Pride begins- and ends- with YOU!

To honor her great service, the new board voted to retire the Spirit of Pride Award, and instead established the Debra Porta Community Spotlight Award to celebrate and recognize excellence among our intersecting LGBTQ communities.
To honor her great service, the new board voted to retire the Spirit of Pride Award, and instead established the Debra Porta Community Spotlight Award to celebrate and recognize excellence among our intersecting LGBTQ communities.

Change is in the air this year, and that includes the roster of the Pride Northwest Board of Directors. After eight-and-a-half years of dedicated service, (now former) board president Debra Porta announced her resignation and stepped into an advisory role to assist the transition of the new leadership of the organization. To honor her great service, the new board voted to retire the Spirit of Pride Award, and instead established the Debra Porta Community Spotlight Award to celebrate and recognize excellence among our intersecting LGBTQ communities.

As one leaf falls, so another sprout. James Waldner was nominated as president and Cameron Berry was nominated for vice-president, and both were subsequently voted into those roles. Additionally, Andrew Loriego, Kenty Truong, and Sarah Vivian were also elected onto the Pride Northwest board, bringing their unique experiences and perspectives to the organization.

To further assist in spreading resources evenly (and to bring in a diverse cast of characters), ad hoc committees were formed to negotiate the planning of the Pride Northwest VIP program, the Pride Parade, and the entertainment program that runs during the Pride Festival.

In other exciting news, the complete revamp of our website is complete! Check out pridenw.org for information on fun volunteer opportunities, sponsorship packages, and vendor information. Want to buy VIP tickets? March in the Pride Parade? Book a booth space? Learn more about the board and current volunteers? Check out our site for all your Pride Northwest news!

PrideThis year promises to be one of the most exciting years in Pride to date, and every member of our team is integral to the success of everything Pride Northwest strives to accomplish. To that end, we are extremely excited to present the 2016 Pride Northwest Waterfront Festival theme: “Pride Begins With You!”

The humble and rag-tag beginnings of the LGBTQI pride movements were initiated by a handful of individuals who had decided to change the conversation and the status quo; as the movements gained momentum, each individual voice that joined lent power and volume to the group as a whole. While the call for rights and freedoms grew louder and the groups became more organized, one thing never changed: without the input, work, and talent of each member, the collective whole would not have been as effective. This held true for the Mattachine Society. This held true during the Stonewall riots. This held true for Vanguard, ACT UP, and HRC.

Photo by Christopher Alvarez, PQ Monthly
Photo by Christopher Alvarez, PQ Monthly

Pride entirely depends upon an indispensable component: the people. From our volunteers to our attendees, we at Pride Northwest seek to highlight and acknowledge the tremendous contributions each individual brings to the table. Furthermore, the fight for equality is not over; while we are now able to marry whomever we love and have it legally recognized by the government, there are still parties that wish to see our rights disappear. There are still bullies, still institutionalized discrimination, still hatred aimed at our families and friends.

To that end, we challenge www.pridenw.org/volunteer/ each of you to show us or tell us what Pride means to you. Register as a volunteer (pridenw.org/volunteer/), contribute to the conversation by engaging on our Facebook page (facebook.com/pridenw). Also, join us at one or all of our monthly board meetings. They are open to the public and held every second Friday of the month at the Q Center, with the call to order at 5:30 PM.

We’re so excited to embark on this new chapter of Portland Pride! With your help, time, and voices, we can bring the Pride Bigger than ever to PDX. We can’t do it without you. Pride begins- and ends- with YOU!

The 2016 Portland Pride Festival kicks off Saturday, June 18th at noon. See you at the Waterfront!

Sarah Vivian

Board Member- Pride Northwest, Inc.