The fifth annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit unites LGBTQ youth

By : Melanie Ararat
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ABOVE: City of Orlando’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Senior Specialist Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez gives a speech at the Orlando Youth Summit at Valencia College – West Campus. Photo by Melanie Ararat

ORLANDO | LGBTQ youth, organizations and allies were able to network, engage in interactive workshops and listen to community leaders for the fifth annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit (OYES) at Valencia College – West Campus on Nov. 3. A special appearance was made by Orange County Mayor and School Board Chair-Elect Teresa Jacobs.

“It’s important for our youth, our educators and our professionals to all come together and talk about the best ways to help our youth as they discover who they are and how they can make sure that they can live their authentic selves in our community,” Jacobs says.

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Local LGBTQ leaders to gather at Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Christen Kelley
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ORLANDO | LGBTQ youth, organizations and allies will engage in a full day of interactive workshops at the fifth annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit, or OYES, at Valencia College’s West Campus in Orlando Nov. 3.

The free event is presented by the City of Orlando with one goal in mind—to empower LGBTQ youth. Guests can attend a variety of workshops dedicated to a range of topics such as career building, poetry, healthy relationships and LGBTQ history.

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Lakeland filmmaker brings ‘At the End of the Day’ to TIGLFF 29

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (TIGLFF) is one of the largest and longest-running festivals of its kind. Founded in 1990, the 9-day celebration exists to showcase compelling film and video by, for or about the LGBTQ community that entertains, empowers and enlightens audiences. Its 29th year will do exactly that Oct. 5-13.

“It all goes back to community and being together in person,” Director of Programming KJ Mohr says of the festival, “sitting in a theater and experiencing film. You feel the laughter around you, you feel the tension. You’re with people who are like you and have experienced a lot of things you’ve experienced.”
TIGLFF’s screening committee began finalizing this year’s slate of LGBTQ programming in May. Of the hundreds of submissions received, its 20 members pared the festival’s offerings down to just over 30 selections—including Lakeland filmmaker Kevin O’Brien’s comedic drama “At the End of the Day.”

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One Orlando Alliance responds to tragedy in Las Vegas, organizes vigil

By : Staff Report
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ORLANDO | The One Orlando Alliance has organized a vigil at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando to honor the victims of the horrific shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and hundreds more wounded Oct. 1.

“Although divided by distance, we are united in offering our compassion, our love and our support,” the One Orlando Alliance said in a statement.

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