Religion

Pride Peacebuilders launches

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Faith communities, individuals, invited to be peacemakers at Pride Festivals

Parity is thrilled to introduce Pride Peacebuilders, a new initiative designed for religious congregations, faith-based organizations, and individuals with compassionate hearts to participate in training as peacebuilders for volunteer service at Pride festivals and LGBT community events.

“Pride Peacebuilders meets an unfortunate, but very real need. LGBT young people and their families deserve to be at community events in safety.  Trained peacebuilders will help defuse and de-escalate any situations that could escalate and cause harm,” said Rev. Dr. Edmonds-Allen, Executive Director of Parity.  “Jesus taught, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5:9).  The world dearly needs peacemakers, and we are already seeing faithful individuals step up to be trained and to be a presence for God’s love in their community.”

According to Frankie Leigh, co-founder of Pride Peacebuilders, “In recent years, the number of pride celebrations across the US has grown, and across the US, safety threats have increased. From armed opposition to well-intentioned protestors, pride can be contentious and unpredictable for organizers and attendees. In this series, we’re excited to share what we’ve learned through peacebuilding at pride events and beyond.”

Parity will fully sponsor individuals and groups from religious and faith-based organizations to attend the Peacebuilder workshops. Additionally, individuals not affiliated with a faith organization are encouraged to participate and will receive sponsorship from Parity if they demonstrate financial need. The six-hour certification series is offered at various dates and times, concluding with certification as a Pride Peacebuilder, provision of a vest, and invitations to volunteer at Pride festivals and LGBT events worldwide. Moreover, tailored resources and further training opportunities will be provided, along with support and learning networks within communities.

Rev. Dr. Edmonds-Allen:  “Frankie Leigh and Skye Michelle of Pride Peacebuilders have the specific knowledge, experience, and background to make this a truly exceptional project.  In 2024 we are hoping for 1,000 trained peacebuilders to be active around the country, bringing safety and understanding wherever they go.”

The first workshops begin on April 30, 2024.
For more information and to register, see https://parity.nyc/pride-peacebuilders.

The workshop will help attendees to:

  • Prevent and de-escalate aggressive or harmful behavior
  • Support those impacted by aggressive or harmful behavior
  • Support those having difficulty managing feelings or in mental health crisis
  • Recognize and intervene in instances of harassment or grooming behavior
  • Engage protesters empathetically, act as a buffer between protesters and attendees
  • Prevent and de-escalate conflicts, physical altercations, and show/use of weapons
  • Understand group dynamics and shift the atmosphere toward safety and peace

About Pride Peacebuilders
Pride Peacebuilders is led by Frankie Leigh and Skye Michelle. At Pride celebrations, community events, and demonstrations, Peace Builders contribute to the safety and dignity of everyone present.  This series will equip participants with skills, strategies, and resources for peacebuilding in their communities, and Pride events, and beyond.

About Parity
Parity is an international faith-based nonprofit that has worked to heal LGBT and faith divides since 1997. Parity.nyc

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Contact:
Rev. Dr. Marian Edmonds-Allen
Parity
8014523674
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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