Durham center under exploration

DURHAM, N.C. — A packed mixer was held on June 20 at Ninth Street Bakery Café to share with the community efforts toward development of an LGBT center in Durham.

Spearheading the effort are LGBT Center of Raleigh board members Helena Cragg and Tom McEvoy, along with Henry Amador. Other steering committee members are Milan Pham, Jamie Jennings and Kirk Royal.

On Oct. 23, 2013, a town hall meeting was held at the LGBT Center of Raleigh, where conversations began on how to best serve the LGBT community in Durham. Discussion centered around the creation of a LGBT center there. McEvoy and Cragg became co-project leaders of a steering committee and began discussions with area leaders to gauge the needs of the LGBT community and how to accomplish project goals. And, Amador was selected to serve on the group’s communications committee.

Currently, the organizers are seeking input from those whom the center would serve.

Fiscal responsibility is crucial and the Raleigh center offered to sponsor the effort.

Now the Durham steering committee is asking everyone to join their email list and like the Facebook page. Of course, getting the word out is important too and stepping up to sit on the steering committee is essential as well. For those who do not have the time to devote to a more intense commitment are still needed.

To meet the short- and long-term financial requirements for establishing the center, fundraising efforts are underway. Contributions are being sought and can be made online.


Network meeting geared toward film festival

RALEIGH — The Raleigh Business and Professional Network will hold its monthly meeting on July 9, 6:30 p.m., at 18 Seaboard, 18 Seaboard Ave., #100. The evening’s program will center on the 2014 North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

The film festival, slated for Aug. 15-24,  is the second largest gay, lesbian and transgender film festival in the Southeast.

Registration is available online.


Angels film marathon at center

RALEIGH — The two-part “Angels in America” films will be shown on July 13, 12-6 p.m., at the Raleigh LGBT Center, 324 S. Harrington St.

Set in New York City in 1985, the movie tells the tale in of a heart-wrenching search to find love and companionship during the early days of the AIDS epidemic.  The six-hour, adult-themed movie will be shown from beginning to end, and people are invited to attend the viewing at any point that they desire.

Attendees can bring lunch or something to share for potluck.


Center seeks coordinator

RALEIGH, N.C. — The LGBT Center of Raleigh, 324 S. Harrington St., is searching for a volunteer coordinator.

Applicant should be a good, responsible team player and skilled at public speaking, while exuding a sense of humor and outgoing personality.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to assisting with volunteer orientation on the first Saturday of each month and scheduling volunteer events; community outreach to organizations and colleges for volunteers.

The coordinator must attend all Out! Raleigh meetings and orientations and be willing to work two shifts per month at the center. Attention to detail is imperative, as well as promptness.

Interested parties can email to be considered or for more information.


Student center interviewing director candidates

DURHAM, N.C. — The GLBT Center at North Carolina State University is in the process of interviewing candidates for a new director.

Heading up the search committee is Associate Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Equity Amy Circosta.

On May 19, longtime director Justine Hollingshead stepped down for her position to assume the role of assistant to the vice chancellor and dean for the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, The Technician reported.

Three potential candidates, out of 40 applicants, have been identified and each must visit the school to give presentations as a part of the vetting process. The first one, Parker Hurley, visited the school on June 25. The remaining hopefuls, Renee Wells and Jenny Kurtz will handle their presentation process in early July at 100 Winslow Hall from 1-2 p.m. Students and the public are encouraged to attend.

Hurley is a Ph.D. candidate in the Higher Education program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and serves as LGBTQA coordinator and director of the Bayard Rustin Center at Guilford College.

Wells is assistant director at Michigan Technological University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Kurtz was recently director of the Center for Social Justice Education & LGBT Communities at Rutgers University, but has vacated her position recently.

The selection will be made after the final presentations with a target start day of Aug. 1 for the one chosen.


Church sells building

RALEIGH, N.C. — St. John’s MCC had a problem that most would find welcoming. They had outgrown their facility at 805 Glenwood Ave. and found a need to secure a new church home.

Their Glenwood Ave. property netted 9,000 sq. ft of space, but they had only been able to use 4,000 sq. ft. of it due to structural and other aging issues. Even with creativity, the building simply did not work anymore.

The mortgage was paid off in November 2013. This had been accomplished through a successful 2012-13 capital campaign, as well as a personal gift.

St. John’s was approached by a developer who was interested in the property. The church hired a broker in December and in February voted to sell the property.

“With a firm offer and closing date set for June 2, the congregation began exploring options. After a methodical search, the decision was made to lease 622 Maywood Ave. This facility has more parking, over 7,000 sq. ft. of worship, office and meeting space and 1,200 sq. ft. of secure storage. In addition, it comes with a large yard area for kids and outdoor activities,” Mike Gauss, director of public relations, said.

During May, church members spent time freshening up the property and landscaping the grounds.

And, on June 8, they held their first service at their space.

Currently, the board has decided to “test drive” the facility to see if it meets the needs of the congregation for the long haul. Consensus was that they did not want to jump into a mortgage and get locked in without an exit plan.


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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 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.