonstrated ability to work with LGBTQ+ adults, to work well in a team, to problem solve and communicate at all levels verbally as well as in writing. Must be self-motivated and be able to build and maintain relationships, both with colleagues and with key stakeholders in the larger victim-serving network of Washington, DC. The ideal candidate will have prior nonprofit/grant management experience and is well adept at multitasking in a fast-paced environment. Bilingual capabilities are not required but strongly preferred.

Functions and Duties

Social Worker/Therapist: Responsibilities:

  • Provide individual, couples, and group mental health support services to a caseload of 25-35 unique clients
  • Conduct intake assessments with all new potential clients to assess safety, job status, financial resources, living arrangements, current support system, type and history of victimization, legal issues, related medical history, and clinical symptomatology for the past 30 days
  • Provide clients with LGBTQ-friendly and affirming referrals to community-based services, aimed at assisting individuals affected by crime, violence and trauma
  • Assess clients and provide necessary intervention in crisis situations (safety plans, hospitalization, referrals, etc.)
  • Keep current and accurate records of all clinical interactions in our clinical database system
  • Collaborate with DC Center staff to provide community-based education and outreach opportunities in line with OVSJG grant requirements
  • Provide data for quarterly reports and help manage grant deliverables for the OVSJG grant throughout the fiscal year
  • Deliver trauma-informed, culturally competent assessment and treatment techniques to all survivors seeking support services, and serve as a resource for all individuals seeking support through The DC Center
  • Work in partnership with The DC Anti-Violence Project members to further the mission, vision, and values of DC AVP
  • Work well with a diverse staff to facilitate an open, supportive and warm environment for all individuals who visit The DC Center

Please click here to apply

Update from the DC Center Board of Directors: Welcoming a New Slate of Officers

With a new year comes Board elections! At our January 6th Board Meeting, we voted to re-elect a couple of our long time Board members, and we approved a new slate of officers.

The full list of Board of Directors and officers is listed below:

Chair – Rehana Mohammed
Vice Chair – Jonathan Gilad
Communications Chair- Rebecca Bauer
Treasurer – Tiera Craig
Development Chair – Nick Harrison
Secretary – Andrew Zapfel

Directors: Natalie Bucklin, Michael Fowler, Dr. Pat Hawkins, Lance Macon, Luke Scuitto

Our team is excited about the year ahead as we look forward to welcoming a new Executive Director, bringing on a couple of new staff members (we’re hiring now!), and continuing to enhance our programming for the LGBTQ+ community. “I’m very excited to work alongside this diverse group of leaders to build on the successes of the last 15 years and set a bold path for the future with our new Executive Director,” Board Chair Rehana Mohammed commented.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Development or Finance committees, or would like more information about becoming a member of the Board of DIrectors, please reach out to Rehana@thedccenter.org.

Holiday Closure

Holiday Closing. Information about our holiday schedule below.

We would like to inform our community members that The DC Center will be closed from December 25, 2019 and reopens on January 2, 2020. We are closed to let staff members spend time with their loved ones. Any meetings/events scheduled for those days are cancelled.

We recognize that many of us in the LGBTQ community struggle during the holidays. We hope that while we are away, you can connect with loved ones for support. If you are having an emergency, please see these options for support:

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

Maryland Mobile Crisis: 240-777-4000

 

We wish everyone good holidays and a good start to 2020!
~ The DC Center for the LGBT Community