The House of Mercy Walk for AIDS will be held on April 14.

Mercy AIDS walk hits silver

BELMONT, N.C. — The Walk for AIDS to benefit the House of Mercy will mark a milestone, its 25th year, at this year’s event which will be held on April 14, 10 a.m., on the Sisters of Mercy campus, 100 McAuley Cir.

The three-mile trek helps raise funds for the facility that provides compassionate care for low-income men and women living with AIDS. This year’s goal is $45,000.

Registration starts at 9:30 a.m., with the walk following.

A picnic reception caps off the day’s event with music, prizes and awards presentations.

In order for organizers to be properly prepared for those who will attend the picnic, they are asking participants to notify them by calling 704-825-4711, ext. 3 or via email at

Walk organizers are seeking individuals or teams who wish to participate, in addition to sponsors. A T-shirt will be given to the first 300 participants who raise $50 or more. Visit the website to learn more.

Contributions are also being accepted and can be sent to House of Mercy, P.O. Box 808, Belmont, NC 28012. Checks should be made out to House of Mercy. Additionally, contributions can be made online by clicking the “Donate Now” button.


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Men’s chorus at worship and in concert

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On April 8 at 10:30 a.m., the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte will assist in leading morning worship at St. John’s Baptist Church, 300 Hawthorne Ln.

The church is a diverse congregation that enjoys traditional music as well as contemporary, jazz and even ancient chant in their services. The chorus will sing several songs during this worship service. They will conclude with a group number along with the St. John’s Chancel choir.

Then from April 13-15 at three separate venues, the chorus will present “One Day: A Concert of Healing and Reconciliation,” a hopeful and uplifting concert during which the community will reflect on the lives and loss of men killed in acts of senseless violence.

Featured works include Carolina premiers of “Be At My Side,” nominated for the American Prize in Composition, a setting of “The Police Officer’s Prayer” composed by Charlotte’s own Gerald Gurss; and “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” from the pen of composer Joel Thompson who drew the texts from the last words that seven black men spoke before being killed by authority figures.

Location and times are: Apr 13, 7:30 p.m. Statesville Avenue Presbyterian Church 3435 Nevin Rd., Charlotte; April 14, 7:30 pm. All Saint’s Episcopal Church 1201 S. New Hope Rd., Gastonia, Benefit performance for PFLAG Gastonia; and April 15, 3 p.m. St. John’s Baptist Church 300 Hawthorne Ln., Charlotte.

Tickets are $25 and are available online at the chorus website.


Chamber slates speed networking

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce will hold it’S annual speed networking event, “The Need for Speed,” on March 27, 6:30 p.m., at Resident Culture Brewing, 2101 Central Ave.

Participants will enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and food trucks. Members will receive complimentary brews. Free parking is available.


Chorus concert announced

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One Voice Chorus of Charlotte, in collaboration with the Allen University Chorus out of Columbia, S.C., and with guest soloists Sonya Headlam (soprano) and Ramelle Brooks (bass-baritone), will present “Man Behind the Dream” in its performance premiere concert on April 8, 3 p.m., at the Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St.

The newly co-commissioned work by black composer Steve Milroy and One Voice tells the story of Bayard Rustin who served as personal assistant to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Milloy is a Cincinnati, Ohio native who has been writing music for the GALA chorus movement for many years.

Rustin was a black, gay, civil rights activist, and he was the person responsible for organizing the 1963 March on Washington. Because he was an out gay man, the churches leading the civil rights cause warned King to have Rustin be in the shadows. “Some religious leaders did not want Rustin in the foreground because he was a gay man, and they believed his sexuality would hinder the progress of the Civil Rights movement,” the chorus shared. They even threatened King with starting a rumor that he and Rustin were lovers if Rustin did not step back from the forefront of the movement.

“Rustin’s story is more relevant,” the chorus added. Few people know the actual story behind the March on Washington, and this work brings together those details while recounting the details of Rustin’s life in general. 

Tickets are available for $20. Due to the small venue, the show is expected to sell out, so purchase tickets quickly to secure a seat.


Center partners with seniors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Freedom Center for Social Justice (FCSJ) has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Aldersgate Senior Living Community, located at 3800 Shamrock Dr.

“This relationship reflects our deepening commitment to intergenerational and intersectional work,” the center said.

FCSJ will be a part of the Elder’s Council that is working to bring the very first Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) chapter to Mecklenburg County.

“Far too often our LGBTQ elders are left out of vital conversations and efforts that focus on protections, inclusion and support for the community. That all changes now!,” remarked Bishop Tonyia Rawls, FCSJ’s executive director.

The center will also be working with Aldersgate as a local resource on ways they can work with their seniors to provide varied viewpoints on LGBTQ life. The collaboration will provide a shared learning environment, in addition to an opportunity to build a more inclusive East Charlotte. “We are thrilled to be a part of the process of making this incredibly diverse community even more welcoming and inclusive,” the center added.

In other news, on April 13 the center will present a workshop, “NC Churches in Ally-ship with Trans Women,” at the North Carolina Council of Churches Critical Issues Seminar. Participants will be guided on how to transform their places of worship into embracing communities for all women.

Additionally, the center got an office makeover when interior designer Brett Steward transformed the space into one that matched the staff’s “dream” of having their work environment reflect their values and work. The letters “EAC” embellish the wall to remind the center’s staff and volunteers that the purpose of all its programs is to “Educate, Advocate, and Celebrate!” The community can host meetings, small gatherings or simply co-work in the newly renovated office space. Email to learn more.


Novant launches leaders program

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Honoring the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. and his service to others, Novant Health is launching a leadership program called the H: Drive Experience; the “H” represents “hidden.”

The pilot program aims to identify untapped, high-potential leaders who are invested and engaged in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community but who might not otherwise have access to leadership development opportunities.

“At Novant Health, diversity and inclusion are more than just words. They’re core values,” said Tanya Blackmon, Novant Health executive vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “We are proud to provide a leadership development opportunity through the H: Drive Experience that will further benefit our diverse communities.” 

Through a combination of core sessions, coaching, interaction with community leaders and shared group experiences, prominent change agents in the community will facilitate personal and leadership development designed to help participants create a clearer sense of purpose, strengthen their leadership voice and deepen their commitment to serve.

The nine-month program will begin in May 2018 and end in January 2019. Participants, who will be notified by April 9 of their selection, are asked to make a firm commitment to attend the scheduled sessions and invest in their personal development.

H: Drive participants will be recognized during Opera Carolina’s opening night performance of “I Dream,” presented by Novant Health, on May 18. “I Dream” is a modern, rhythm and blues opera based on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Questions about the program can be directed to Arlene Ferebee at


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Share your news with us

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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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.