onePULSE Foundation’s Barbara Poma discusses the future of the Pulse memorial and museum

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Barbara Poma speaks during the two-year mark of the Pulse tragedy at the interim memorial. Photo by Maia Monet

ORLANDO | The onePULSE foundation announced March 25 that it is launching an international design competition challenging architects from around the world to create a unique and iconic National Pulse Memorial and Museum.

While the look of the final project will be left to the winning design team, the competition does layout three key elements that will be a part of the finished product: a memorial, a museum and pedestrian pathway known as “Survivors Walk.”

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United Arts of Central Florida names new manager of grants and art education

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | United Arts of Central Florida has named Rafael Torres as the new manager of grants and art education.

“This is my dream job and something I’ve wanted to do since graduate school,” says Torres, who immediately applied for the position the day it was posted.

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CommUNITY Rainbow Run to honor Pulse victims, releases new medal design

By : Abigail Brashear
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ABOVE: Runners make their way through the streets of Orlando as part of the 2018 4.9k CommUNITY Rainbow Run. Photo by Jeremy Williams

ORLANDO | Registration has opened for the third annual 4.9k CommUNITY Rainbow Run, scheduled to take place on June 8. The event is hosted by Orlando Health and Nike, and produced in partnership with UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program. Organizers of the 2019 Rainbow Run, which honors the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting by benefiting the onePULSE Foundation, have also released images of the run’s new medal.

According to a press release sent out by the onePULSE Foundation, this year’s medal is full of symbolism. Designed by the Yellow Shoes Creative Group at the Walt Disney World Resort and the onePULSE Foundation, the front of the medal is etched with a rainbow feature and the onePULSE logo in place of the zero in 2019. On the back of the medal is a pair of angel wings with 49 feathers, in addition to the quote, “We will not let hate win.” To top it off, the medal hangs from a white lanyard with 49 doves on it.

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OnePULSE Foundation to honor Parkland victims at one-year mark of school shooting

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | OnePULSE Foundation announced that it will begin honoring victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 7 at the Pulse Interim Memorial.

According to a press release sent out by the foundation, a banner will hang at Pulse for “community members to leave messages of love, hope and support.” They will also tie 17 ribbons – one for each of the victims – on trees at the memorial.

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Come Out With Pride announces intent to host WorldPride during Pulse 10-year mark

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced in a press conference at The Venue Jan. 23 that they plan to bid to host WorldPride in Central Florida in 2026.

InterPride, an international organization that ties Pride together globally, brings WorldPride to major cities across the globe every two to six years. This year WorldPride will take place in New York City to coincide with the 50-year mark of the Stonewall riots. Several members from the COWP board will be in attendance at the event this June.

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We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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onePULSE Foundation awarded up to $10 million for museum

By : Melanie Ararat
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ORLANDO | The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) awarded the onePULSE Foundation up to $10 million in hotel-tax revenues  on Oct. 30 to help it acquire land and create designs for its proposed Pulse museum.

The present members at the BCC meeting unanimously approved the funding and the onePULSE Foundation was met with the support of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the Tourism Development Council and the Application Review Committee.

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Two Spirit announces $25,000 donation to OnePulse Foundation toward permanent memorial

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | Two Spirit Health Services announced Oct. 16 it will be donating $25,000 to the OnePulse Foundation to support the development of a permanent memorial site where the Pulse nightclub tragedy occurred on June 12, 2016.

Two Spirit is a nonprofit organization providing mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, transgender health and related services to the LGBTQ community. Two Spirit’s mission is to provide a “one- stop shop” health center where LGBTQ individuals can obtain expert healthcare by providers comprised of LGBTQ professionals and allies.

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PHOTOS: MBA Orlando rocks Universal’s CityWalk with its 2018 Pride Gala

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | MBA Orlando went all out for its 2018 Pride Gala Business Awards at Universal CityWalk’s Hard Rock Live Aug. 4.

The show opened with Alina Alcantara and the Brunch Bunch performing the Academy Award-winning song “This Is Me” from the 2017 film musical “The Greatest Showman.” Emcee’s Jorge Estevez and Miss Sammy then took the stage with their always entertaining comedy back-and-forth.

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08.09.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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“Guys in Orlando suck!” “The gay community in Orlando is so transient.” I heard these phrases way too often in the early 2000s, but I never bought into that way of thinking.

I moved to Central Florida in 1986. This was back in the days when the 408 was just two lanes each way, The Winter Park Village was an enclosed Mall and Ronnie’s was serving the Mogambo Extravaganza (a sixth grade ice cream lover’s dream dessert). I didn’t know it at the time, but I was on track to meet some amazing people with incredible stories to tell, and who would disprove the notion that Orlando was not a strong LGBTQ community.

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Point Foundation to honor Barbara Poma at National Leadership Dinner

By : Colton Adkins
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ORLANDO | Point Foundation will present its Leadership Award to Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse, at its 2018 National Leadership Dinner in Lake Buena Vista on July 27.

Since the Pulse shooting, Poma has been serving as the executive director of the onePULSE Foundation. onePULSE has worked with the Central Florida community to establish a permanent Pulse memorial and to give scholarships to the LGBTQ community.

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onePULSE Foundation seeks ideas from community for permanent memorial

By : Kathy Ruiz
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ORLANDO | Last month marked the two-year anniversary of the Pulse shooting, which at the time was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. From this tragedy the Orlando community grew together, and organizations such as the onePULSE Foundation were introduced to ensure that “hate will never win.”

The onePULSE Foundation is the only non-profit created by, Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse. According to their website, it was established to create “a sanctuary of hope around this tragic day in American history which honors the 49 lives that were taken, the 68 injured victims, the affected survivors and the first responders and healthcare professionals who cared for the victims.”

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