Grand Rapids Pride Center’s Public Statement re: Training City of Grand Rapids Employees (click to read)
The Grand Rapids Pride Center is aware of a news release by the City of Grand Rapids that came out on 4/14/2021. While no one at the Pride Center was informed this news release would be made, we have since made an effort to correct significant inaccuracies regarding the training sessions that were announced. The article has since been updated.
The mission of the Pride Center is to empower our community through supportive services and awareness. It is a core belief of the staff and Board of Directors of the Pride Center that education is imperative to raising awareness of the needs, challenges, strengths, and diversity of our community. We offer training sessions for businesses, schools, educators, organizations, groups, and more. These training sessions are not only an important source of income to keep programs alive at the Pride Center, but an important step to getting accurate, and up-to-date information out to the community.
The Pride Center was contacted by the City of Grand Rapids Department of Diversity and Inclusion regarding setting up training sessions for employees of the City. We were made aware that the training was being scheduled specifically for the employees of the Grand Rapids Police and Fire Departments. To be clear, the contract was always regarding training for the City, not a contract with the Police Department. As the Pride Center takes seriously the work of ending relationships with the Grand Rapids Police Department, we took seriously the decision of whether to contract with the City.
Listening to our BIPOC staff, volunteers, and board members was of the utmost importance in this decision. It was decided that we would contract with the city in furtherance of our mission. Ignorance is most often at the heart of any problem and while there are many ways to create change, education is one of the strongest. While we cannot be responsible for how those we teach choose to use that information, our fervent hope is that by educating, we change the ignorance to understanding and empathy.
Find Your Pride.
The foundation of our work, the Grand Rapids Pride Center offers multiple social & support groups, creating safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ community members.