From the Executive Directors,
Happy Pride month from Prism United! This year, approximately 40 business owners in Mobile agreed to hang pride flags in their establishments to affirm and celebrate the LGBTQ community. Kudos to our friends at Rainbow Mobilefor spearheading this effort and for getting city approval to paint the first ever rainbow crosswalk in the state of Alabama.
A lot has transpired at Prism since we wrote our last newsletter. We coordinated with Lifelines Counseling to provide suicide prevention training for our facilitators. With the help of Prism United board member and web designer Margaret Jordan, we officially launched our website. We’ve interviewed, trained, and brought on new volunteers to help us carry out our program services. We bid farewell to another class of seniors at Prism Youth with a graduation dinner. We helped organize a gala-fundraiser—Come Out Mobile—that benefitted Prism United and Rainbow Mobile. And we’ve been working hard on two new programs that we plan to launch at the beginning of the school year: Prism Preteens and Prism Families.
Prism Preteens will be a support group for LGBTQ preteens (10-13) and will use a virtue-based curriculum to cultivate self-worth and healthy character development in its participants. As attendees make their way through the program, they’ll earn custom-made badges that correspond with each virtue they encounter. We’re proud to have local artist Sean Herman at Serpents of Bienville designing our virtue avatars.
Prism Families will be a support group for family and guardians of LGBTQ youth and will run at the same time and in the same building as Prism Preteens. This program will provide participants with friendship, education on LGBTQ issues, strategies on how to best support their LGBTQ loved ones, and referral services to LGBTQ-knowledgeable mental health and medical professionals. If you are a parent, a family member, or guardian of an LGBTQ young person who could use support, we hope you’ll join. Wherever you are along the journey, we’re here to journey with you.
Both support groups will be led by trained facilitators, and both will be completely confidential.
As we continue to grow, one things remains immensely clear to us: we couldn’t do any of this without you—our community. Thank you for all the ways that you show up for us. We hope that you’ll stay engaged and invested as we continue to serve LGBTQ youth in the area.
All of our love,
Corey Harvard & Justin Litaker
Executive Directors of Prism United
Come Out Mobile: A Night of Unity raised over $7000 for both Prism United and Rainbow Mobile. Food for the event was provided by Tyner’s Catering and Stevie’s Kitchen. Our major sponsors were Airbus and Open Table United Church of Christ. Our deepest gratitude to all the volunteers—those who made and served the food, ran the bar, provided the space, set up the tent, spoke on stage, set up and ran the silent auction—anyone who helped curate that experience, and anyone who bought a ticket to support us: thank you, thank you, thank you.
The Ingall’s Shipbuilding Equality Alliance donated over $300 worth of books to our Prism Youth Lending Library. We’re close to filling an entire bookshelf with novels for our teens. If you’d like to donate to the library, take a look at our LGBTQ young adult literature wishlist. If you purchase books straight from the wishlist, you can select “Prism United’s Gift Registry Address” as the shipping address and your donation will come straight to the youth room.
If you missed the opportunity to join us at the gala, another opportunity to support Prism United and Rainbow Mobile is upon us. In a couple days (Sat, Jun 29th), the Joe Jefferson Players will present Bent Broadway, bringing us all of our broadway favorites (but with a twist!). Snag your tickets online today.
Prism United Spotlight
We’re honored and humbled to have the support of our friend and ally, Rev. Ellen Sims. When the supreme court effectively legalized gay marriage, Ellen rallied at the courthouse with Mobile’s LGBTQ community. In response to the shooting at Pulse nightclub, the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in American history, Rev. Sims organized a candlelight vigil to remember the lives of the victims. And four years ago, with the support of her congregation, Ellen helped conceive our LGBTQ peer support group. Whether to celebrate our triumphs or join in our grief, Rev. Sims has been there. We couldn’t be more thankful to have her on our board of directors. Thank you, Ellen, for being an unfailing light.