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  • Writer's pictureResponders for Pride

What's New and Where We are Going

Summer is winding down and school season is winding up. Those of us who garden can hardly keep up with the veggies rolling off the vines. Our board of directors have had an active summer with work, vacations, losses, and kids starting elementary school. Its been a good season for leaning on family and close friends for the good and the sad.

Responders for Pride has been using the summer for planning and strategizing our short-term and long-term goals. We met with the administrative director of the Maryland Commission of LGBTQ affiars, Jeremy Browning. We also welcomed a new mental health ambassador, Katie Bingner. Katie is a licensed mental health therapist, board approved clinical supervisor, teacher, speaker, writer, and communication coach. She has spent the last 16 years in the health and wellness industry. Katie will be acting as RfP mental health ambassador, providing education, tips, and resources specifically geared toward first responders and their partners.

We will be sending a representative to Convergence, a conference for LGBTQ fire liaisons. Thanks to your donations, we can attend all of the seminars and the anniversary gala. Convergence is hosted by IEFPA, the International EMS and Firefighters Pride Alliance. Seminars will include train the trainer, roles of liaisons, guest speakers, and more. We are so excited to attend Convergence and share what we learn with you.

We have updated the website to include information about liaisons, how to become a liaison, and a link to our liaison list which is constantly updated. We're so thankful for everyone who has reached out to us with liaison information so that we can make it easily available to those looking for it. Liaisons are such important resources within your agency, they give a solid point of contact for education, questions, and a person who can raise concerns to the administration. We have also added a link to our Amazon wish list for those who want to support us in physical ways. Many of the items are to support our behind the scenes office work. Others are to make our booths and festival tables more engaging, interactive, and educational.

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