GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Imagine a safe, welcoming space. A place where you can feel empowered and seen.
That’s what the Guilford Green Foundation and the LGBTQ Center is for so many people in Greensboro, and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is part of what made it what it is today.
“For 20 years, we were a foundation that provided funding to LGBTQ Programs and Issues in the community. And then in 2018, when we opened the center we became a community space that provides programming and a library, other resources. Direct programming that we provide to the LGBTQ community,” Jennifer Ruppe, the Executive Director of GGF & LGBTQ Center, says.
Kiara Hickman is the Program Manager for the center. That means working on major programs like their Alternative Prom for high schools, but that’s not all. “We have actually just established a partnership with A&T called Transcending Generations, which focus on having community dialogue, and gathering with queer elders and queer youth because those conversations are very imperative to our future,” Hickman says.
The center has become a gathering place for anyone looking for a sense of belonging, and it’s obvious that people feel welcomed when they walk in the door. Just the number of volunteers speaks volumes about how much the center means to people in Greensboro.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from it no matter what happened before you walk in, you come in and you do what you need to do. And you feel a part of something,” Cyen Peterkin, a volunteer, told FOX8.
“I’ve made some really good you know, friendships with other volunteers. And it’s just been a really like, home to me. Just to know that I’m not the only one in this town, and I really like that,” said another volunteer who moved to the area for school.
That feeling of belonging and the importance of an inclusive city is what the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is all about.
“I don’t think we would be here without that partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro,” Ruppe said.