To the LGBTQ+ community,
As promised in our statement released August 10th, 2018, the OutReach Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers have been working with several groups in the Madison LGBTQ+
community regarding expanding our advocacy work, as well as plans for Pride 2019.
First, we’d like to offer a sincere apology for our racist actions. We take full responsibility for all our actions that silenced, erased, overlooked, and excluded our Queer, Transgender, and Intersex People of Color (QTIPOC) in the community, as well as the harm that we caused in these actions which we recognize function to maintain and reinforce white supremacy. We can’t promise that we won’t make mistakes in the future, so we humbly ask our community to hold us accountable as we make efforts to educate ourselves, staff, volunteers, clients, and stakeholders, and continue to engage in community healing.
We’ve also recently ratified a revised mission statement, to better reflect our organizational development and directions. Our renewed mission at OutReach is:
A commitment to equity and quality of life for all LGBTQ+ people through community building, health and human services, and economic, social, and racial justice advocacy.
We realize that although the LGBTQ+ community has made significant progress since
Stonewall, we still have a lot of work to do in uplifting and amplifying those who are
multiply marginalized in our community. Now and into the future we will be making strides to engage in anti-racism work and intersectional feminism, and to ensure our events are
accessible and welcoming to all members of the LGBTQ+ community. Community healing to us means that we will divest from systems of white supremacy and we will work more closely with the community and community leaders that are actively engaged in economic, social, and racial justice advocacy, equity, education, and positive change.
In preparing for OutReach’s Pride 2019 we centered planning around community healing, working closely with partner organizations, such as the Community Pride Coalition (CPC), regarding our dedication to equity, ethics, and accountability. In January and February of 2019, we met with many LGBTQ+ community leaders, organizations, and city officials and the feedback we received led us to start planning to include a festival as well as the parade. However, we encountered unforeseen circumstances related to the logistics and feasibility of the parade*. While planning for a festival gained momentum, the logistics and costs of
OutReach hosting a parade became insurmountable.
After painstakingly reviewing our options, and with time running out, we decided to move forward with festival planning, and to discontinue efforts to hold a parade. We felt that
focusing on a festival was the best course of action for promoting community, and the best use of our time given the unanticipated hurdles we’d been presented in parade planning.
We are excited to announce for Madison’s Pride 2019 we will be organizing the first annual OutReach Magic Festival, a nod to the MAGIC Picnic, a local Pride celebration which was held for many years. The festival will be held on August 18th, 2019 from 1:00pm-6:00pm at Warner Park. This year’s event is particularly special as we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall, as well as the 30th Anniversary of Madison’s first pride parade. We’ll be hiring private security for the event as our permit allows. There’ll be activities for all ages, entertainment, food, vendors, info booths, and more! And most importantly we’ll be focusing on bringing the community together for celebration, healing, and rejuvenation.
We’ve made some progress on our journey, but still have several years of work to further transform OutReach into a more equitable, socially conscious and just organization that serves the entire LGBTQ+ community.
We would not have the ability to do this work without support from our diverse community. We appreciate everyone who has come together to help us in our journey for organizational change, as well as those who’ve come together to help us plan for the 2019 OutReach Magic Festival. We hope that Madison’s LGBTQ+ community continues to support us on our journey and we welcome you all to get involved in our upcoming events, educational opportunities, programming, volunteering, and activism. Let’s work together toward
healing as a community and learn to embrace and celebrate our similarities, as well as honor our many, varied, and valued differences.
Thank you for your support,
OutReach Board President, on behalf of the OutReach Board of Directors
OutReach was first made aware of potential City of Madison Street Use Committee changes that would impact Pride in December 2018. Representatives from OutReach attended a meeting with the Street Use Committee in January 2019 where we were informed that we would not be able to use State Street. We were asked to think of alternate plans and alternate routes. We were also informed that the Madison Police Department (MPD) representative said we would be required to hire significantly more officers than last year, at a substantial increase in cost, as the parade would now be categorized as a District event.
At a subsequent meeting we were informed that we’d be able to use State Street after all, however we’d be required to stop for traffic lights at the three major intersections. We were also asked to significantly limit the number of entrants in our parade, by at least a third of the size, to accommodate stopping at traffic lights and to reduce the use of State Street for staging.
We were then asked to move our event from August 18th to August 3rd, due to the proximity to the student move in date of August 15th.