Pride Center, Arts & Ideas Fest host Racial Justice Day of Action


NEW HAVEN, CT – On its second annual day of action, the New Haven Pride Center is hosting a full-day series of workshops and keynotes on LGBTQ + racial justice issues.

The day is curated by Ala Ochumare, co-founder of Black Lives Matter New Haven, and Patrick Dunn, director of the Pride Center. The New Haven Pride Center is one of the few arts-oriented LGBTQ + resource centers in the area that is promoting meaningful change for the queer community.

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas is proud to partner with the Pride Center to present this all-day, virtual program eventit was noted in a press release.

The theme of this year’s day of action is racial justice and its overlap with the LGBTQ + community. According to Dunn, racial justice is non-negotiable in the fight for LGBTQ + rights.

“Racial justice is an LGBTQ + problem. Gender equality is an LGBTQ + problem. The centre’s days of action are designed to bring the LGBTQ + community and our allies together to gain a deep insight into our complicity in the community of racism, sexism, Xenophobia and other isms and obias that plague society, “Dunn said. “It is imperative to take a moment to understand how our movement towards equality is holistically linked to all other social justice movements. These days of programming bring us together to learn from one another, to inspire one another and grow as a community. “

Executive Director Shelley Quiala said the Festival of Arts & Ideas was “honored to share this work and strengthen its relationship with the New Haven Pride Center.”

“The festival’s commitment to racial justice is a central part of our work – in programming, in organizational systems and in the way we present ourselves in the community,” said Quiala. “Those who have advocated movement for decades have long understood the intersectionality of our work. We are fortunate to work with peer organizations that not only see this as an idea but also embed it in their practice. The New Haven Pride Center is one of those incredible organizations and we couldn’t be more grateful for their partnership. “

As co-curator of the day of action, Ochumare emphasized “how important it is to understand that social justice and struggles for justice are intertwined”.

“All people are socialized into racism not only through formal institutions, but also culturally, emotionally, through our lived experiences, our families and media,” said Ochumare. “Living in a strange body doesn’t mean a person is immune to oppression.”

Ochumare added that “in order to fully embody liberation and social justice, we must deeply embody intersectionality”.

“Black Latinx and Brown Folx are LGBTQIA + Folx,” Ochumare was quoted as saying in a press release.

“Racism and anti-queerness have both been written into the constitution of this and every colonized country. The result of this is that we are all living through endless genocide. It is time for everyone to do their part to end it.”

She said the day of action was “a snapshot of what it means not just to do the job, but to heal because of the work”.

The day of action will include several panels and workshops, including:

  • Combating the anti-Asian mood in the queer community (10:30 a.m.)
  • The Complexity of Black Sexuality and Identity (Noon)
  • Workshop: Destigmatizing the Body in the Racial Justice Movement (1:30 p.m.)
  • Workshop: Holistic Anti-Racism for Whites (3 p.m.)

The main talk at 5pm will be with celebrated activist Blair Imani and moderated by New Haven’s own singer / songwriter / activist Salwa Abdussabur. The day will culminate with a spoken word performance by local artists.

Further information and a full selection of panels and workshops can be found on the action day Website.

Via the New Haven Pride Center

The purpose of the New Haven Pride Center, formerly the New Haven Gay and Lesbian Community Center, is to provide educational, cultural and social enrichment for the LGBTQ + community, their allies and members in order to make a positive contribution to the entire community of Greater New to afford oasis.

The New Haven Pride Center dates back to 1993 when a group of activists campaigned for the recognition of a domestic partnership by the City of New Haven and the Board of Aldermen of New Haven. Similar to Hartford’s legislation, this would have allowed same-sex couples to symbolically register their relationships on a public forum and give them access to additional benefits. At this point, the Board of Aldermen has not approved the legislation. After this loss of civil rights, the founder of the New Haven Pride Center, John D. Allen, Ed.D. conducted a needs assessment for the regional LGBTQ + community as part of his thesis at Southern Connecticut State University.

On May 27, 1996, the center was officially incorporated, and on November 17, 1996, the center opened its doors to the community.

Since its inception, the New Haven Pride Center has worked hard to create a safe space for support groups, LGBTQ + programming, advocacy, and activism within the Greater New Haven community. For the past two decades, the center has been home to many community areas and peer-run programs, including our oldest support group – the Rainbow Support Group for people with disabilities. This group was the first of its kind in the nation and was used as a model across the country.

In June 2017, the center announced its move from a nonprofit to a staffed facility with our first employee, Patrick Dunn, who started on August 1, 2017. Since then, the center has grown tremendously, adding numerous support groups and social programs, creating a rotating gallery space for LGBTQ + art installations, expanding the existing program including PRIDE New Haven, and improving conversation through advocacy at the city and state levels.

About the International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Imagine New Haven. Imagina un mundo sin fronteras. Imagine music. Imagine theater. Imagine a better world. Just imagine – at the Festival 2021. Together we will explore the world as it is and how it could be, with events ranging from drag to drumming, bike tours to beekeeping, truffle making to cocktail tasting. Featuring paddleboard yoga, hair art, fresh take on Shakespeare, gospel, Grammy winners and a lot more. With more than 200 events – 95% of which are free – the Festival 2021 has something for everyone. The full list will be announced shortly. Tickets on sale May 3rd. Subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date. The events will primarily be virtual and programmed in person upon prior reservation. Learn more at

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas is a year-round organization that culminates each summer in New Haven, Connecticut with an annual performing arts celebration, lectures, and conversation. The festival gathers leading artists, thought leaders and innovators from around the world in dynamic public programs to engage, entertain and inspire a wide variety of communities. In 2021, more than 95% of the festival programs will be free to the public, including events that will feature some of the most influential music, dance and theater artists of our time.

The 2021 festival takes place virtually and in the open air in downtown New Haven in the heart of the Northeast Corridor, two and a half hours south of Boston and 90 minutes north of New York City.

The festival’s programs run throughout the year and include additional performances, educational opportunities, and the annual Visionary Leadership Award. The festival was founded in 1996 by Anne Calabresi, Jean M. Handley and Roslyn Meyer, who envisioned an annual celebration in New Haven – a city full of cultural and educational traditions – that is different from other art festivals by its fusion of the arts with events dedicated to the arts Exchange of ideas.

The festival is being run with great support from Yale University, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from The City of New Haven, the Avangrid Foundation in collaboration with United Illuminating, presents and Southern CT Gas, Connecticut Humanities, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and our generous community of individual supporters.

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