HRC revamps youth leader program

toy_logoCHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Charlotte Steering Committee, in partnership with Time Out Youth Center, has completed accepting applications for the 2014 Emerging Leaders program. The redesigned, Emerging Leaders Program, is a year-long program focused on training LGBTQ young adult leaders, ages 18-25, in the Carolinas. Thirty participants will be included in the 2014 class.

The kickoff for the program will be held on Feb. 22 at Time Out Youth Center, 2320 N. Davidson St., in conjunction with the 2014 HRC North Carolina Gala. A two-day seminar will provide participants with a focus on identifying key competencies of leadership. Afterward quarterly training programs and volunteer activities will help to increase LGBTQ awareness on key days.

Time Out Youth Center Executive Director Rodney Tucker said, “Identifying social justice, activism and leadership is key to educating a generation of new leaders for equality and the summit will do just that. We are excited for the yearlong expanded program in partnership with the Center’s leadership program.”

“Nationally, HRC is becoming more involved with youth issues. With our history with developing the Emerging Leaders program, we are proud to expand the program and partner locally,” said Dan Mauney, HRC Board of Governors. “HRC is hosting its first national youth conference, Time To Thrive. We believe in creating the next wave of LGBTQ leaders locally and have a renewed commitment to this project.”


— L.M. and releases

Band to make music

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Pride Band will share their musical talents when they explore the Old West in their “The Oregon Trail” concert on March 1, 7 p.m., in Heaton Hall at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Rd.

This adventure commemorates the victories and hardships of the 19th century western expansion from Missouri to the Pacific. Among pieces featured will be Copland’s “An Outdoor Overture,” Barnes’s “Beautiful Oregon,” Hazo’s “Across the Halfpipe,” Robert Smith’s “Buffalo Dances,” Buckley’s “Pacifica,” and Wilson’s “Colorado Peaks.”

Tickets are $13/regular and $10/band members and are available online.


— L.M.

Youth center adds trans support

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center, 2320 N. Davidson St., has instituted a new weekly support group for transgender and gender questioning/non-conforming youth, ages 13-20.

Q-Tribe meets on Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. This group is structured to promote personal growth and discovery through shared experiences, education and respect with a goal of providing a safe space where trans youth can be their authentic selves in a judgment-free environment.

Group leaders are Carrie Barto and Constance Brooks. They bring a clinical and personal approach to the open meetings. No pre-screening is required to attend Q-Tribe.

In other news, the 7th Annual Celebration of the Arts will be held on Feb. 28, 8 p.m., at Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Rd. Proceeds from the event will benefit Time Out Youth Center.

Produced by Vito Abate, the show will feature singers, dancers, actors and performance artists from Charlotte and New York.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails. Curtain opens at 7:30 p.m. for a two-act show.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through Time Out Youth Center or at the door.


— L.M.

MeckPAC makes bylaws change

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — MeckPAC’s steering committee members voted in January to revise a part of its bylaws which allowed it to move elections of new members to January of each year.

Immediately following this revision, chair, treasurer and at-large positions were up for nominations.

Scott Bishop was elected to a second two-year term as chair. In late 2011, he was appointed chair. During his tenure MecPAC played a role in working with former Charlotte City Manger Curt Walton on securing domestic partner benefits for the city’s lesbian and gay employees, as well as adding gender identity to Charlotte’s non-discrimination policy.

Elected to serve a second two-year term as treasurer was Larry Ferri. He is retired from the California State Park System.

At-large members who were elected were Sarah Demarest, Jamie Hildreth and Crystal Richardson.

Demarest serves as a staff attorney and coordinator for the LGBTQ Law Center. Her career has spanned across many LGBT advocacy organizations, as well as ballot initiatives and more.

Hildreth has served as chair of the Development Committee with Charlotte Pride, as well as being a committed humanitarian relief worker.

Richardson, an attorney, is a member of the Human Rights Campaign and ACLU-Charlotte.

Those who are continuing their service are Vice Chair Jerry Ancrum and At Large Member Roberta Dunn.

Long-time committee member and former chair Phil Hargett has stepped down from the committee. He will continue to advise the group.


— L.M.

Pride vendor apps being accepted

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Pride has announced that it is now accepting vendor applications for its 2014 festival.

Last year’s event was sold out, and they expect the same this year. The organizers encourage early application.

To ensure cost savings and environmental friendliness, this year they are collecting applications online. However, arrangements can be made with the vendor coordinator to obtain a paper application, if the need arises.

Charlotte Pride’s festival policies, terms and conditions and answers to commonly asked questions are available online.

Organizers have found the vendor space to be an effective way to reach the LGBT and allied community. Space is open to both for-profit businesses and non-profit causes, as well as political candidates, artists, retailers, novelty booths and more.


— L.M.

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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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.