Tampa Bay’s Overheard: One Love

By : anonymous
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Project No Labels marked the two year mark of the Pulse tragedy on June 11 at Thirsty First in St. Petersburg, raising nearly $1,000 for the Contigo Fund.

Funds were raised for the Orlando organization via donations and silent auctions. The fund was formed in the aftermath of the tragedy and offers financial support to organizations working to heal, educate and empower LGBTQ and Lantinx individuals, immigrants and people of color.

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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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The LGBT+ Center Orlando to open second location in Kissimmee

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc.’s board of directors announced April 6 that they will be expanding into Osceola County with an LGBT+ Center in Kissimmee.

The new expansion is a result of a donation from the Contigo Fund, an initiative of Our Fund Foundation that emerged from the Pulse massacre. Program Director Marco Antonio Quiroga said, in a press release, that the Contigo Fund recognizes the road to recovery for the survivors continues, and will continue for years to come.

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The Connection is Made: Mover and shaker Carlos Carbonell meets, greets and wins

By : Billy Manes
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It’s almost impossible to peruse any Orlando media without catching a glance of the Human Rights Campaign’s (seemingly) chief networker Carlos Carbonell. Carbonell also serves on the Contigo Fund Grant Committee, an affiliate of the Our Fund Foundation, that was developed in Orlando in the wake of the Pulse massacre. He’s also a key figure in the newly formed LGBTQ alliance which seeks to pull resources together from throughout the community to achieve equality and fairness.

“I have a huge love for everything Orlando,” he says. “I graduated college from the University of Florida. I came to Orlando and had odd jobs, like working for Disney. I ended up working for a marketing firm. For 10 years, I helped build up the marketing side of that. But, it was through my friend [Orlando LGBTQ advocate] Jennifer Foster and a few others that I got involved in HRC, because there wasn’t an HRC here. So there were about four or five others that got that going. I was also somewhat involved in the Democratic Party, just helping out here and there. That gave a little bit of a compassion for advocacy.”

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12.1.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

We have a lot to live up to. Thirty-five years ago, a snowball of desperation mixed with activism – with more than a dash of medical data and personal tragedy – drove the LGBTQ community down the mythic mountain of seemingly inevitable, plague-like demise; in 1988, the first World AIDS Day was held. This week, we still memorialize the disease which has taken so many of our friends and our family.

After decades of a growing sexual revolution, of which the gay community was at least a tangential part, the “gay cancer,” or “GRID,” or “HIV/AIDS” rose out of the headlines, into our faces, and, eventually permeated our culture and the bodies that populate it. Did we sit down and shut up? No. We marched in streets, arms locked, and shut down businesses, trying to learn what even doctors didn’t yet know: How to Survive a Plague. The book of that name by David France – which follows in the wake of the award-winning documentary and was just released in hardcover – dives even deeper into the unthinkable depths of what would come to define a generation of driven LGBTQ individuals.

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The Contigo Fund seeks to mend fences and spread the wealth in the wake of the Pulse tragedy

By : David Thomas Moran
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ORLANDO – A newly formed, $1.4 million fund launched in the aftermath of the Pulse hate crime wants to invest in local organizations that advocate for LGBTQ people of color – particularly the Latinx community.

Meet the Contigo Fund – which means “with you” in Spanish. The fund stands out in that it is not looking for money to provide services in response to the Pulse tragedy like many local other agencies and nonprofits whose resources are already stretched thin but rather to funnel money and resources into Central Florida to support such groups.

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