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A Response to the Call for Community Accountability and Our Recent Town Hall – by the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center, Kingston, NY

Open Letter to Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center Calling for Community Accountability

To the Hudson Valley LGBTQ+ Community

The movement for our collective liberation has been shaped by effective call-outs, and we’re grateful to every human who signed the recent call for community accountability statement posted online by the Newburgh LGBTQ+ Center.

We hear you, we see you, and we are sorry. We wouldn’t presume to engage with you directly, and want to honor your space. But our door is open for dialogue, and we have a plan, now, for a restorative process related to the harms.

We thank you for the leadership you have shown where we have fallen short of our mission. And we appreciate your approach in calling us out. We acknowledge that we have caused harm in the past within our community. We have taken too long to recognize that harm.

We understand that our actions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, have helped to perpetuate the patriarchal systems and behaviors that characterize our country’s history. They have caused harm.

We also hear that past harms have included interactions with people that made them feel less than safe or welcome. They include the misgendering of individuals. That’s not okay.

We’re a little out of our depth, right now. We realize that. So we have contracted with a diversity and inclusion consulting firm to help us address our cultural shortcomings.

Saying sorry can compound harm when you don’t say sorry in the right way. And we haven’t always learned from or taken ownership of past mistakes, either. From now on, we are committed to reparative change.

We pledge to be transparent, to be accountable, and to work hard to regain the community’s trust. We will make meaningful changes to our systems, policies, and actions, and where needed, we will seek to introduce restorative and transformative practices.

We stand with the entire community against racism, injustice, and inequity in all forms. We want the Center to be a safe and inclusive space for every member of our community for generations to come…

Read the Entire Statement at https://lgbtqcenter.org/open-letter-to-the-community/