Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Delray Beach LGBTQIA+ Pride Streetscape Ribbon Cutting on June 12 at 10:00 a.m.

 

On Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 a.m., Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia and City Commissioners will dedicate the city's newest memorial -- the LGBTQ Pride Streetscape.

“The Pride Streetscape is about solidarity, inclusion, and visibility; a proud celebration of our city’s diversity," said Mayor Shelly Petrolia.
Image courtesy of Maxwell Zengage
The streetscape, based on the Progress Pride Flag, is located at the intersection of NE 2nd Avenue and NE 1st Street in Pineapple Grove Arts District in Delray Beach

The Progress Pride Flag adds five colors to the iconic six-color Rainbow Pride Flag .The additional colors -- black, brown, light blue, pink, and white -- emphasizes inclusion and progression, representing people of color, trans and non-binary individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS.
Last fall, City Commissioner Ryan Boylston opened discussions about bringing significant LGBTQ public art to the city with resident Nicholas Coppola and Rand Hoch, President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC).

"The LGBTQ community in Delray Beach is incredibly diverse, as is the population of the city itself," said Boynston. "With this streetscape, we recognize and honor all of our residents and visitors."
Coppola serves on the Board of Trustees of Compass, Palm Beach County's LGBTQ community center.The organization's mission is to engage, empower, and enrich the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and those impacted by HIV and AIDS.

"When the the City of St. Petersburg completed their Pride streetscape last year, Commissioner Boylston reached out to us," said Coppola. "Ryan has been -- and continues to be -- an incredible ally to the LGBTQ community. His leadership on our streetscape is just one more way he shows his support."
Planning for the streetscape involved staff from various city departments, Compass and other stakeholders from the LGBTQ community, and the support of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and PBCHRC -- the project's sponsors..
PBCHRC is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. 
"We thank Delray Beach's elected officials and staff, for creating this amazing monument to the city's LGBTQ community." said Hoch.

"Over the past thirty years, the LGBTQ community in Delray Beach has gone from being nearly invisible, to being tolerated, to being acknowledged, to being granted equal rights and benefits, to having our families recognized, and now, to having the diversity of the LGBTQIA+community publically celebrated," said Hoch. "That is quite an achievement.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Boynton Beach LGBTQ Progress Pride Intersection Ribbon Cutting on June 7

 

On Monday, June 7 at 5:30 p.m., Boynton Beach Mayor Steven Grant and City Commissioners will cut the ribbon to dedicate the city's newest memorial -- the Pride Intersection.
Image courtesy of the City of Boynton Beach
The street art, based on the Progress Pride Flag, is located at the intersection of East Ocean Avenue and 1st Street SE at the end of the city's Town Square.

The Progress Pride Flag adds a five-colored chevron to the iconic six-color Rainbow Pride Flag .The chevron emphasizes inclusion and progression, as the additional colors -- black, brown, light blue, pink, and white -- represent people of color, trans and non-binary individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS.
Last fall, at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) ,City Commissioner Ty Penserga asked his colleagues to consider a public art installation to honor the city's LGBTQ community.

PBCHRC is Florida’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The organization's second president, Norman Aaron, was a resident of Boynton Beach
Following a review of several designs created by city staff, the City Commission approved the Progress Pride design which will be dedicated on Monday.
"By highlighting the LGBTQ streetscape at the entrance to Town Square and downtown Boynton Beach, city officials are proudly letting LGBTQ people know that we recognize you, we stand with you, and we are all part of the fabric that strengthens Boynton Beach," said Penserga, who is Boynton Beach's first openly gay elected official. "We are sending a clear the message -- especially to our younger LGBTQ residents -- that everyone is welcome in Boynton Beach and that our community supports you."
"We thank Mayor Grant and the City Commissioners, as well as city staff, for creating this amazing monument to the city's LGBTQ community." said PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch.

"Over the past thirty years, the LGBTQ community in Boynton Beach has gone from being nearly invisible, to being tolerated, to being acknowledged, to being granted equal rights and benefits, to having our families recognized, and now, to having the diversity of the LGBTQ community publically celebrated," said Hoch. "That is quite an achievement."

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

West Palm Beach LGBTQ Pride Crosswalk Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on June 3

On Thursday, June 3 at 9:30 a.m., West Palm Beach City Commissioners will cut the ribbon to dedicate the city's newest memorial -- the LGBTQ Pride Crosswalks. .
Photo courtesy of  joewilliams.dronepilot
The crosswalks are located at the intersection of Northwood Road and Spruce Avenue in Northwood Village, the traditional heart of the city’s LGBTQ business district. They feature red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet stripes, displaying the colors in the iconic Pride Flag.
In 2018, a request for Pride crossworks was made by Rand Hoch, who served on the West Palm Beach Art in Public Places (now ArtLife WPB). Hoch is also President and Founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC),

PBCHRC is Florida’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
After then-Mayor Jeri Muoio embraced the idea, PBCHRC reached out to LGBTQ residents and business owners throughout West Palm Beach, seeking suggestions for the location of the crosswalks.

"Since the late-1980s, there have been more LGBTQ residents and businesses in the Northwood communities than anywhere else in the city," said Hoch. "It was no surprise the consensus was to install the Pride crosswalks in Northwood Village."

“Business owners are thrilled with the crosswalks,” said Will Davis, President of the Northwood Village Merchants Association. “They are beautiful — and definitely worth the wait.”

Funding for the Pride Crosswalks was provided by the City of West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. Hierromat, a locally gay owned and operated business, will provide funding to maintain the crosswalks.
"Over the past several decades, the LGBTQ community in West Palm Beach has gone from being nearly invisible, to being tolerated, to being acknowledged, to being granted equal rights and benefits, to having our families recognized, and now, to having the diversity of the LGBTQ community publicly celebrated," said Hoch.. "That is quite an achievement."

While the Northwood Village Pride crosswalks are the first public artworks dedicated to the LGBTQ community in Palm Beach County, LGBTQ Pride streetscapes in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach will be installed and dedicated in June.

 

World’s First "Progress Pride" Public Bus Debuts In Palm Beach County

 

 In honor of LGBTQ+ Pride month, Palm Tran, the public transit system serving Palm Beach County, has rolled out its “Ride with Pride” bus.

Throughout the month of June, the “Ride with “Pride” bus will operate daily along Palm Tran’s Route 1. With close to 200 stops, Route 1 is Palm Tran’s longest and most visible route, running from Palm Beach Gardens to Boca Raton, in great part along U.S. Highway 1.
Photo courtesy of Palm Tran
While buses decorated in the colors of the iconic Rainbow Pride Flag have operated around the world for more than a dozen years, this year, Palm Tran’s “Ride with “Pride” bus and Pinelllas Suncoast Transit Authoritiey's “Ride with “Pride” bus, are the world’s first public buses to be fully wrapped with the eleven colors of the Progress Pride Flag.

Representing represent people of color, trans and non-binary individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS, black, brown, light blue, pink, and white stripes are incorporated into the Progress Pride Flag, along with the six colors of the iconic Rainbow Flag.

“I am extremely proud of the talented and diverse employees we have at Palm Tran," said Clinton B. Forbes, Palm Tran's Executive Director. "This bus further highlights our long-standing commitment to equality for everyone."

The "Ride with Pride" bus is a Palm Tran partnership with two local LGBTQ organizations – Compass and the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC).
Compass is one of the largest LGBTQ community centers in Florida. Its mission is to engage, empower and enrich the lives of LGBTQ people and those impacted by HIV and AIDS. 

“Palm Beach County is a beacon for the LGBTQ community,” said Compass Executive Director Julie Seaver. “Palm Tran’s celebration of our vibrant, colorful, and diverse community is both endearing and empowering.”
PBCHRC is Florida’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The organization promotes equality through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation, and community outreach. 
“Palm Tran has long been a leader in providing LGBTQ employees with equal protections, rights and benefits,” said PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch. “The ‘Ride with Pride’ bus lets everyone know Palm Trans commitment to diversity extends to the entire LGBTQ community.”

"Over the past several decades, the LGBTQ community in Palm Beach County has gone from being nearly invisible, to being tolerated, to being acknowledged, to being granted equal rights and benefits, to having our families recognized, and now, to having the diversity of the LGBTQ community publicly celebrated," said Hoch.. "That is quite an achievement."
The "Ride with Pride" bus will debut at the Palm Beach Pride Market on June 5, 2021, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Bryant Park in Lake Worth Beach.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Please Join PBCHRC and Compass at LGBTQ Pride Clematis By Light on June 1, 2021


Please join PBCHRC, Compass and your friends at the Kick-Offf to LGBTQ Pride month at Nancy Graham Centennial Square in downtown West Palm Beach.
Thanks to the efforts of Hierromat Development, LLC, a local gay owned and operated company, the Fountain will display the Pride colors. The Citizen's Building and Palm Beach Dramaworks will also light up with Pride for the event.
Pistache, located next to the Fountain, will hold a Pride Happy Hour from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00. p.m.
Thanks also go out to Creative Arts Enterprises, and, of course, the City of West Palm Beach.



"Boynton Beach, Delray Beach installing LGBTQ-inspired streetscapes"

  By Brett, Shweky, SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL 

Boynton Beach and Delray Beach have recently agreed to install permanent LGBTQ-inspired streetscapes at specific intersections. (PBC Human Rights Council/Courtesy)


The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council’s request for cities to bring LGBTQ public art to communities is finally being answered.


Boynton Beach and Delray Beach recently agreed to install permanent LGBTQ-inspired streetscapes at specific intersections in those cities.

A rendering shows what the LGBTQ-inspired intersections in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach will look like.
A rendering shows what the LGBTQ-inspired intersections in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach will look like. (PBC Human Rights Council/Courtesy)


















Boynton Beach’s streetscape will be at the intersection of East Ocean Avenue and First Street Southeast at the end of the city’s Town Square, while the one in Delray Beach will be at the intersection of Northeast Second Avenue and Northeast First Street in Pineapple Grove.

The LGBTQ pride streetscapes will include the six colors in the traditional LGBTQ pride rainbow flag (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet) as well as the additional five colors in the progress pride flag (black, brown, light blue, pink and white). The five colors in the progress pride flag represent people of color, trans and nonbinary individuals and those living with HIV/AIDS.


Rand Hoch

“Over the past 30 years, the LGBTQ community in Boynton Beach and Delray Beach has gone from being nearly invisible to being tolerated, to being acknowledged, to being granted equal rights and benefits, to having our families recognized, and now, to having the diversity of the LGBTQ community publically celebrated,” Palm Beach County Human Rights Council President and founder Rand Hoch said in a statement. “That is quite an achievement.”

Rand Hoch (PBC Human Rights Council/Courtesy)

Monday, May 17, 2021

Charitable Foundation Grants Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Award Scholarships

 

The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation has selected three local high school seniors - Ekko Greenbaum, Sol Lima, and Vanessa Whittle - to receive the 2021 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards. The awards are presented annually to college-bound graduating seniors who have demonstrated an interest in advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Each of the recipients will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
 
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. In 2015, the organization established the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation to fund educational scholarships and other charitable endeavors.
Dan Hall photo
The Social Justice Awards are named after Daniel S. Hall, a local attorney who manages a financial counseling company. Hall, Treasurer of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council since 1990, is the Council's longest serving board member.

As the father of three grown children, Hall has always had a strong interest in education.Over the years, has mentored several LGBTQ students. 
Sol Lima is a senior at Jupiter Community High School, where they are the president of the Gender & Sexuality Alliance as well as the Future Farmers of America.

During their 4 years in high school, Sol was vice president of GSA for two years, and president of GSA for another two years. They organized a 150 page slideshow about LGBTQ+ history for GSA which was sent to the school board for use in developing a curriculum about LGBTQ+ history in schools. They were instrumental in organizing their school’s Day of Silence protest for awareness of the bullying of LGBTQ+ youth in schools. Sol is also Projects Director for the No Place for Hate Club at Jupiter, and part of several other organizations on campus. They are an active member of the Compass Gay and Lesbian Community Center’s Youth Groups, and will continue to participate in them after graduation. They also attend and volunteer with Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches, the first openly LGBT+ Christian denomination. They run several online social groups for the LGBTQ+ community, and for those with ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities.
Sol plans on attending Palm Beach State College to major in biology. Their future plans include studying animals, and being a biologist. They want to continue their role in LGBTQ+ activism, both on and off campus. Sol intends to join an on-campus LGBTQ+ organization at the college they will be attending, and wants to continue pushing for progress on social and environmental issues as much as possible, in any ways they can.

"This scholarship will allow me to attain the education needed to move forward in life, especially with difficulties faced as someone in the LGBTQ+ community and on the autism spectrum," said Sol. "With a strong education, I know the world will be far more accessible -- and nearly anything will be achievable."
Lake Worth Beach resident Ekko Greenbaum is a graduating dance major at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. A dedicated artist, Ekko has been chosen to dance an array of repertoire from George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco to Paul Taylor’s Esplanade through her years at Dreyfoos.  She also serves as the historian for the National Dance Honor Society. An AP Scholar Honors Award recipient, she received the Silver Key Scholastic Art & Writing Award for film photography. 

Combining her passion for art and activism, Ekko is the Public Relations Officer for Dreyfoos Dance Marathon, a student-led movement.movement supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In the fall, she will be attending her dream school, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, as a merit scholar and contemporary dance major. Ekko intends to pursue dance in hopes of changing the dance world for the better, focusing her studies and choreography around breaking established binaries and gender roles. She will also continue to advocate for the representation of LGBTQ+ artists and dancers, who are often hidden and kept out of the spotlight. Ekko is currently a mentor to young LGBTQ+ artists who feel displaced in their art form; she hopes to continue this by starting an organization that will provide young LGBTQ+ artists with accessible mental health care and mentoring.

“Within my career, I hope to make both classical and contemporary dance a safe space for every human who has a passion, a place where diversity is honored - no matter color, size, sexual orientation," said Greenbaum. "This scholarship will help me attend Boston Conservatory, where I will learn about dance through a sociological perspective, allowing me to help reform the dance world and make it a more welcoming art form.”
Vanessa Whittle, a resident of West Palm Beach, will be graduating from Royal Palm Beach High School. She served as Vice President of the Speech and Debate team and Co-President of the Thespian Society, both clubs that she is extremely passionate about and used to spread the message of the fight that the LGBTQ+ Community faces. Vanessa competed in local, state, and national tournaments in both organizations that shed light on the issue of violence both against and within the LGBTQ+ Community. 

Vanessa also participated as an Ambassador for Palm Beach County in the non-partisan voting organization My School Votes, in partnership with Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote.
She worked to spread the importance of voting within her school, registering her peers to vote during classroom visits.

This summer, Vanessa will begin pursuing a degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. She plans to continue spreading her passion for social justice and civic engagement by staying active in Speech and Debate and My School Votes throughout her college career. 

“I will use the money awarded from this scholarship to help ease the financial burden of tuition, competition, and travel expenses during college so that I can continue to explore what I am most passionate about - helping others,' said Whittle.”
Created in 2015, the Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards are administered by PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin K. Lewis, Chair of the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation's scholarship program.  

"Despite the logistical disruptions students endiured during to 2020-2021 school year, Sol Lima, Ekko Greenbaum, and Vanessa Whittle have worked as passionate advocates for the local LGBTQ community," said Lewis. "The Foundation is proud to recognize their work by presenting them with the 2021 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards."