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Press Release

FIERCE, Friends of Hudson River Park, and the Kiki Coalition Organize Historic Ball for LGBTQ Youth on Pier 46 in the West Village

Global Warming Ball Expected to Draw Nearly 1,000 Youth, Featuring Performances by Vivika Westwood and Members of Vogue Evolution Dance Company

September 15, 2009

WHAT: FIERCE, a community-based organization dedicated to building the leadership and power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color, the Kiki Coalition and Friends of Hudson River Park are presenting a first-of-its kind Ball on Pier 46 in the West Village section of the Hudson River Park. The environmentally conscious, green-themed Ball will feature stunning performances, voguing competitions, and creative costumes.

This youth-led event marks a major victory in FIERCE's Safe Space Saves Lives Campaign to ensure that the needs of LGBTQ youth of color are not forgotten in the wake of developments along the West Village Waterfront. FIERCE worked with the Friends of Hudson River Park to co-sponsor the event, a crucial step for waiving the standard $25,000 event fee and securing free educational programming on the pier.

The Kiki Coalition, established to enhance partnerships within the House and Ball community, is also collaborating closely with FIERCE to organize this monumental Ball. The Coalition, comprised of members from The Hetrick-Martin Institute, The Door, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the HEAT Program, FACES NY, and OutSpoken, most recently spearheaded a multi-organizational internship program for LGBTQ youth to strengthen their skills and commitment to the empowerment and safety of their community.

Interview Opportunities with:

  • Youth members and staff from FIERCE, The Hetrick-Martin Institute, The Door, GMHC, HEAT, FACES NY, and OutSpoken
  • Vivika Westwood "Miss Riis Universe" featuring members of Vogue Evolution Dance Company
WHEN: Saturday, September 19, 2009
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM WHERE: Hudson River Park's Pier 46
(West Side Highway and West 10th Street)
Manhattan WHY: For over 40 years, LGBTQ youth have called the West Village and Christopher St. Pier their home, a place to be who they are without the fear or threat of violence. The House and Ball Community has fostered social, emotional, and educational support amongst these same communities, particularly around sexual health issues such as HIV/AIDS. This new collaboration between the Kiki Coalition and FIERCE brings together the power of youth-led community organizing and the essential service-based work of leading community-based organizations to strengthen the LGBTQ youth movement and their recognition as important stakeholders in the West Village community and citywide.

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This article was provided by Gay Men's Health Crisis. Visit GMHC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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