At the turn of a new year, the Prism team has been busy conducting evaluations, updating curricula, and putting together the 2023 program calendar. We’re also looking back over 2022 with a lot of gratitude for what we’ve been able to accomplish thanks to your support. Here are a handful of those accomplishments:
- We offered 13 gatherings per month across our core programs—Prism Teens, Prism Preteens, and Prism Families.
- We served approximately 60 individuals per month at our gatherings.
- We debuted TWO major annual events: Prism Prom and the Jack O’Lantern Jubilee. We’re proud to host the biggest LGBTQ+ youth bashes in Southwest Alabama where teens can be themselves, make new friends, and dance the night away—experiences they’ll carry with them forever. We expect between 90-100 attendees at Prism Prom 2023.
- We rolled out the Prism Healing Fund, a fund that covers the cost of therapy for LGBTQ+ youth and individuals who can’t afford it.
- We spearheaded progress on the Southwest Alabama Inclusion Project, the first-ever comprehensive community needs assessment on LGBTQ+ populations spanning 10 counties in Alabama.
- In total, we’ve supported over 160 LGBTQ+ youth and their parents at our program gatherings and over 1,000 individuals through LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency training at colleges, clinics, workplaces, and other nonprofits.
We’ve done all this with one full-time staff member, a handful of contract workers, and a team of 50 volunteers.
While Prism has made incredible strides in its short existence as a nonprofit, the grim reality is that the political climate in our country has become more hostile towards LGBTQ+ youth.
In 2022, the Alabama State Legislature passed multiple laws targeting LGBTQ+ children in the schoolplace and educators who support them. We’ve already heard from parents reporting that their children are coming home from school visibly distressed as they experience the impact of the new laws. We’ve also heard from teachers afraid that if they affirm or defend their LGBTQ+ students, they’ll lose their jobs. Meanwhile, violence and propaganda against LGBTQ+ people are on the rise across the country. (HRC, ACLED)
We have no reason to believe that this will stop.
Neither will we.
2022 lit a fire under us. Along with rolling out a robust new schedule for our core programs and hosting more special events, in 2023 we are planning to:
- Expand our programming to Gulf Shores
- Create a new program for elementary school-aged children
- And transform our LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency Training into a more interactive experience for institutions across SW Alabama
To put these ambitions into perspective, we spent nearly $64,000 to cover program and administrative expenses for our previous fiscal year. In our current fiscal year, we expect those expenses to double.
Four years ago, this community rallied to help us launch a program for LGBTQ+ high-schoolers in Mobile. That continued support has made it possible for Prism to evolve into the dynamic, multi-faceted organization that it is today.
Now, we’re asking you to help us take Prism to the next level by becoming a sustaining member. Your monthly contribution will allow us to grow our staff as we implement and develop new programs that empower our young people and their families.
To become a sustaining member, please visit prismunited.org/give and select “Make this donation every month” when you make your next contribution.
The work of Prism has never been more crucial to our community than it is today.
Thank you for believing in—and sustaining—our work.
Corey Harvard (he/him)
Prism United, Executive Director