FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GRAND OPENING OF THE BLACK SHEEP RELIEF CENTER
New Center in Selma, AL Welcomes Local LGBTQ Residents and Community Activists
Selma, AL. (July 5, 2017) – The Knights and Orchids Society (TKO), a grassroots Southern centered startup that promotes gender justice and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ+) visibility, will be opening the doors of the new Black Sheep Relief Center. The three-day grand opening weekend will take place from July 21st through July 23rd in Selma, Alabama. The Black Sheep Relief Center will serve as a link between the local LGBTQ community and the city of Selma to create positive change in the city overall, particularly among rural LGBTQ youth and young adults. Destigmatizing this underrepresented group is a task that TKO Society has been working on since its founding in 2012. Among other primary needs, LGBTQ youth in rural areas require reduction in isolation, social acceptance and visibility, emotional support and safety, and gender and sexual minority identity development’ from LGBTQ role models that they can identify with and trust.
Through the Black Sheep Relief Center LGBTQ youth, young adults, activists, and families will have a place to convene for Town Hall meetings and social events. Community resources will be available to educate and empower local LGBTQ residents cultural competency and youth will have access to community-enhancing tools that they priorly have not been able to access readily. Those who visit the Black Sheep Relief Center will also be able to participate in cultural events and activities in an inclusive setting that fosters a sense of community.
This new community-based initiative comes on the heels of a groundbreaking year for TKO Society—a 501 (c) 3 organization that was awarded in 2016 with a portion of the $427,000 in funding raised through the Trans Justice Funding Project. Through a partnership with Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) TKO successfully hosted legal clinics, Protect Yourself Clinics, and is planning for an upcoming statewide trans advocacy training in Alabama.
The grand opening for the Black Sheep Relief Center, located at 108 Lauderdale Street in Selma, AL, will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the morning of July 21st and conclude with more activities throughout the weekend to allow the local residents to have a chance to get to know the team behind TKO Society and The Black Sheep Relief Center.
For more information about TKO Society and the Black Sheep Relief Center’s grand opening, please visit https://www.tkosociety.com/ or call (334) 526-4443.
About TKO Society: The Knights and Orchids Society (TKO) is a southern centered grassroots startup founded and led by black queer transgender and gender non-conforming people supporting gender justice and LGBTQ visibility. TKO was founded with one goal: Create positive LGBTQ role models and leaders to guide the next generation of LGBTQ youth and activists. TKO’s mission is to improve the quality of life within the LGBTQ community by creating safe spaces that empower educate and unite queer people of color in rural areas while enhancing educational and economic opportunities to support and acknowledge positive role models. For more information, visit https://www.tkosociety.com/ To join the ongoing TKO Society conversation, like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/TKOSociety)
Schedule of Events:
1pm-3pm Ribbon Cutting/Calendar Photo Shoot-108 Lauderdale Street Selma, AL 36701
5pm-Until Paris is Burning Viewing Party-108 Lauderdale Street Selma, AL 36701
12 pm-4pm Protect Yourself Clinic-108 Lauderdale Street Selma, AL 36701
8pm-Midnight Poetry Show & Story Slam-108 Lauderdale Street Selma, AL 36701
Splash & Status Jam-2 Green Street Street Selma, AL 36701
11am-4pm at Riverfront Park-(2 Green Street Selma, AL 36701) Activities include music, food, water games, bouncy house, face painting, Snow Cones, bingo live entertainment by (Ms. Central Alabama Pride 2017 (Sinseriti K. Starr). Admission is a non-perishable food item or school supply.
** All events provide a safe and supportive space for trans, queer, lesbian, bisexual, gay and questioning youth and adults and their allies.