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DHS News June 2013    


DHS Celebrates Pride Month

An Ally Celebration held in the Human Services Building on June 5 kicked off the marking of Pride Month at DHS.

DHS and Pride Month 
DHS Celebrates Pride Month 

The celebration featured a dessert party sponsored by the Systems Improvement through Youth (SITY) Advisory Council. Volunteers shared information with DHS staffers about what it means to be an Ally and promoted upcoming LGBTQ-related activities.

Kelly Wilkinson, a DARE analyst and former DHS Scholar in Local Government, LGBTQ Advisory Council members and DHS staff organized the event with the assistance of Anna Klahr, LGBTQ  Affairs intern.

“We wanted to be sure to recognize the great work of Allies who are making a difference throughout the whole year,” said Megan Good, co-facilitator of the advisory council with Aaron Grey, assistant manager of the AmeriCorps KEYS program.

Allies are those who not only seek to understand and connect with people in the LGBTQ community but also work to help others who are attempting to be understanding and empathetic.

Megan said 45 people at DHS have identified as Champions of the LGBTQ community. Put simply, Champions are Allies who agree to be more active in their support. She is hoping to identify Champions in program areas where none have yet stepped forward.

“It’s been nice to see people signing up who we have never met, people who we don’t work with directly but who can be part of our network,” Megan said.

At the Ally Celebration, raffle tickets were given to people who participated in the event or signed up to participate in future events. Emily Kulick, analyst in the Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation (DARE) office, won an overnight stay at The Priory and DHS Executive Office intern Dani Wilson won a gift certificate to Subway.

Celebration of Pride Month continued on June 16, when, for the first time, about 20 DHS staffers walked in the Pride Parade, and DHS staff and members of the LGBTQ Advisory Council staffed a table at PrideFest to share information about DHS services.

Megan pointed out that while DHS staffers were happy to mark Pride Month, efforts continue to inform and support DHS and its providers in giving culturally competent care to members of the LGBTQ community in Allegheny County.

To sign up for the monthly LGBTQ newsletter or for more information about becoming a champion, contact Megan at DHS-LGBTQ@alleghenycounty.us.


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