Statement on Pride Committee's Decision Regarding 2020 Pride
We at the GLO Center would like to share our gratitude to and appreciation for the work that this year’s Pride Committee has undertaken in the attempt to organize a Pride event this year. The GLO Board is supportive of the Pride Committee’s decision and we remain supportive of the Pride Committee and will continue to work with others to make our community a safer and more inclusive place for all.
There are likely many in our community who are disappointed that we will not have a formal Pride event this year. This disappointment is understood. But just know that there are times when we are required to alter plans, cancel events, and reimagine how we will celebrate and honor our history and our pride. COVID-19 has drastically changed the way that we conduct our lives and it has become necessary to think carefully about the needs, safety concerns, and wellbeing of our community and our society at large. More specifically, this pandemic has certainly hindered our ability to facilitate community building in a time when community is of the utmost importance.
We at GLO support any efforts to offer options to celebrate and honor our history and the members of our LGBTQ+ community throughout the month. In that vein, we are happy to announce our support for PROMO’s Show Me Equality virtual event scheduled for October 10th, 2020. Moreover, we are pleased to announce that the GLO Center will be collaborating with Missouri State University’s Office of Multicultural Programs to put on programming throughout the month of October to highlight LGBTQ+ History and to celebrate what it means to be a member of this community. We will be sharing a calendar of events by Monday, September 28th.
We want to end with this: Pride lives in the hearts of our community and our allies. Therefore, no individual or entity can “cancel” Pride. With that in mind, we encourage everyone to celebrate in a way that considers the personal level of risk to yourself and your loved ones. Most importantly, we ask everyone to wear masks and practice social distancing when going out into the community. This will go a long way in increasing the likelihood that we can come together in 2021 for our most successful Pride Celebration yet.
The GLO Center Board of Directors
Hello GLO Friends,
As the state begins to reopen, we will slowly make the physical space of The GLO center accessible again to our community. We proceed with caution, as COVID-19 is still very real and still here. The GLO Center will re-open only to support groups starting July 1st, 2020. (This does not include the Glo Youth Group, which will continue to meet online.) If you are a member of a support group please check in with your facilitator about upcoming in person meetings. If you are a newcomer to the meetings feel free to leave a voice mail at the Glo Center 417-869-3978 or contact us via our Facebook page and we will connect you with a facilitator.
The GLO Board
Protocols for Operations at The GLO Center during the COVID-19 Pandemic are the following;
⦁ Do not come to GLO if you feel sick or have any symptoms consistent with the COVID- 19 virus, or if you have been exposed to someone who does.
⦁ All participants will be pre-screened to affirm that they do not have symptoms and have not knowingly had contact with anyone who has tested positive with COVID-19.
⦁ No more than 15 participants are allowed in The GLO Center at one time.
⦁ To limit exposure in a shared indoor space, groups can meet for no more than 90 total minutes, including clean up time.
⦁ All participants will observe physical distancing through: 1) requiring at least 6 feet between participants and 2) requiring participants to wear masks (provided as necessary, please bring your own if at all possible).
⦁ All participants will use hand sanitizer (provided) before entering and when leaving the Center. There are also supplies for hand washing in each restroom and the kitchen. (Use soap, rub hands together for 20 seconds, rinse thoroughly and dry with a paper towel.)
⦁ If any individual refuses to cooperate with procedures, facilitators should cancel the meeting immediately and group members must leave the building.
⦁ No programs will be permitted at this time that include higher risk activities, such as singing, yelling, making physical contact, etc.
⦁ Program facilitators must maintain a confidential list of participants at each meeting. (Including phone or email contact information.) This information does not need to be shared with GLO representatives but is necessary in the case that anyone at the meeting tests positive for COVID-19. If a member does test positive they are responsible for informing the facilitator.
*If your group is comfortable having the door open for any amount of time, this can help reduce the concentration of airborne infectious particles.
To the GLO Community:
At the beginning of March, the GLO Center entered a period of transition in which a new, interim Board of Directors was elected and the members of the previous board were asked to resign. We acknowledge that this time of change has produced a range of emotions within the community, but we believe that these changes are critical in order for GLO to be a safe and inclusive place for everyone in the GLO Community.
A few months ago, a Board member (who has since resigned) made a social media post that was racially insensitive and caused members of the Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QTBIPOC) community to feel unsafe at GLO. The previous board failed to adequately and appropriately address this issue. This incident was just one instance in a pattern of behavior exhibited by the previous board that created a toxic environment for QTBIPOC at the Center and in the GLO Community.
At The GLO Center’s Annual Meeting, the QTBIPOC community presented a list of demands that included:
* The resignation of all Board members and the election of an Interim Board of directors
* That the members of the previous Board engage with anti-racist educational materials and participate anti-racism training
* Previous Board members demonstrate growth before returning to work with GLO
At the annual meeting, voting members of GLO elected Katya Ketchum, Aryne Say, Azul Ponce, Carrie Colpitts, Ally Henny, Nigel Lee, Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, and Kit Neumann as the Interim Board.
The Interim Board will be working for the next 6 months to help shape GLO into an anti-racist organization that is safe for every member of our community.
As of March 9, 2020, all of the previous board members submitted their resignations in order to support the QTBIPOC community to make space for the Interim Board to begin make GLO a safe and inclusive space for all.
The Interim Board would like to thank all previous Board members for their hard work and dedication to the mission of GLO. Their years of passionate service has saved many lives. We also thank the previous Board for their courage and the trust they have placed in this process.
On March 9, 2020. The Interim Board proposed the creation of a Special Committee to address the concerns of the QTBIPOC community and to begin building a structure for accountability regarding gender, sexuality, race, disability, citizenship status, age, and all other vulnerable identities so that GLO can become a safe and welcoming space for all people. We will be working with the community to better understand everyone’s needs and desires so that we may find the best ways to serve and include everyone.
Finally, and most importantly, we would like to thank you—the GLO Community—for your patience and support during this time.
The GLO Interim Board
Katya Ketchum: President
Aryne Say: Vice President
Carrie Colpitts: Secretary
Kit Neumann: Treasurer
Ally Henny: Parliamentarian
Azul Ponce: Board Member
Nigel Lee: Board Member
Kyler Sherman-Wilkins: Board Member
Southwest Missouri LGBTQ Needs Assessment
All local LGBTQ+ individuals are invited to participate in the Southwest Missouri LGBTQ Needs Assessment being sponsored by AIDS Project of the Ozarks. Your voice is needed in order to identify the greatest needs in terms of healthcare, safety and gather suggestions on how to make our city a better, safer place for all. Let us know what you think!