Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Meetings and Coalition Building Efforts in Dorchester, MA

PFLAG Boston was approached in 2007 by African American leaders in the area with the need for a chapter in Dorchester and received funding from PFLAG National to create this chapter. Several meetings were held to design chapter meetings and plan outreach efforts. In 2008, the first meeting was held, a panel of individuals, including a straight African American father of a gay son, a straight African American mother of a lesbian daughter, and two LGBT African American youth. The second meeting was a viewing of Anyone and Everyone followed by discussion of the diversity themes in the movie. And the meetings have continued into the building of a very successful chapter in Dorchester, MA.

PFLAG Dorchester continues its exciting work this year. The chapter is led by African American leaders in the area. Several meetings were held last year to design chapter meetings and plan outreach efforts. Now that the chapter is evolving, they will be going directly to new audiences instead of asking people to be involved the chapter. Their first new audience of outreach is schools and the education community. They are working on developing community forums and working in very diverse schools, specifically with their parent groups. They will also have a second community panel discussion on the documentary Anyone and Everyone.

PFLAG Dorchester has been a great example of the sort of success a chapter can experience when we defer to the expertise and leadership that already exists in a community. Thank you to the community leaders in Dorchester and PFLAG Boston for working so hard on a successful collaboration.

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