PHOTOS: Mayors Dyer and Jacobs declare June 12 Orlando United Day at Pulse ceremony

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hundreds gathered at the Pulse memorial June 12 to honor and remember the 49 lives lost just two years ago within the nightclub at the memorial’s location.

The crowd watched performances from the Orlando Gay Chorus, Blue Star, the Orlando Philharmonic and more.

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PHOTOS: UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality hosts Florida LGBT-Allies Summit

By : Maia Monet
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The 7th annual Florida LGBT-Allies Diversity Summit was held this past Friday at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality. Companies from across the state sent representatives to attend panels on “LGBT Equality and Civil Rights” as well as “Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace.”

The morning began with a panel on “Allyship: Voices of the LGBTQ Community” made up of George Wallace the Executive Director of the LGBT+ Center Orlando, Jennifer Walls the Senior Vice President/Area Sales Director for Lee Hecht Harrison, Marco Antonio Quiroga the Program Director for the Contigo Fund, and Kellie Parkin the Executive Director of MBA Orlando – LGBT Chamber of Commerce answering questions on the challenges and benefits of LGBTQ visibility at work. As noted by Parkin, it is estimated that 50% of employees are still in the closet and need support. Walls added that there are still large companies with annual revenue of $100M+ who believe that they do not have LGBTQ employees.

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“O-Town Voices”

By : Maia Monet
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First performed at the Orlando Fringe in 2017, “O-Town Voices” is a play comprised of stories, interviews and speeches from Orlando, and across the globe, collected during the weeks and months following the Pulse attack. “O-Town Voices” was created and directed by David Lee and features 18 local theater veterans, Pulse owner Barbara Poma, Pulse survivor Neema Bahrami and the Orlando Gay Chorus. Tickets and event details are available at onePULSEFoundation.org/Events.

Two years later many groups, individuals will honor and remember those affected by the Pulse tragedy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE:  The Pulse memorial will be one of several locations with events June 12.

ORLANDO | It’s been nearly two years since our community woke to the news that a gunman entered one of our LGBTQ nightclubs in downtown Orlando on Latin Night with a semi-automatic rifle and handgun. 49 patrons were killed and another 53 injured while they danced, drank and celebrated with friends and family.

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Community leaders take to social media to remember the victims after Pulse gunman’s wife found not guilty

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Noor Salmon, the wife of the Pulse gunman, was acquitted March 30 of charges that linked her to the nightclub shooting.

Salmon was charged with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization.

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Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman of charges that she helped her husband carry out the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Federal prosecutors charged Salman with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the June 12, 2016, shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

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onePULSE Foundation begins construction on Pulse interim memorial

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | onePULSE Foundation begins construction on the interim memorial at the Pulse nightclub location Feb. 26 as they work to design the permanent memorial that will go in the nightclub’s location.

As part of the temporary memorial, the now iconic Pulse sign will remain in place but will be enhanced. A new fence will be built around the perimeter of the nightclub with areas available for visitors to leave messages.

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onePulse Foundation postpones gun violence forum as CNN hosts town hall in Parkland

By : Randa Griffin
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The onePULSE Foundation is postponing its Town Hall Forum that was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21, out of respect for a CNN town hall meeting taking place in Parkland at the same time.

“In the wake of last week’s tragedy, now is the time to focus on the Parkland community and the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” said Barbara Poma, executive director and CEO of onePULSE, in a press release.

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onePulse Foundation announces date for next town hall forum, continues series of community talks

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation announced that the date for their next town hall forum will be on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Orlando Repertory Theater.

The town hall forum’s topic will focus on the impact of gun violence in the community and in the country.

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Hope & Help Center expands clinic services, hosts Orlando AIDS Walk at Lake Eola

By : Randa Griffin
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ORLANDO | The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida held a grand re-opening Jan. 26 to unveil their new building and expansion of LGBTQ health services. The center added a medical clinic to their services where clients can receive primary care, screening, treatment and urgent care for medical issues.

The center has expanded its fight against STDs by offering a full panel of testing. The clinic offers services for people in the transgender community as well.

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PHOTOS: Orlando’s Hope & Help Raises over $40K with AIDS Walk

By : Maia Monet
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News 6 anchor Julie Broughton, joined by fellow News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges and traffic safety expert Steve Montiero, hosted this year’s AIDS Walk to benefit Orlando’s nonprofit Hope & Help center. Also on hand were Pride Radio Orlando’s Ricky and Sondra Rae as well as Pulse Nightclub owner Barbara Poma.

In keeping with the appearance of local notables, walk participants were encouraged to dress as their favorite celebrities for the mile-long walk around Lake Eola. According to their website, a total of $41,965 was raised to assist Hope & Help with its HIV/AIDS services including free testing, community education initiatives, and case management.

More photos after the jump.

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PHOTOS: Dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth

By : Maia Monet
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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Pulse owner Barbara Poma, Pulse survivors, and members of law enforcement joined with LGBTQ citizens and allies for the dedication of the Pulse Memorial Labyrinth at Colonialtown Square Park on Dec 21.

The Orlando United rainbow heart at the center of the memorial is surrounded by the labyrinth outlined in brick. The outer edge is made up of 49 equal pieces of granite inscribed in gold with the names of each Pulse victim. After the dedication and a request to hold hands for a group prayer, those gathered were invited to walk the labyrinth in memory of those lost in the tragedy.

More photos of the proceedings after the jump and video clips have been posted to the Watermark Instagram page.

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