Locally filmed AIDS tale premieres Saturday; Mt. Ararat Baptist Church partners with gay community
Why Us? Left Behind and Dying premieres in Pittsburgh this weekend at the August Wilson Center. From Tony Norman:
Tony goes on to ennumerate some of the topics -- sexuality, drug use, homophobia, religious bigotry, and social stigma -- which clearly fall into the taboo spectrum and about which it would be really interesting to hear a youth perspective.
Still, there will soon also be another very interesting exploration of similar topics.
This event, scheduled for March 19 at the DLC, is sponsored by the American Counseling Association. The conference includes a partnership of the local LGBTQ community (PFLAG and the leadership of licensed counselor, Professor Dana Elmendorf) with the African-American faith community (Mt. Ararat Baptist Church).
MSJLDA Press Conference
We welcome you to share in this experience and observe as we carefully craft a statement to the press to highlight the importance of Social Justice Leadership, through this powerful mechanism of public outreach and awareness.
Mount Ararat Choir
and Mr. Dwayne Fulton
The Press Conference will feature PFLAG and other local LGBTQ community leaders, standing alongside Mt. Ararat, to call for social justice, particularly within the context of psychological healing.
Elmendorf. "The purpose of the conference is to offer skills and discussion to encourage people to think about their responsibilities to the world and what it means to think about and work toward diversity and equality. "
This was something far too infrequently discussed in graduate school when we were preparing to enter the world of professional social work so I think this is an especially appealling opportunity for persons from all disciplines.
Admittedly, I was intrigued by the participation of Mt. Ararat which is not known for openly embracing LGBTQ persons albeit those seeking to be cured or counseled back to heterosexuality. Perhaps leaders in the faith community recognize that now is a time for healing and reconciliation for all persons, a time to move toward the idea of focusing on diversity and equality in a way that affirms all persons, not seeks to force them to conform or choose between different elements of their cultural identity. The same could be said for the LGBTQ community, as well which often fails (myself included) to comprehend the experience of reconciling faith and sexual orientation within the context of Pittsburgh's African-American community.
The AIDS epidemic is certainly not the only point at which our communities intersect, either in terms of people who claim identitiy within both, but also within the larger struggles we face here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the United States.
I wonder if the Lesbian & Gay Film Society will be attending the movie premiere? The discussion on homophobia sounds worth viewing.
So the timing of the two events might help us all make a slight shift away from our own worldview towards a better understanding. I understand from Dana that a member of Mt. Ararat will now become chair of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association so who knows what might emerge as LGBTQ voices, such as Dana's, continue to work from within the organization to bring our voices to the table around discussions of diversity and inclusion as well as education for counselors in college and graduate school.
Information on the conference is attached.