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NYC Pride Membership Elects a New, Diverse Executive Board

Friday September 25, 2020

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Heritage of Pride, Inc (HOP), the organization that produces the official NYC Pride events, has appointed a new, diverse Executive Board elected by the organization's membership.

Comprised of eight people of color, four women, and one non-binary individual, the newly elected Executive Board is among the most diverse in the organization's history. The Board plans to begin its term with 90 days of research to better guide the organization and answer the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community.

"Our membership has spoken, electing one of the most diverse Heritage of Pride Boards ever," said André Thomas, newly elected Co-Chair of the organization. "Our members realize this moment requires new voices with more diverse, lived experiences — and while we are proud to see people of color make up over half of the Board for the first time, we know we still have work to do concerning trans, female and bisexual representation within our membership as well as our Board."

In 2020, amidst the cancellation of in-person Pride events resulting from COVID-19, NYC Pride delivered a broad array of virtual events, including a special Pride broadcast on WABC-TV celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the first NYC Pride March. Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, Brandon Wolf, Ashlee Marie Preston, and Jonathan Van Ness were among the numerous LGBTQIA+ activists, speakers, and performers who participated in this year's Pride Month events. Meaningful discussions ranging from anti-trans violence, intersectionality, and the role of guns were a common thread throughout the events.

Over the past few months, Heritage of Pride has hosted town halls and recruited advisors to guide the organization through recent internal discussions surrounding important issues, including Black Lives Matter. The LGBTQIA+ community has challenged Heritage of Pride to think deeply about issues such as BIPOC representation, NYPD presence, corporate involvement, and trans voices within NYC Pride's membership and the Executive Board.

"As a Board, we realize that this is an opportunity to start a new year with in-depth research to better guide our goals as leaders this Pride season," said Allie Riley-Murphy, the organization's newly elected Development Director. "Heritage of Pride has an opportunity to reflect this moment in culture, but we need to understand the wants and needs from the entire LGBTQIA+ community first."

The 90-day period of research will help the organization understand the LGBTQIA+ community's needs in the Tri-State Area, North America, and beyond. This research will include in-depth interviews, focus groups, and surveys to gather a deeper understanding of what the community would like to see from NYC Pride.

Anyone interested in joining Heritage of Pride as a member or participating in Heritage of Pride's 90 days of research is encouraged to email [email protected].

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