Three Rivers Community Foundation – An Open Letter to Delta Foundation

June 2, 2015

 

Gary Van Horn

Delta Foundation

 

Dear Mr. Van Horn,

 

Three Rivers Community Foundation (TRCF) advances social change through grant making, advocacy and capacity development for grassroots agencies and other organizations. TRCF embraces Change not charity™ by empowering grantee organizations to ensure social, economic and environmental justice in Southwestern Pennsylvania. TRCF is aware of the 2015 “Pride in the Street” booking Iggy Azalea as the event headliner.  We are very troubled by this choice.  Ms. Azalea has been called out all over this nation – and the world – for homophobic, racist, and ableist tweets, and culturally appropriating comments, in addition to interviews in which she has perpetuated stereotypes of the indigenous people in her home country of Australia.  As already noted, TRCF funds and supports a diversity of social justice initiatives and groups, many of whom Ms. Azalea has chosen to offend.

 

The LGBTQ community of Pittsburgh and the Southwestern Pennsylvania region, specifically LGBTQ-identified people of color, have requested that Ms. Azalea be dropped from the “Pride in the Street” lineup due to her racist, homophobic, and ableist remarks.  We at TRCF not only support that action, but also their other requests for the Delta Foundation to devote this pivotal moment to an introspective look and to answer what it has done, in general, for the entire LGBTQ community and their rights.  Making a few grants here and there is not enough.  We recommend that your board undertake diversity training, for a start.

 

This incident with Ms. Azalea actually is yet one more example of a long list of non-supportive actions by the Delta Foundation. Indeed it is the proverbial “final straw that has broken the camel’s back” in the local QTPOC community.  The selection of Ms. Azalea reveals how little Delta Foundation cares about, or truly understands, the needs and concerns of this community.

 

The whole concept of Pride events began as a revolution and a demand for equal rights.  While you boast of having the largest Pride event in Western Pennsylvania, it means nothing if you are not standing for the entirety of the LGBTQ community – including those who have disabilities, are transgender, are gender non-conforming, are women, aren’t white, have little to no income – in other words, everyone.  The rainbow is big enough to hold all of us, so why do your events cater only to one particular segment?  It is time you listened to the other voices within our shared community of Pittsburgh.  It is not up to you to determine what performers are racist.  If communities of color are saying repeatedly that an act is offensive, you need to listen to them, change the act, sincerely apologize, and ask how you can ensure all voices are heard in the future.

 

We look forward to seeing the situation remedied, and to the day that the Delta Foundation truly acknowledges, celebrates, and advances the diversity of the LGBTQ community – and of our city and region – in the Foundation’s plans, actions, and events.

 

Sincerely,

The board and staff of Three Rivers Community Foundation

 

Board:

Kathy Cameron, Kurt Colborn, Deno De Ciantis, Alice Del Vecchio (Treasurer), Jose Diaz, Katelyn Haas, Josh Inklovich, Lee Marcuzzi (President), Chris Maury (Vice President), Sarah Ferry Nicholas, Laura Saulle (Secretary), Rev. Sally Jo Snyder, Alison Wolfson

Staff:
Nick J. Palazzetti, Executive Director
Anne E. Lynch, Manager of Operations
Sydney Olberg, Programs Manager

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Some Pride Events TRCF DOES Endorse!

Orgullo!  Pittsburgh Latin@ LGBTQ Pride

Friday and Saturday, June 5th and 6th, 2015

Por favor, únase Cafe Con Leche mientras celebramos LGBTQ Pride mes en Pittsburgh! Esta es la primera celebración Latin@ Orgullo de Pittsburgh y no se puede perder!

Please join Cafe Con Leche as we celebrate LGBTQ Pride month in Pittsburgh! This is Pittsburgh’s first Latin@ Pride celebration and is not to be missed!

Friday, June 5th at 7pm – The Pittsburgh premiere of The Gran Varones, a documentary about Gay Latino men in Philadelphia.

Saturday, June 6th 11-4pm – Keynote speaker, Bamby Salcedo, will join us to talk about the Latin@ family dynamic. She will also lead a workshop on fundraising for LGBTQ groups and organizations.

Thank you to our amazing sponsors: Bricolage, The Sprout Fund, New Voices Pittsburgh and GALAEI.  Events will be at Bricolage – 937 Liberty Avenue, downtown Pittsburgh.

Please email CafeConLechePGH@gmail.com or call 412-626-7350 for more information, or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/718155584959626/

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Renaissance City Choir Cabaret Performance to benefit WCGSA, Inc.
Saturday, June 6, 2015

 

 

The Renaissance City Choirs of Pittsburgh will present a musical performance, “Let’s Duet Together,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6, 2015, at Olin Fine Arts Center, 285 E. Wheeling Street, Washington. The RCC will revive favorite classics from The Great American Songbook as performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Bette Midler, Michael Buble and more. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Washington County Gay Straight Alliance, Inc.

 

Tickets to the June 6 performance are available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1307301. Adult tickets are $25 and student tickets are $10 at the door.

 

Ticket holders are invited to a reception following the concert to meet the performers at Wash Arts, located at 70 South Street, Washington.

 

The WCGSA, Inc. has facilitated a peer group for LGBTQA youth, ages 21 and under, and provided resources to the community since 2005.  For more information about the organization visit www.WCGSA.org

 

Proceeds for this event will be used for providing opportunities and healthy lifestyle resources to our youth and the LGBTQA population in our community.

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Roots Pride Pittsburgh
Events June 11th-14th

June 11, 2015– Town Hall Meeting
Concerned about LGBTQIA+ Pittsburgh? Come and connect with other concerned community members, discuss the issues and brainstorm solutions. This space will focus on creating an anti-oppression framework.
Blakey Building, the Historic Hill District 6-9 PM
1908 Wylie Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Accessible building, ASL interpretation available.

June 12, 2015– Intergenerational Paint Party! Wear all white and participate in the best water balloon fight you’ve ever been in in your life! This will be a sober event.
6:30-9 PM, Anderson Pavilion, Schenley Park

June 13, 2015 ****SHUT IT DOWN PROTEST****
& Roots Pride Pgh Party! Come celebrate a Pride you can be proud of!

June 14, 2015– Healing Circle and Riverwalk. As a community, we will come together to invest in our emotional and psychic wellbeing.
2:30-4, Meet at the Point, Walk to the David L Lawrence Convention Center

For more information: http://rootspridepgh.wix.com/rootspridepgh or
https://www.facebook.com/events/1450716441907888/

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