Letter from Justin and Stacey



Dear 

Much has changed at Q Center over the last 14 years, from location to leadership. Recently we've seen outward change in the form of two beautiful murals adorning our outside walls. Ramping up our volunteer leadership 
structure over the past six months has exponentially increased our capacity. And for the first time since 2014, we are on a solid financial ground, with a clear path toward long-term sustainability.

What hasn't changed  is the steadfast leadership and support of our four dedicated staff and 10 board members, our more than 30 affinity group leaders, our elders and youth, local businesses and neighborhood association partners, corporate supporters, volunteers who staff the center on nights and weekends, and thousands of community members like you who visit our space and call in for resources every week.

We have a big family at Q Center with a shared legacy of resilience and determination and as we know, not even the threat of financial collapse at the end of 2014 could break our family's resolve to have a home where we all can feel safe.

During the initial restructure in 2015, we joined Q Center as executive co-directors, understanding that the amount of energy and time required to rebuild Q and restore community trust would be immense. Our main goal was to re-establish Q Center as a trusted community resource.

Two years later, Q Center is a new, healthier organization. The board better
 reflects the diversity of our communities; marginalized  communities are relying on and leading Q Center; we've developed a culture of 
accountab ility and systems to sustain it; and Q Center ended 2016 with a positive cash balance--for the first time since 2013, and only the second time in the past eight years!

We've known for a while that Q Center is out of the recovery phase and entering a new era of sustainability and growth. As we enter this new phase, we feel it is time to leave our roles as executive co-directors, so that Q Center can start with fresh eyes and new executive leadership, with a wellspring of energy to give to this new effort.

Sharing power is a core belief of ours, and permeates throughout the culture of Q Center. By moving on we're welcoming  an opportunity to evolve the center's leadership. We hope to open the door for other trans and queer Portlanders to move into new leadership at Q Center.

We both feel so blessed to have been able to serve our community as co-
directors of Q Center and will be forever grateful for the invaluable friendships we've formed over these last two and a half years. During the transition of leadership, we will be moving into support roles through the end of the year. Our gala is on October 8th! Please, come join the celebration of our family's successes and our  tenure as executive co-directors.

As we've seen from this new administration, the fight for trans rights, the risk of closure, and the joys of rebirth--change makes us stronger. Q Center's change in leadership will continue that tradition, and we look forward to the next phase of our family journey.

If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact our board directly at leadership@pdxqcenter.org . You can also reach each of us at  justin@pdxqcenter.org and stacey@pdxqcenter.org . True to form, we will be as transparent as you would like us to be. In that spirit, we've made an FAQ page that you can find here.   

In love, humility and deep appreciation,
Justin and Stacey
Executive Co-Directors, Q Center

P.S. Celebrate with us at SHINE on October 8th! If you're unable to join us at the gala and would like to make a donation to Q Center in Stacey and Justin's honor you can do that here-thank you SO much for your generosity.

Message from Our Board Chair 

We couldn't have asked for a better executive team for the past two years.
 
Stacey and Justin have brought vision, leadership, accountability, and a deep sense of purpose to rebuilding community and sustainability at Q Center. They've transformed our internal culture, upgraded our financial systems, and steered Q Center into financial solvency for the first time since 2013. Most important, they've restored trust with community members hurt by Q Center in the past, and helped foster new bonds of friendship and family for the thousands of people who participate in our programs and events every year.   
 
The transformative work at Q Center is not done--in fact, we're just getting started. Stacey and Justin have truly done above and beyond what we, the community and board of directors, asked them to do. We are grateful for the passion and dedication that have brought Q Center so far in a very short time, and for staff and volunteers who keep Q Center growing and thriving every day. We're also indebted to generous foundations, business partners, community partners, sports teams, and to everyone who contributes time and money to support Q Center. Thank you.
 
So, what's next? Currently, the board is gathering information and preparing to release a job announcement by early October. Stacey and Justin will continue working at Q Center through the next several months,  to keep our ship steady and help ensure a smooth transition. If you're wondering how you can support Q's next evolution, please plan to participate in our upcoming community survey. We'd also love to celebrate with you at our SHINE With Q gala and fundraiser on October 8 .
 
All of us on the board of directors are looking forward to what comes next, and we sincerely and gratefully hope that you will continue to guide, inspire, and be part of that dream.
 
In gratitude,
 

Athen O'Shea, Chair
Q Center Board of Directors

P.S. Want more information? See the FAQ to find out more about Stacey and Justin's big move what's next for Q Center!
Meet Your Board!
Top row, left-right: Athen O'Shea, Manumalo S. Ala'ilima, Susan Kocen, Anthea Proulx Middle row, left-right: Justin Pabalate, Maxime Rene, Raina Daniels, Natalia Kay O'Brien Bottom row, left-right: Darion Demartez Jones, Laila Haile, Babatunde Azibuike, Samantha Taylor, Katrina Pinkerton, Stacey Rice

Leila Haile (they/theirs)
Leila is a member of the Q Center board of directors and co-director/youth coordinator for Ori Gallery. Leila has been working with youth in Portland for the last 10 years. Leila also organizes with the Portland chapter of Black Lives Matter and is a passionate activist for social justice, youth empowerment, and the arts.



Darion Demartez Jones (he/him/his)
Darion has served on the communications team of Basic Rights Oregon, and as the lead communications volunteer for Sankofa Collective Northwest (formerly PFLAG Portland Black Chapter). Currently he serves as board co-chair for Sankofa Collective Northwest, hosts KBOO's QTPOC Talk radio show, and is employed as a social media specialist for Meyer Memorial Trust.

Geeta Lewis (she/her/hers)
Geeta is a user of Q Center's services, programs, and facilities, and also a board member. She is a trans person of color, a visual artist, and an optimistic pragmatist. She's held several leadership positions in the US military, and brings to Q Center an unjaded perspective to discussions of inclusion, equity, rational or irrational optimism, and numerous opportunities for collaboration.


Maxime RenĂ©  (he/him/his)
Maxime works for SEIU Local 503 as an organizer, motivating and advocating on behalf of hardworking American families. 2012-2014 he worked on WA and OR's marriage equality campaigns, and in 2014 he worked on behalf of Basic Rights Oregon's Pro Equality PAC. In 2016 he worked for candidates Mark Meek and Janelle Bynum, both of whom won their seats. Maxime is committed to issues centered around poverty, racial inequality, and improving access to higher education for low-income and first-generation college students.

Samantha Taylor (she/her, they/them) 
Samantha is part of the Community Cycling Center's dynamic Development team, and is thrilled to increase the efficacy and impact of the Cycling Center's programs through donor support. She has previously worked with Sankofa Collective NW, Pride Foundation, and at PSU's Queer Resource Center where she organized the annual Queer Students of Color Conference in 2015 and 2016. 


Manumalo  "Malo" Ala'ilima (all pronouns)
Malo came to Portland from the San Francisco Bay area and is a Samoan American butch lesbian or "fa'afatama"/"fa'atama"/"fa'atamaloa", Samoan for "in the manner of a male." Malo has been involved with APANO for nearly two years and is currently serving on a committee. Malo also is a member of the Pacific Islander Coalition advisory board ton MultCo Health Dept. She recently founded and is the chair for U.T.O.P.I.A. PDX (United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance Portland), which creates a safe space for the Pacific Islander LGBTPQIA+ community in the Portland and Vancouver areas in advocating for social justice, education, and overall wellness. 

Anthea Proulx (she/her/hers) 
Anthea was born and raised in Humboldt County, in Northern California.  Anthea holds a degree in accounting and has worked in banking since 2004, where she manages a loan servicing team and supports lending system projects.  She spent 10 years as the board treasurer and many of those years coordinating the annual festival of her hometown pride organization. Anthea is Q Center's board treasurer.

Babatunde Azibuike (she/he/ze) 
Babatunde is a passionate Southern activist from Athens, GA. Ze boasts years of experience working in many intersectional communities developing leadership and building solidarity. C alled to invest more and more in the collective liberation for humanity, she has worked on many campaigns to push for protections for LGBTQ folks and educating folks on trans issues.  He is an alum from The Task Force's Transgender Leadership Exchange and part of the 2016-2017 LGBT-University cohort with Freedom for All Americans. 

Kat Pinkerton (she/her/hers)
Kat is a femme, woman, cis, parent, white, and Queer. She is an Nurse Practitioner who graduated from Yale School of Nursing in 2016. Specializing in reproductive, sexual, and LGBTQIA+ healthcare, Kat currently works in oncology. Kat believes in the strength of community, whose power is collectively increased when people with privilege listen deeply, affirm and support those from oppressed identities, and educate their peers about privilege.  

Athen O'Shea (he/him/his)
Athen has been a community organizer and process facilitator since 1998. He's helped organize and facilitate international queer festivals, underground film screenings, pumpkin pie bake offs, and more than a few uncomfortably transformative community processes. He co-facilitates Tranz Guys PDX, organizes with Greater Portland Trans Unity, and has been a member of the Q Center board of directors since January 2015. 
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