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Programs

July 30, 2014

A Call for Stories from LGBTQ families

Are you an LGBTQ person with children? Would you be interested in sharing stories about your family with other LGBTQ families and families-to-be in a small group setting? We’re putting together a series of family town halls in late August and September to share information with each other and to create community among queer families. If you are interested (or know someone who might be interested) in helping others start, grow and strengthen their families call Jean at (802) 860-7812 or email ellen@ru12.org.

July 28, 2014

Family Program's Picnic Potluck and Field Day is just three Sundays away!

For LGBTQ families with and without kids and their families of choice (allies included). Bring your little ones (or borrow some if you don't have them), a potluck item to share, any outdoor game supplies you see fit, and some sunscreen, and join us Sunday, August 17 from 10-2pm at Wrightsville Beach, Middlesex (address for your GPS is 369 Vermont 12, Middlesex, VT 05602). Event is free (with a suggested donation of $10/family).

Family picnic

Tentative schedule of events:
11am-1:30pm Face painting
11:30am 3-legged race
12:30pm Beach ball volleyball, bean bag toss
1:30pm Scavenger hunt

Coloring stations, bubbles, flying discs, barbecues, and snacks available at all times. Canoeing/kayaking (rentals) and swimming at Wrightsville Beach (just across the way). Bring your own kids or borrow your favorites for this event, which is always a good time!


If you are planning to join us, please RSVP at http://ru12fieldday.brownpapertickets.com to let us know you’re coming! Suggested donation: $10-$15/family but no one will be turned away for lack of funding.


Also, we are looking for volunteers to help with set-up/break-down. Can provide transportation to/from Burlington area for volunteers. Email jean@ru12.org if you are interested.

July 21, 2014

Who knew finances could be so fun?

We had a great time last Thursday with Jan Knutsen at her Summer Semester workshop Put Your Money Where Your Dreams Are! Almost ten community members came to the Center to learn about saving money for emergencies, goals and eventually retirement. We had a diverse age range in attendence with many different savings goals. There was a lively discussion and everyone brought plenty of questions.

We hope to see you at Jan's next workshop on Tax-Free Retirement Strategies on Tuesday July 29!

July 02, 2014

Northeast Kingdom Courageous Conversations series a success!

The Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Advisory Committee (a collaboration between RU12?/Pride Center of Vermont and Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging) hosted an amazing series of films and discussions, including our signature panel discussion, "Celebrations and Challenges of Being LGBTQA in the NEK" on June 12. Here's a photo of the panelists and moderator, from left to right: Jean Sienkewicz, RU12?/PCVT (moderator); Charlene Willey, of St. Johnsbury (panelist); Chelsea Brochu, formerly of Hardwick, now of Burlington (panelist); Lisa Viles Executive Director of Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging (NEVAAA), St. Johnsbury; Jerri Ryan, of St. Johnsbury and NEVAAA (panelist); and Don Grabowski, from the Health Center in Plainfield (panelist). The evening offered a healthy dialogue between and among LGBTQ community members and Allies about community-building, the need for LGBTQ community and events, bias, and the experience of being LGBTQ and Allies in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  

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More photos from the event on June 12th can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/catamountarts/sets/72157645102651116/; the event was recorded and broadcast on a local television station; check it out on Kingdom Access TV.

The LGBTQA Advisory Committee also hosted five discussions following free Monday night films about LGBTQ issues, including "Imagine Me and You," "Cloudburst," "Weekend," "TransAmerica," and "Valentine Road" and are hoping this series is the beginning of new partnership with the Catamount Arts Center for LGBTQA educational and community-building events. Our sincerest thanks go out to all of those who made our Courageous Conversation series in June a huge success, especially the Catamount Arts Center and NEVAAA, as well as community members who opened themselves up to participate in the dialogue.

For more information about the NEK LGBTQA Advisory Committee, please contact Jean at RU12?/Pride Center of Vermont at 802.860.7812 or jean@ru12.org or Jerri Ryan at NEVAAA at 802.751.0431 or jryan@nevaaa.org.

 

 

June 12, 2014

Introducing the New Health and Wellness Intern

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Hi everyone, my name is Ellen Bryer and I'm so happy to be joining the RU12? community for the summer! I'm in the process of exploring Burlington and all of the food and fun it has to offer. I'm coming from Smith College in Western Massachusetts and before that from the greater Philadelphia area. At school, I'm entering my senior year and I study Sociology and Public Health. I'm excited to join the vibrant staff at the RU12? Community Center and learn from the LGBTQ community in Burlington. And as a queer woman, I already feel welcomed into the affirmative environment here. 

While I'm here this summer, I'm going to work in the Health and Wellness Office. My goal is to put together a series of Summer Semester classes (how-to, fitness, discussion-based etc.) as a fun way to learn some new skills together. I'll also compile some resources to add the Center such as a pamphlets on HIV information, queer women's health, and sexual and domestic violence. I'll be at RU12? events during the summer and in the office Monday through Friday. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone who is a part of this community!

May 27, 2014

RU12?'s new groups!

RU12? is pleased to announce that we have two new groups starting in June! Please share this information widely and we hope you will join us!

The RU12? Women’s Discussion Group of 2014 will bring older female-identified LGBTQ people together to discuss topics of interest to them in a safe and comfortable setting and will be an easy and enjoyable opportunity to get to know others from Burlington and the surrounding areas. Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, from 3-5pm at RU12?, 255 S. Champlain Street in Burlington. (Upcoming groups will take place on June 5, 19; July 3, 17; August 7, 21.) Come join us on a Thursday that is convenient, we are waiting to meet you! For more information, call the Center at 802.860.7812 or email womensgroup@ru12.org.

RU12? Walking Group 
RU12? wants you to be fit and happy! Join our walking group, get up and get out, and walk with friends new and old. Great outdoor walking in the summer (and the mall for not such nice weather), so rain or shine, we’ll be there! This group is open to anyone interested, regardless of fitness level. Group will meet at 9am on the 3rd Saturday of the month (upcoming: June 21, July 19, Aug 23) outside of Macy’s on Cherry Street, Burlington. Group will leave at 9:10am. For more information, call the Center at 
802.860.7812, or email walking@ru12.org.

These groups, as well as other upcoming RU12? and VT LGBTQ, events are listed on RU12?'s calendar.

June's Courageous Conversations at St. Johnsbury's Catamount Arts Academy: "Challenges and Celebrations of being LGBTQ in the NEK"

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RU12?'s Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Community Advisory Group is hosting June's Courageous Conversations Through Art, "Challenges and Celebrations of being LGBTQ in the NEK" at the Catamount Film and Arts Center! All screenings begin at 7pm and are free. Discussions will follow each film; all are welcome!

Schedule of films is as follows:

Monday, June 2 - Imagine Me & You
Monday, June 9 - Cloudburst the Movie (2010)
Monday, June 16 - Weekend
Monday, June 23 - Transamerica
Monday, June 30 - Valentine Road

The Courageous Conversations panel conversation, also free and open to the public, will be moderated by RU12?'s very own Jean Sienkewicz, who coordinates RU12's SafeSpace and LGBT Elders programs, and will take place at 6pm on Thursday, June 12 in the Catamount's Cabaret Room. 

Please join us for some films, some stories, and some dialogue about being LGBTQ in the NEK. 

For more information, contact Jean at RU12?, 802.860.7812, jean@ru12.org or Jerri Ryan at Northeast Vermont Area Agency on Aging, 802.751.0431, jryan@nevaaa.org.

LGBTQA in the NEK - Courageous Conversation - Revised -.Two

April 07, 2014

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

SafeSpace, a member program of The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), stands in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual assault in commemorating the 14th annual National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  During this month, NCAVP raises awareness about this form of violence within and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQ and HIV-affected) communities and calls for an end to sexual assault.

Sexual assault is an act of violence in which someone conducts sexual activity without another person’s consent.  Sexual assault offenders exert power and control over survivors through coercion, manipulation, shame, pressure, violating boundaries, and other tactics.  Sexual assault can overlap with other forms of violence and can be committed by strangers, acquaintances, friends, family members, and intimate partners.  In NCAVP’s 2013 report Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV Communities, NCAVP members reported that almost 10% of LGBTQ and HIV-affected  survivors of intimate partner violence experienced form of sexual abuse or harassment from a partner in 2012.  Additionally, NCAVP members reported that 3.1% of hate violence reports were sexual violence in the report Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2012.  The Centers for Disease Control’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found lifetime prevalence rates of sexual violence for LGB individuals were similar or higher than non-LGB people, while other research has found very high prevalence rates of sexual violence against transgender people.

Discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people contributes to LGBTQ and HIV-affected sexual violence survivors feeling pressure to not out other LGBTQ and HIV-affected people as having committed sexual violence.  LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of sexual assault may experience increased barriers to reporting sexual violence such as fear due to threats from an abusive partner to out the survivor’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV-status.  Additionally, LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors may experience disbelief, indifferent, biased attitudes from law enforcement and service providers, and a lack of culturally appropriate and sensitive resources.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, NCAVP commits to continue to support LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of sexual assault by advocating for political strategies to address and end this violence, documenting its impact, and assisting NCAVP member programs to support LGBTQ and HIV-affected sexual violence survivors.  NCAVP calls on community members, anti-violence organizations, and public officials to take action in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to end sexual assault in our communities.

Continue reading "April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month" »

April 01, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: RU12? Community Center is Changing Their Name!

**APRIL FOOLS!!!**

 

Press Release

Burlington, VT: 

Set to be released at the "16th Annual LGBTQA Celebration: The Big Reveal" on 5/2/14, the new name of the RU12? Community Center, as chosen from public feedback and board member vote, has been officially announced over a month earlier than planned. 

At a public forum held yesterday at Main Street Landing, Kim Fountain announced the decision of changing RU12's name as of 5/2/2014 to:

RMUFC of VT -  Resource Management for Unified Family Connection 

To add a fun element, and to help the center be more marketable to the community, we also created a logo that uses our offical acronym of RMUFC. This will be our brand's public face: 

Rainbow Mountains Uni-pug & Fairies Center of VT

Logo

With Georgia, our lovable pug-mascot, as the offical mascot. 

Celebrate our new name with us at the "16th Annual LGBTQA Community Celebration: The Big Reveal" on 5/2/14. BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY! 

March 27, 2014

RU12? Community Center Annual LGBTQA Celebration: The Big Reveal

 

RU12? Community Center Annual LGBTQA Celebration: The Big Reveal

 

Excitement has been building steadily around this event over the last six months. With our roots planted firmly in our past, RU12? is extending our community-centered work across Vermont and scaling up the Center happenings.  From our move back to Burlington last summer and showing the works of local LGBTQ artists at the Art Hop to co-hosting the Pride Dance, we are presenting more and more opportunities for our community and allies to get out into the world and celebrate. The momentum continues building and in the coming months, we will produce Pride Vermont, feature such notable artists as John Killaky in the Center space, present one of our popular Town Hall Series on growing our LGBTQ families, and offer a host of new and exciting social and educational opportunities.

 

All of these amazing new events and programs will happen under a new Center name!! Join us and be the first to hear it as we do our tantalizing Big Reveal.

 

Of course, what would all the newness be without a shift in our biggest event of the year? Join us at Echo for an evening featuring tasting stations with the most amazing dishes designed to impress, by three of Vermont’s leading caterers.

big reveal 

May 2, 2014

Echo Lake Aquarium in Burlington, Vermont

Get Tickets

 

Cocktail reception at 6:00PM

Tasting Stations open at 7:00PM

Silent and Live Auctions

 

Catering by

Sugarsnap

Leunig’s Bistro and Lounge

Catering by Dale

 

The Vermont Pride Awards

Each year, RU12? honors Vermont community members and businesses who go above and beyond to ensure that our LGBTQ community thrives in a dynamic, safe, and exciting environment.

 

The Vermont Pride Award for Activism

Peep Show

The Vermont Pride Activism Award is being presented to the Peep Show. Peep Show is a sassy, irreverent drag and burlesque show, celebrating camp in all things. Producers Jonathan Bitchman and Quechee George create a queer-friendly, sex-positive, and above all, inclusive performance space/environment. Their community driven philanthropic effort showcases new and seasoned talent from Burlington to Boston to NYC. Throughout the show, Jonathan and Quechee let the audience know about everything from where to find support for survivors or violence to where to find an HIV test. At the end of the evening, they pay their performers and the rest is donated to support RU12?.  http://peepshowvermont.tumblr.com

 

The Vermont Pride Community Award for Community Service

The Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Advisory Committee

The Northeast Kingdom LGBTQA Advisory Committee provides cultural education and awareness on behalf of LGBTQ-identified individuals, with special emphasis on aging adults, living in the rural Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The Committee hosts social and educational events and provides education and technical assistance that is LGBTQ affirming, to staff of programs, agencies and organizations that provide services to aging adults.

 

The Vermont Pride Award for Business of the Year

National Life Group

National Life Group, a company with strong Vermont roots. They are very much a part of our communities, supporting such organizations as Pride VT, VT CARES, Outright VT, and the Gay and Lesbian Fund of VT. Their Human Resources Center has the very Vermont title, “The People Center” and their benefits are fully supportive of LGBTQ individuals and families. With “Do Good, Be Good, Make Good.” as a set of corporate values, it is no wonder that they are such a strong supporter of Vermont’s LGBTQ communities.

 

National Life Group is a diversified family of financial service companies that has successfully forged a strong identity as a product innovator offering personalized service. Companies in the group offer a comprehensive portfolio of life insurance, annuity and investment products to help individuals, families and businesses pursue their financial goals.

https://www.nationallifegroup.com/PublicSite/Views/AboutUs.aspx?id=105

 

The Live and Silent Auctions

This year, our auctions are bigger than ever, with items for every budget and interest. Businesses and individuals from across Vermont and all the way to Beijing have donated to the auctions. You will be able to bid on everything from an in-home dinner for eight prepared by Leunig’s Donnell Collins and her amazing staff; summer passes to St. Michael’s Playhouse; and hand blown glass vases to tattoo time and yoga passes. Proceeds support the Center’s social gatherings, educational events, and direct services for the LGBT community.

 

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

sugarsnapLeunigscaterbydalefarrell

TDBank: Fundraising for RU12!

Looking to open an account at a good bank? Or are you a current account holder at TD Bank?

Td bank logo

 

TD Bank is continuing their support of the local LGBTQ community by raising money for RU12? Community Center. When you open a new, non-interest bearing checking account and use the code "A2226" you could earn $25 from TD Bank for yourself, and they will donate $50 to RU12? Community Center! 

What can a $50 donation do for RU12? Community Center? 

  • provide HIV testing
  • provide an hour of SafeSpace services
  • train a social services agency on working with the LGBTQ community
  • reach thousands of LGBTQ Vermonters with targeted information on social media
  • keep the library open for a day

If you get a couple friends to join you, you will all

  • Keep the Center's doors open for a full day
  • Help RU12? to do elders work in the Northeast Kingdom
  • Produce one Family Program event
  • Support two months of the What's Up e-newsletter
  • Sustain the Disabilities Support Network for one month

Current account holders can add the code of "A2226" to their checking account to earn a $10 donation toward RU12? Community Center. Every dollar counts!

Visit William Cross at the Winooski TD Bank branch, or give him a call at (802) 655-3110 for more details on this fundraiser, and to get started today.

Thanks for your support! 

March 24, 2014

Living With HIV in Vermont

In the rural state of Vermont, many of us face the challenge of social isolation, and may find it difficult to meet others with similar backgrounds and interests. Adding in a factor such as being an HIV+ Vermonter can add an unbearable element to the isolation we already experience. 

The “Living With HIV” social support group provides a safe, confidential space for HIV+ individuals to gather and share their experiences and advice on living with the virus. Group participants come together to talk, connect, and find support around a number of issues including coping with stigma, disclosure, and dealing with health care providers.

A goal of this group is to enable participants to become more empowered to take on the many challenges of living with HIV such as dating, safer sex, and managing stress and finances.  It meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30pm, at Burlington-area locations.  Please message john@ru12.org or call John at (802) 860-7812 for more information and meeting locations. 

LWH

March 18, 2014

RU12? LGBT Elders Program at Burlington Gerontology Symposium

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RU12?'s display at Gerontology Symposium

RU12?'s LGBT Elders SafeSpaces Network cultural awareness training program is thrilled for the opportunity to be exhibiting at the Gerontology Symposium today at Burlington's Hilton Hotel! We've been mingling and networking with elder-care providers of all different kinds (medical, mental health, education, case management, etc.) talking about our cultural awareness work around the state. Exciting stuff! If you are attending the symposium, please stop by, chat with Jean and help yourself to a clementine. :)

February 19, 2014

Living With HIV: Social Support Group

Are you, or a friend, HIV+ and just looking for a supportive group to discuss life with HIV with other POZ individuals?

A new Burlington-area social support group will be starting on March 6th. For more information, feel free to shoot a confidential email or call: 

John
john@ru12.org
(802) 860-7812

Jo
tsnjo@sover.net
1(888) 338-8796

HIV Support Group lo

January 31, 2014

Tonight! LGBTQA Family Program Date Night: "Queer-e-oke" at Bob Bolyard's Karaoke

Slide1

Leave the kiddos and/or furry babies at home and come sing your heart out with us at Bob Bolyard's Karaoke/RU12? Family Program's Date Night "Queer-e-oke." 21+

January 18, 2014

Just a few moments for LGBTQ Vermonters...


SamaraHey All-

The Samara Fund, part of the Vermont Community Foundation, has been a huge supporter of RU12? Community Center. We have been able to do everything from truly committing to a statewide expansion to strengthening the safety nets for LGBT seniors in the NEK because the Samara Fund has been there supporting LGBTQ issues. Now, you can help them out by taking this survey. They are seeking your opinion on needs and services that are important to you and the broader LGBTQ community in Vermont. 

As our thank you for participating, at the end of the survey you will be able to vote for your favorite Vermont-based LGBTQ organization to receive a mini-grant of $250.  The organization with the most votes at the end of the survey period will receive this gift of appreciation. You can also use this link to share the survey on your Facebook page:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZCFBRXH

Thanks all!! 

Kim Fountain, Executive Director

 

January 09, 2014

GLAD's "Know Your Rights After DOMA" Campaign for LGBTQ Families

 

 

With DOMA's demise, GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders) are currently in the process of educating as many LGBTQ community members about their rights as they relate to taxes and federal benefits. The fact sheet images below are a good start, and GLAD will also be hosting two upcoming webinars:

 

 

GLAD also has their GLAD Answers program, a legal information service where community members can call and reach a live person on the other end to ask questions, get referrals, and find out more about their own legal situation.

We hope this information is helpful for Vermont's LGBTQ families!

Know Your Rights After DOMA_Page_1

Know Your Rights After DOMA_Page_2

January 07, 2014

2nd Wednesday LGBTQA Family Program Playgroup at Leaps and Bounds

 

Join us Wednesday, January 8 for our 2nd Wednesday LGBTQA Family Program Playgroup at Leaps and Bounds Child Development Center, 25 Pinecrest Drive in Essex Junction!

Parking is behind the building; enter through the office door (marked). L&B is a shoe-free zone so bring inside shoes or slippers if you're worried about cold feet!

Any questions about this or other Family Program events can be directed to jean@ru12.org or the Center at 802.860.7812.

Playgroup 2014

December 16, 2013

3rd Thursdays LGBTQA Grief and Loss group, this week (December 19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new (old) social and support group for people experiencing loss of any kind. In the past, this group has been a really powerful and helpful experience for members, allowing them to connect, support one another, and heal. In light of both the upcoming holidays and the unexpected loss our LGBTQ community has recently experienced, we hope this group can be a useful tool for bringing people together.

Grief and loss2013

RU12? is reviving our LGBTQA Grief and Loss group, to be held monthly on 3rd Thursdays. This is a social support group for those interested in giving voice to their experience(s) with loss and listening to others. 
We welcome those experiencing loss of all kinds including death of a loved one, loss of or change in health, familial and other beloved relationships, and more. Topics could include but are not limited to: grieving, letting go, resolution, moving on, coping mechanisms, self-image, rituals and learning.

Please join us this Thursday, December 19, from 6-7:30pm at the RU12? Community Center, 255 S. Champlain Street, Ste. 12, Burlington.

Facebook event

December 11, 2013

RU12?'s Winter Pledge Drive is in Full Swing!

 

Help Make a Difference!


WPD photo stripYour support of RU12? Community Center makes a very real difference in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people, and our allies across Vermont.

Thanks to a generous donation from John Canning and Jay Schuster of Physicians Computer Company your donations will be matched dollar for dollar until we reach $5000. Thank you PCC!

By contributing to RU12?, you have the opportunity to be part of the growing number of programs and events that reach community members across the lifespan. Our elders advocacy work and our disabilities support network are taking off and winning national awards. And each time we run an event through our Family Program, we meet new folks from across Vermont who tell us how happy they are for the opportunity to be with one another. There is nothing quite as rewarding as seeing LGBTQA families light up when they are with other LGBTQA families. No explaining. No judgment. No hiding. Just fun.

Please take a moment to make an investment in the health and dignity of Vermont’s LGBTQ community by supporting RU12? Community Center.

If you are in downtown Burlington, stop by our sunny new location at 255 South Champlain Street. Grab a book from the library, enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea, and relax.

Best wishes,

The Staff and Board of RU12?

Click Here to make a donation. If you would like a donation envelope sent to you instead please email Kim Fountain or call (802) 860-7812

You can also send a check to:
255 South Champlain Street, Suite 12, Burlington, VT 05401

 

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