Equality Texarkana hosted its first big fundraising event, a masquerade ball,Fiesta de los Muertos, Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Twin Cities Event & Conference Center.
“We are remembering or past and celebrating our future,” said Pope, Jr founder and CEO of Equality Texarkana.
The event’s title translates to, “The party of the dead,” and honored those who fought for equality and have since left us. They had an authentic “Dia de los muertos” alter honoring LGBTQ Civil Rights Icons that have since passed away. We need to recognize that we have the power to change the future of our community for the better by following their example,” he said.
They had a “Dia de los muertos” theme that they consulted with many people in the community and did lots of research to make sure it was as authentic as possible. They served a fully authentic Mexican meal, and decorated tiny sugar skulls by hand.
“We wanted to be a respectful to the holiday as possible, because it is a cherished cultural tradition in the Latino community,” said Lucy Reyes, Chief Operating Officer for Equality Texarkana.
Equality Texarkana provides free group counseling, support groups and youth groups for LGBTQ youth and their parents. They have created a positive, fun, and safe environment for any children in the community to come and hangout together and build lasting relationships.
“This is something I wish I would have had growing up in Texarkana, and I’m glad we are able to provide it,” said Pope.
They also provide parent support groups, youth volunteer and social groups and offer many resources for the families and children that they might not have access to otherwise. Other events that Equality Texarkana hosts are Pride picnics, Pride Marches and Social dinners throughout the year.
“It’s about building a community and and bridging the gap between us and the community,” said Pope.
Funds raised from the event, as well as the silent auction will go toward being able to fund their future events, as well as their support groups and group counseling. They want to continue making a difference in the community and hopefully bring about a great change.
“Our goal for tonight is to have fun, raise some money, and show the community what we’re all about,” said Reyes.
If you would like to be a part of Equality Texarkana or find out a little more about the organization you can visit their website EqualityTexarkana.org or look them up on Facebook.