New Haven Pride Center Day of Action on Racial Justice

In partnership with the New Haven Pride Center

In 2020, the New Haven Pride Center launched a new type of programs titled “Days of Action,'' that emerged as an idea from our community-focused panels and conversations series. Each Day of Action consists of workshops, conversations, and artistic experiences focused on themes of gender equity, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ Latinx experiences.

These mini-conferences aim to foster an immersive environment to educate, mobilize, and challenge participants to combat divisive issues of injustice within the community. The Center believes that the Days of Action workshops and trainings empower our present and future thought leaders to tackle challenges faced by our community.

The Center’s second Day of Action for 2022 will take place on Sunday, June 12, 2022, and is dedicated to the diverse needs and struggles of LGBTQ+ Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This mini-conference will aim to directly combat racism through discussion, group learning, and artistic perspectives. It is presented in partnership with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.


@ 10:30a | Welcome & Reading by Andrea Jenkins

Ala Ochumare, Malakhi Eason, and Andrea Jenkins

To welcome and to set the tone for the second Day of Action for 2022, we kick-off the day’s programming with a special artistic presentation by Transgender poet and political leader Andrea Jenkins. The full day will be focused on racial justice, combating racism, and confronting demons within our own community contributing to anti-blackness and anti-immigrant sentiment so the goal of this program is to center the audience in art as we prepare to tackle series conversations. There will be additional words of welcome from Center Director of Youth Services Ala Ochumare and Arts & Ideas Director of Programming and Community Impact Malakhi Eason.

@ 11:00a | Panel : Closing the Generational Wealth Gap : How do we Empower Queer BIPOC Entrepreneurs?

Kamora Herrington (moderator), Dawn Leaks, Jasmine T. Jacobs, and Sonia Salazar

Queer Entrepreneurship is on the rise as our state and country solidify LGBTQ+ arts with laws of protection and equality. Similar to the straight community however, generational wealth gap for BIPOC Queer folks is still a reality, one that is often also impacted by other factors such as structural racism. How do we as a community uplift and empower our BIPOC entrepreneurs and ensure that they have not just the support but also the resources for success. This panel will feature perspectives from Executive Director of Collab Dawn Leaks, Founder of Black Remote She Jasmine T. Jacobs, and Owner and Chef of Te Amo Tequila and Barracuda Bistro and Bar Sonia Salazar and will be moderated by Founder of Kamora’s Cultural Corner Kamora Herrington.

@12:30p | Panel : Pushing Back Against Invisibility : Queer Asian Representation

Emily Chew (moderator), Anthony Buell, Varun Khattar Sharma, and Valor

Similar to the straight community, Asian representation within the Queer Community is nearly nonexistent. We must do better as a community of uplifting our Queer Asian siblings. In this panel we will discuss and explore the idea of representation within the community, talk about the wagfys in which we could do better, and explore the stigmas and racism faced by Queer Asians, including anti-Asian racism and the fetishization of Queer Asians’ sexualities and bodies. This panel will feature perspectives from performance artist Anthony Buell, CT Students for a Dream Educator Training and Engagement Coordinator Varun Khattar Sharma, and Asian youth advocate Valor and will be moderated by Yale China’s Senior Program Officer for Education and Arts Emily Chew.

Between 2:00p and 4:30p there will be a series of Anti-Racism Anti-Bias workshops as well as healing spaces for the community.

@ 5:30p | Keynote : Health Equity & the Queer Racial Justice Movement

Ala Ochumare (moderator), Dr. Justin B Terry-Smith, DrPH

Dr. Justin B Terry-Smith, DrPH is an Air Force disabled veteran and a recognized HIV/AIDS activist and public health expert. He is also a proud Black LGBTQ+ Jewish man. In this conversation, Dr. Terry-Smith sits down with local Health Equity and Racial Justice advocate Ala Ochumare to talk about Health Equity and Public Health through the lens of being a Black Queer person. How do these combined identities effect access to healthcare and services. How does racism impact public health? How can we successfully advocate for better healthcare for our Queer BIPOC siblings? This conversation will feature perspectives from Public Health expert and LGBTQ+ advocate Dr. Justin B Terry-Smith, DrPH with Founder of Black Lives Matter New Haven and Center Director of Youth Services Ala Ochumare.

Andrea Jenkins

Educator, Poet, Writer and City Council member

Andrea Jenkins (she/her) is a writer, performance artist, poet, and transgender activist. She is the first African American openly trans woman to be elected to office in the United States. Jenkins moved to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota in 1979.She worked as a Vocational Counselor for Hennepin County government, for a decade. Jenkins worked as a staff member on the Minneapolis City Council for 12 years before beginning work as curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.

She holds a Masters Degree in Community Development from Southern New Hampshire University, a MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University and a Bachelors Degrees in Human Services from Metropolitan State University. She is a nationally and internationally recognized writer and artist, a 2011 Bush Fellow to advance the work of transgender inclusion, and the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. In 2018 she completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University.

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New Haven Pride Center

The New Haven Pride Center dates back to 1993, when a group of activists advocated for domestic partnership recognition by the City of New Haven and the Board of Aldermen of New Haven. Similar to Hartford’s legislation, this would have allowed same-sex couples to symbolically register their relationships in a public forum as well as give them access to additional benefits. At the time the Board of Aldermen didn’t approve the legislation. Following this civil rights loss, New Haven Pride Center founder John D. Allen, Ed.D. conducted a needs assessment for the regional LGBTQ+ community as part of his graduate thesis at Southern Connecticut State University.

His survey revealed a vibrant regional LGBTQ+ culture of dozens of LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ friendly groups. John’s study also showed that despite there being a vibrant community, there was no single gathering space where different gender identities and orientations within the community could come together. This influenced him to want to create a space for gathering, meeting, and organizing. On May 27, 1996, the Center was officially incorporated, and on November 17, 1996 the Center opened its doors to the community.

Since its founding, the New Haven Pride Center has worked hard to create a safe space within the Greater New Haven community for support groups, LGBTQ+ programming, advocacy work, and activism. Over the past two-plus decades the Center has been a home to many community grounds and peer-led programs including our longest standing support group – the Rainbow Support Group for individuals with disabilities. This group was the first of its kind in the nation and has been used as a model across the country.

In June 2017 the Center announced its move from an all-volunteer run non-profit to a staffed institution with our first employee, Patrick Dunn who started on August 1, 2017. Since then the Center has grown tremendously adding numerous support groups and social programs, creating a rotating gallery space allowing for LGBTQ+ art installations, expanding existing programming including PRIDE New Haven, and elevating the conversation around city and state-level advocacy.

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