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Pacific Center News 05/16/2023

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Dear folx, We are honored to announce that the CIty of Berkeley is recognizing Pacific Center as a historical institution in honor of our 50 years serving Berkeley, and the greater East Bay Area. The proclamation will be presented at the gala. Please read the press release below for details, and get your tickets for the gala here to celebrate with us! We will also be honoring Leslie Ewing with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Taunya Black with an Organizational Culture Shift Award; Horizons Foundation with a Community Partnership Award; and Henry van der Voort, III with a Volunteer Service Award at the gala. Come celebrate our esteemed community members. - Pacific Center for Human Growth PACIFIC CENTER FOR HUMAN GROWTH HONORED BY CITY OF BERKELEY FOR ‘FOUNDATIONAL LEADERSHIP’ AHEAD OF 50TH ANNIVERSARY GALA Pacific Center for Human Growth, the Bay Area's oldest nonprofit focused on providing mental health services to the LGBTQIA+ community, announced today it has received a proclamation from the City of Berkeley honoring its half century of dedicated service, leadership and partnership to the city. Pacific Center will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a Gala fundraiser, called Golden Dreams, on June 3 in Berkeley. Tickets to the Gala are available for purchase at www.PacificCenter.org. “For 50 years, the Pacific Center has been a vital part of the Bay Area’s LGBTQIA+ community, which remains critically important as we see rights under attack throughout the country,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin. “The City of Berkeley stands as a proud ally of the Pacific Center and the immeasurable work they have accomplished, and look forward to our continued partnership in the years ahead.” The proclamation recognizes Pacific Center’s “instrumental role in supporting and uplifting vulnerable, marginalized and underserved members” of the LGBTQIA+ community through its offering of accessible, low-cost therapy, peer support groups, facilitated workshops and advocacy. "We are proud that the histories of Pacific Center and Berkeley are intertwined,” said Lasara Allen, Executive Director of Pacific Center. “With its rich history of inclusivity and self expression, Berkeley has been a perfect fit for our mission to deliver healing and liberation to the historically marginalized LGBTQIA+ community. After all this time, we’re still here; we’re still queer; and we’re turning 50!” Allen continued, “We are grateful to the City of Berkeley for its ongoing partnership, and honored to receive this special recognition of Pacific Center’s unique historical contributions, both to the health and wellness of the local LGBTQIA+ community and to the vibrancy and vitality of the East Bay as a whole.” Pacific Center’s Golden Dreams Gala will celebrate the Center’s emergence in the early years of the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement and its rise to become an indispensable force promoting mental health in the community. In 2022 alone, the organization served more than 3,500 individual clients. At the Gala, Pacific Center will recognize several longtime supporters for their vital contributions to the organization, including: Leslie Ewing with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Taunya Black with an Organizational Culture Shift Award; Horizons Foundation with a Community Partnership Award; and Henry van der Voort, III with a Volunteer Service Award. “Over the past four decades, it’s been Horizons Foundation’s privilege to partner with Pacific Center,” said Roger Doughty, president of Horizons Foundation. “The lives of countless people, from youth just coming out to older LGBTQIA+ people looking to age in dignity and community, have been bettered and often saved by this remarkable institution, a true cornerstone for the East Bay’s LGBTQIA+ community.” The Gala will feature opening comments from Corrina Gould of the Ohlone Nation, Sister Tilda NexTime as MC, the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus and So Lauren as musical entertainment, and more. There will also be an after-party with an outdoor stage at Que Rico Night Club in downtown Oakland. About Pacific Center Founded in 1973, Pacific Center for Human Growth is the oldest LGBTQIA+ center in the Bay Area, the third oldest in the nation, and operates the only sliding scale mental health clinic for LGBTQIA+ and QTBIPOC people and their families in Alameda County. Pacific Center additionally has over 20 free peer support groups currently active. Peer groups and mental health support are both conducted in a hybrid format. Utilizing dozens of independent contractors, nearly 200 volunteers, and 12 staff members, Pacific Center provides direct services for Alameda County and the greater Bay Area LGBTQIA+ communities. For more information on Pacific Center’s peer support, mental health, and training services, visit www.pacificcenter.org, contact info@pacificcenter.org, or call 510-548-8283.


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