On behalf of the Silver Lining Mentoring team, we wish you a joyful and meaningful PRIDE MONTH!
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Queer Liberation Movement in the United States as LGBTQ+ communities courageously stood up against police harassment and violence against LGBTQ+ communities. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for queer justice movements in the United States and around the world.
Pride Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the tremendous impact that LGBTQ+ people have made in shaping history – locally, nationally, and internationally – and the incredible talent, strength, resilience, and contributions LGBTQ+ people have made and are continuing to make in all aspects of society.
Pride Month is also an opportunity for us as a community to renew our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ people in all aspects of our work and our lives – from our SLM young people and mentors, to colleagues, family members, loved ones, friends, and community members.
Consistent with the data that LGBTQ+ young people are disproportionately represented in the foster care system nationally, at Silver Lining at least 25% of our young people identify as LGBTQ+. This is more than twice the rate of LGBTQ+ youth reported in society as a whole. Our LGBTQ+ youth deserve to have committed allies and role models to stand with them – we’re proud that this is one of Silver Lining’s strong suits.
We were struck by how this young person talked about SLM standing in solidarity with the communities that our young people come from. She spoke powerfully about how meaningful it was that our Silver Lining community comes together to march in the Pride Parade. Her face lit up – it was a memory of connection and solidarity that clearly had an impact on this young woman. Her SLM family marched with her and her community, and that mattered.
As we remember this conversation on solidarity, we want to do all that we can to ensure safe, affirming, and welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ people and hope that we as a community will do the same.
As an organization, Silver Lining Mentoring makes the following commitments:
- We commit to doing all that we can to nurture safe and brave spaces where LGBTQ+ people and communities feel seen, heard, valued, and honored for being their full authentic selves.
- We commit to modeling and educating others about the importance of consistently using the pronouns that people in our communities identify with.
- We commit to stepping up and speaking out when we witness mis-gendering and micro-aggressions against LGBTQ+ people and communities – and serving as stronger allies to LGBTQ+ folks.
- We commit to supporting policy changes that protect and advance the safety, health, and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people and communities.
- We commit to an ongoing examination of our internal culture to ensure that our values and commitments are put into practice.
We are always working to realize these commitments—our LGBTQ+ Mentoring Initiative focuses on empowering LGBTQ+ youth by providing committed mentoring relationships with LGBTQ+ and allied mentors. Our team has also compiled a list of local and national resources for people with LGBTQ+ identities, available on the SLM Resource Guide.
We’re wishing our LGBTQ+ friends and colleagues a joyful and fulfilling Pride Month!
Barbara Best, Executive Director (pronouns: she/her)
Colby Swettberg, Chief Executive Officer (pronouns: they/them)