NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday August 22nd 2017

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OUT in the Backyard CHAT

The OUT in the Backyard CHAT is focusing their work and activities on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ) communities to reduce isolation, create community and foster connections in order to improve the health of individuals in our neighborhoods.

Some of the activities that we have worked on in the last year to put our goals and ideals into action include:

  • Worked with the community and a website designer to began the process of building an informational and interactive website that will provide resources and educational information. It will also be accessible to all outside the GLBTQ community so that we can increase awareness and build connections between our various communities.
  • Sponsored several community forums to get information for the website and share resources, which included topics like: services for LGBT youth and end of life issues and the need for healthcare directives.
  • Sponsored Booth at the annual GLBTQ Pride festival in Loring Park to promote OUT in the Backyard and to recruit community members to the CHAT.
  • Community screening/discussion of the documentary Bullied”, a film that tells one student’s ordeal with anti-gay bullying. Bullying is an issue that impacts many different communities, and the film helped generate dialogue among CHATs. This event took place at the Cultural Wellness Center. 
  • Since obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and stress are such big health issues not only for GLBT folks but for all residents in the Back Yard, we began a series of exercise classes that would be free and accessible to all. First, we started with a 6 or 8-week Kettlebell class. We have continued using an exercise class format as a way to improve the health of all in the Back Yard by offering Zumba, a very popular exercise movement class. These classes are offered every Monday night from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in Powderhorn Park with ZUMBA instructor, Bernice Arias, leading the sessions. Join us and be “out” in the park having fun and building community spirit. Open to everyone, not just GLBTQ folks.
  • An important current focus of our CHAT is working with the organization Minnesota United for All Families to defeat the amendment that would limit the freedom for GLBTQ people to marry. It is very personal to us in this CHAT that people vote “no” to the Anti-Marriage Amendment in November to protect the rights of all families. Contact Janet Dahlem, jldahlem@stkate.edu to join us in organizing around the e effort to defeat this amendment that will harm our community.

CHAT Members include: Mili Dutta, Jen Dolan, April Posner, Marta Knutson, Diane Long, and Janet Dahlem.

 

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