More Leadership Additions at Q Center; SMYRC Needs Help Moving; Get Involved!

By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly


We recently reported on SMYRC’s move to New Avenues for Youth, a savvy move by Q Center’s new leadership that will shore up SMYRC for the foreseeable future. Q Center is seeking help from the community in the following areas:

“We need the following prior to the move:  moving boxes, tape and plastic bins. Any of these items can be dropped off at SMYRC by contacting The day of the move we need people to help move items from SMYRC and receive items at New Avenues for Youth. Duties will vary from moving in new items, cleaning and arranging storage as well as cleaning clothing donations. We also need food and bus gift cards as incentives for our youth participants.  Bus cards can be purchased at Micheal Weakley, Youth and Young Adult Program Manager is the main contact. Please connect with him if you are interested in volunteering for the day of service:”

Community Involvement

Q Center needs your support now more than ever: be a part of the solution, and DONATE ONLINE.

Know your voice matters: connect directly with the Interim leadership at Q Center, email them:

A small but growing group of people have formed the Community Committee, charged with organizing and facilitating the community engagement process to help determine the needs of the community and Q Center’s role. Initial planning includes a town hall forum in the end of January (date TBD). A basic survey to be available both online and in paper form is being finalized, and small group discussions have begun, led by and for some of Q Center’s most affected and/or disenfranchised communities.

These will be a chance to participate in much needed conversations about multigenerational, community-based LGBTQ support and services in Portland. Some of the questions that we might ask ourselves and each other in this process: What do we currently do well as a community (in and across our intersectional communities) in terms of support and services? What’s missing and most needed? How do we fund what we need? What funding models match our mission(s), are sustainable, and get the work done? Do we still need a multigenerational LGBTQ community center in Portland? If so, how can Q Center be that place? What can we do to return stewardship of our community center back to the community?

New Leadership

Additionally, Q Center has announced some dynamic changes to their current leadership structure, which includes the return of Karen Petersen:

“Two co-chairs have been elected to the Interim Board of Directors:  Antoinette Edwards and Karen Petersen. Antoinette is the founder of PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, whose life’s work centers on healing community violence and trauma in communities of color. She is committed to helping right some wrongs, assist with community healing, and chart the course forward.  “I believe in and am inspired by Q Center’s mission, vision, and values,” says Antoinette.  “I value the power of relationships and the importance of pursuing, developing, and nurturing even beyond the difficult times.”

Karen returns to Q Center in an extraordinary role, fulfilling co-chair duties on the Interim Board, while volunteering her time in day-to-day operations on site at Q Center. Karen brings 13 years experience in fundraising and nonprofit management, a master’s degree in nonprofit management and fundraising, and a long history of involvement as a straight ally in LGBTQ issues. “I’m deeply, personally invested in seeing Q Center succeed. It’s a new day, a new time, and a new year at Q Center, and it’s an irreplaceable asset for all of us who count ourselves as part of the LGBTQ community.”

Also joining the interim board of directors is Jose Rivas. Jose is the Events Director for the Portland Business Alliance and a long time community advocate. He has served as Festival Chair of Latino Pride, worked in Membership and Outreach for Human Rights Campaign, and serves on the Board of Directors at Our House of Portland. Everything Jose touches turns to gold.

PQ Monthly encourages you, our community, to get involved–sustaining Q Center and all its important programs will take a village. Donate, write leadership, volunteer your time–every contribution matters.