CNCBGP slated for July
CHARLOTTE — Charlotte NC Black Gay Pride (CNCBGP) is set to host its fourth annual Pride celebration, “Legends, Statements & Superstars,” from July 17-20.

The weekend begins on Thursday with a town hall meeting sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) that will discuss the topic, “Racism in the LGBT Community.” On Saturday, CNCBGP brings the fourth annual Black Gay Pride Expo to 2600 W. Trade St. Entertainers, business owners and organizations will be on hand to showcase their talents and services.

Rev. Tonyia M. Rawls and Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte will hold a worship service on Sunday with the Voices of Pride Choir. Organic Funk, Charlotte’s premier spoken word event, will finish out the weekend.

It is the goal of the organization to work on mobilizing the community this year, as well as inviting the straight community to celebrate as well.

“We realize that we are all in this fight for freedom and equality together,” explains Damon Blackman, CNCBGP chair.

CNCBGP is continuing to work on community development and organizational structure to ensure a strong foundation for the community. They were the hosts of the first ever Black Gay Leaders Unite gathering where over 30 black gay leaders assembled to look at ways they could bridge the gaps in their community.

CNCBGP has been awarded the Bayard-Rustin Community Mobilization Award by the National Black Justice Coalition and the Community Service Award by the Human Rights Campaign.

For more information, call Co-Chair Monica Simpson at 704-968-0658 or email

Fund announces recipients
CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund (CGLF) awards grants to organizations that support the LGBT community, as well as bridge building initiatives that seek to cultivate alliances and support with the non-gay community in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Fund was established to positively impact the underfunding of non-profit organizations serving the LGBT community.
The Fund’s advisory board is responsible for general oversight including fundraising, annual meeting coordination, marketing and grantmaking. Stakeholders are eligible for making grant recommendations if they so choose.

The Fund is a charitable gift fund of Foundation For The Carolinas and contributions are tax deductible.

In an effort to support organizations that address the needs of the LGBT community, in 2008 the Fund awarded Community Connections Grants totaling $16,500 to six non-profit organizations:

• $3,000 to Gay Men’s Chorus for the Shower of Stoles project to support an exhibit of liturgical stoles representing the lives of gay, lesbian and transgender people of faith. These stoles will be displayed in conjunction with Gay Men’s Chorus’s spring concert.

• $3,000 to North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center for Out on the Town to support an audience development program designed especially for the gay and lesbian community.

• $3,000 to Time Out Youth Speakers Bureau to support three to five students who will present their stories to an audience to help educate the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community about issues related to LGBTQ youth.

• $2,500 to Campus Pride for Charlotte Youth Action Network to support a camp that unites undergraduate student leaders for the purpose of creating welcoming, safer and more LGBT-friendly colleges and universities.

• $2,500 to Planned Parenthood for LGBTQ Initiative to purchase LGBTQ education and outreach materials for use in its teen mentoring program, community presentations, tabling events, panel discussions, speaking engagements, and staff training.

• $2,500 University of North Carolina-Charlotte for OUTspoken 2008 to support the annual LGBT speaker series at UNC-C.

In addition to supporting lesbian and gay organizations through grants, the Fund was created to provide individuals with an opportunity to make planned gifts that will benefit the LGBT community in perpetuity. Planned gifts also provide funding for alliance building activities and increase the capacity of non-profits serving LGBT individuals and their families.

For more information on planned gifts, contact Senior Vice President of Development & Planned Giving Bart Landess at 704-973-4558 or email or Vice President of Planned Giving Kerri Mast, at 704-973-4582 or email


Conference rewards duty-bound
GREENSBORO — The 2008 Critical Issues Seminar sponsored by the North Carolina Council of Churches (NCCC) was held on May 13 at Greensboro College. The topic this year, “From Hostility to Hospitality: Immigration and People of Faith,” set the stage on how to welcome and treat immigrants in N.C. as Christians instead of the hateful and dehumanizing way that is become more prevalent.
In addition, the 2008 Distinguished Service awards were given to three people who fought for full inclusion of various constituencies within church work.

Vernon Tyson, a retired United Methodist minister, worked for civil rights in N.C. and formed the heart of the book “Blood Done Sign My Name,” written by his son Tim. Vernon was very active with the Council, including serving as chair of our Commission on Social Justice.

David Forbes, pastor of the Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh, was a past representative of the General Baptist State Convention on the Council’s Executive Board. He has a long history in the civil rights movement, including arrests in early sit-in demonstrations and participation in the founding of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He has also been involved with the issue of homelessness in Raleigh and has been the driving force focusing attention on the “lost generation” (young minority men headed towards lives of poverty and prison).

Lastly, Jimmy Creech, United Methodist, was a former program associate with the Council of Churches. He is probably best known for his work to end discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and to end the exclusion of people who are gay or lesbian from churches. While with the Council, he was also instrumental in organizing opposition to the death penalty and in the formation of the Covenant with NC’s Children, along with other work.

MCC is a member of NCCC, with delegates from most of the N.C. church bodies. In addition, Stan Kimer, member of St. John’s MCC, Raleigh, is the second vice-president of the Executive Board of the Council. Other noted members are Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, the Diocese of Charlotte (which has several parishes who have LGBT ministries) and others.

For more information, visit

Burn it
WINSTON-SALEM — On March 30, Metropolitan Community Church of Winston-Salem held a mortgage burning celebration. The church paid off their mortgage in December after receiving a number of generous contributions.

Rev. Joe Cobb is the minister, having taken the pulpit on March 18, 2007.

The church continues to collect canned goods for their food pantry, as well as that of the AIDS Care Service.

For more information and church-related activities, visit


Host a party
HICKORY — Dining for Friends is looking for folks to host parties to raise money for the AIDS Leadership Foothills-area Alliance, Inc. (ALFA).

Party packets are available at the ALFA office at 1120 Fairgrove Church Rd., SE, Suite 28.
Co-chairs for the event are Eddie Beard and Larry Johnson. Beard is vice president of patient services at Catawba Valley Medical Center. He currently serves as ALFA board president. Johnson is an attorney with Johnson Law Office and has served as ALFA’s legal counsel.

The finale will be held on June 27, 8 p.m.-midnight ad Market on Main, 335 Main Ave. SW. Hosts and their guests receive an Admit One ticket to the event.

Enter to win in several raffles. For $5/ticket, how about a four-day, 3-night stay in Holden Beach, DeWALT power tools or Market meals? For $50/ticket, a winner might receive a fully-furnished living room from Classic Leather, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Vanguard Furniture and Robert Abbey, Inc.
For packets, tickets, sponsorship, contributions or more information, call 828-322-1447, ext. 224, or visit

More Pride, mountain style
BOONE — Boone Pride Inc., a local non-profit, has announced that Pride 2008, the High Country’s fourth annual LGBT event, will be held June 13-15. In keeping with the national Pride theme, “Live, Love, Be,” promoters hope to fulfill its local mission to celebrate, unite, and support the growing LGBT community. The celebration begins with its first-ever live music event from 8 p.m.-midnight on the patio at the Broyhill Inn & Conference Center, 775 Bodenheimer Dr.

Performers will be Crys Matthews (8 p.m. opening act); The Melinda Kingsley Band (9 p.m.); and Melissa Reaves (10 p.m. headliner).

Matthews offers an eclectic blend of funk, blues and jazz singer/songwriter. A self-proclaimed old soul, the southeastern North Carolina native first popped onto the local music scene in Boone in 1999 as a vocalist/keyboardist with the band Half & Half before breaking out with her own solo career.

The Melinda Kingsley Band is a folk/rock trio comprised of Melinda Kingsley on vocals and guitar, Mac on drums and guitar and KT on bass. The Melinda Kingsley Band’s murky ballads and southern influenced rock showcase their song stories in a subliminally accessible, yet easily swallowed musical form. Kingsley is a singer/songwriter who grew up in the foothills of northwest Georgia, but moved to Atlanta to pursue singing in a more serious venue.

Reaves has been delighting audiences throughout the U.S. for more than a decade with her rock, funk and rhythm & blues-based sound. Reaves is a powerful vocalist and guitar player whose style ranges from driving rock & roll to a funk and groove sound that lends itself to a diverse repertoire of originals. Performing over 200 shows per year, she spends most of her time touring with her eclectic solo show, as well as with the four talented musicians from her band. Her avant-garde, fire driven rock & roll approach is accompanied by being a master of improv.

Saturday’s events include workshops on “Living in the Community,” “Loving: Sexual Health” and “Being: Personal Coming Out Stories” at the Watauga Public Library, 140 Queen St., from 1-4 p.m. DJ Outstreet will spin at a dance with a cash bar will be held at the Broyhill from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Roxanne Davenport will be on hand as well.

Beginning at noon, Sunday’s event at Junaluska Park off Bear Trail, includes a family picnic and cookout hosted by High Country Church of Christ, softball games, a “Really, Really Free Market,” and plenty of spontaneous festive family fun.

Proceeds from Boone Pride 2008 will continue to fund a scholarship for a deserving area student, the organization’s website, Pride events, community projects and maintain an ongoing commitment to provide LGBT literature to public libraries.

The $10 tickets include all events and are available at, at BeansTalk, 611 W. King St. or at the door.
Want to volunteer? Then head out to the library on June 4 for training, as well as making buttons, decorations and putting up flyers around town. No artistic skills are required. Bring art supplies, staple guns, push pins, if available. Sign up sheets will be available for event volunteer positions. To join, email

For more information, visit www.boonepride/org/pride.

info: Announce your community event in NC News Notes. email: or fax 704-531-1361.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.