Th e I ns ide Sc oop
J u n e 2 0 18
Welcome to Youth Pride, Inc.'s June edition of The Inside Scoop! In recognition of Pride Month, this edition features YPI's experience as Honorary Marshal at the 2018 Pridefest and Illuminated Night Parade. So, why is June considered national Pride Month? Pride Month serves to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which are considered to be the start of the gay liberation movement in the United States. In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City Police raided the gay bar, The Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village of Lower Manhattan. Raids on gay establishments were routine during this time period, as certain service level agreement provisions criminalized the serving of alcoholic beverages to LGBTQ individuals. This particular raid was different.   Led by pioneers of the LGBT movement like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Zazu Nova, Stormé DeLarverie, and Jackie Hormona, bar patrons and onlookers resisted the raid and fought back, resulting in six days of intense rioting leaving many arrested, wounded, or killed. The aftershock of the riots rippled throughout the nation for decades to come, sparking LGBTQ activism and protests that converted shame and oppression into pride and liberation. Every June, we commemorate the Stonewall Riots and try to embody their fierce resilience and perseverance demonstrated on that day while simultaneously recognizing the impacts LGBTQ individuals have had in the world.
YPI Attends RI Pride as Honorary Marshal
The Official 43rd Annual PrideFest and Illuminated Night Parade took place on Saturday, June 16th in Providence. This was the largest Pride to date, estimating 90,000-100,000 visitors and 80 parade contingents; more than half of last year's parade. Youth Pride, Inc. was a nominated Honorary Marshal chosen for our "commitment to standing up and being a voice for the LGBTQ+ community across Rhode Island" as quoted by Rhode Island Pride.
YPI's booth during PrideFest sat peacefully under shading trees along the South Water Greenway. In addition to providing outreach for YPI, our booth had a myriad of activities PrideFest-goers could partake in. Temporary tattoos and custom YPI hand fans were available for taking in addition to Pride Coloring books created by Ronald Holt and William Huggett. Two custom t-shirts, designed by our youth, were also available. Our 13 and under youth crafted a mint green t-shirt depicting two smiling heads of lettuce with the words, "Let Us Love!" printed across the front. Our 13 and over youth designed a mustard yellow shirt depicting a unicorn with a thought bubble reading, "I can't even think straight!". Festival goers were also enticed to play "Match the Flag", where participants matched sexuality and gender identity flags to their proper definitions. After completing the game, players were allowed to take an identity pin of their choice to keep and wear!
Executive Director, Elana Rosenberg, and newly appointed Board Chair, Michelle Saunders, were invited to speak on the main stage. They gave an overview of YPI's mission, programs, and services to the energetic and supportive crowd. Shortly after, parade set up commenced. YPI marched fourth in line, wielding fifteen different identity flags and over fifty illuminated balloons. The Grand and Honorary Marshalls were recognized in front of Providence Performing Arts Center, with YPI being thanked for our commitment to serving, advocating, and educating LGBTQ youth.

Overall, 2018 Rhode Island Pride was a great success. We would like to thank our sponsor, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, for supporting us and funding our fun t-shirts! We would also like to thank all those who donated and stopped by our booth. We are already looking forward to next year!
CVS Health Charity Classic Volunteer Opportunity!
YPI is currently recruiting volunteers to assist with the 20th Annual CVS Health Charity Classic happening Monday, June 25th at Rhode Island Country Club. This Golf Tournament is the largest charitable sporting event in Rhode Island.

Every year proceeds from the event are donated to nonprofit organizations in southern New England as part of the CVS Health Charity Classic mission. Youth Pride, Inc. has been a proud partner and fund recipient for over a decade. Volunteering for this event is a great way to convert your time and effort into monetary donations for YPI, as the gift we receive in exchange for recruiting volunteers is very generous and a great support for our programs and services.

We are looking for volunteers to assist us with Satellite Parking. Volunteers will be expected to guide drivers to the appropriate parking lots, verify cars in the appropriate lots, and call for the shuttle service after guests park.
Volunteering for the CVS Health Charity Classic is a great opportunity to spend your day along the beautiful Providence River while also taking in the breathtaking greenscape around the club. Additionally, this is a great opportunity to get up close to today’s top professional golfers! Volunteers will be provided with one volunteer badge that gives access to the tournament while not volunteering, two grounds tickets, two tickets to the Volunteer Appreciation Event, one tournament shirt, one tournament hat, and free meals!

If you would like to volunteer, email
Interested in Hosting a Food Drive for YPI's Basic Needs Pantry?
YPI is home to a small Basic Needs Pantry that serves over 700 Rhode Island youth a year. The pantry offers food, clothing, toiletries, and school supplies to youth in need.

Food donations are incredibly important for our pantry to stay fully stocked and operational. If your group or organization is interested in sponsoring our Basic Needs Pantry by hosting a food drive, please email to begin coordinating your event!

YPI has a specific wish list that outlines what non perishable are most useful to us. We can send this to any interested group. If needed, a YPI staff member can pick up the donations after the food drive.

We preemptively thank all interested groups!
Monthly Spotlight
Dave's Coffee
Dave's Coffee is a family owned and operated Coffee Bar/Roaster founded in 1997. The company has gradually grown and now consists of two retail stores and a production roaster. 

While sampling and profiling coffees Adam Bonaccorsi, the head of coffee at Dave's, came up with the idea to offer a limited coffee blend for the month of June; the Big and Fruity. This blend, comprised of beans from Ethiopia, embodies the name with bold notes of fruit. Understanding that creating connections and building community is a cornerstone of the coffee industry, Dave’s Coffee wanted to provide support to a demographic that often gets marginalized. Partnering with Youth Pride Inc., Dave’s Coffee is arranging to donate a portion of the proceeds raised through Big and Fruity sales to YPI, believing it is crucial to support youth organizations. 

Adam states, "As our Director of Coffee, it was really important for me to come up with a project that would support a community that not only myself, but many members of our staff identify with as well as the larger coffee community as a whole. So far it’s been a really fun project to work on and it’s exciting to see it all come together thanks to some really wonderful people who’ve helped me get this all together. As a Rhode Island based company it was important to us to support another local organization. Rhode Island is a small state and I think we are incredibly lucky to have an organization like Youth Pride to be there providing physical and emotional support as well as creating a safe space for the LGBTQ youth of Rhode Island. We’ve actually had employees who have used their services in the past. Adolescence can be a really difficult time for LGBTQ individuals and we are more than happy to support an organization that does so much wonderful work providing the resources and tools to help them succeed."
Order the Big and Fruity or it's accompanied poster (pictured to the left) during the month of June and YPI will receive part of the proceeds! Dave's Coffee has locations in Providence and Charlestown.
 5193 Old Post Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813
   Hours: 6am-6pm 
   Phone: (401)322-0006 

 341 S Main St, Providence, RI 02903
   Hours: 7am-7pm
   Phone: (401)521-1973
Ride For Pride - Marriott Providence Fundraises For YPI!
The Downtown Providence Marriott is generously fundraising on behalf of Youth Pride, Inc. during the month of June. In honor and recognition of Pride Month, the Marriott is donating $10 for every bicycle they rent.

Experiencing the beautiful city and greenscapes around Providence by bike should be on everyone's summer bucket list. The Marriott's bikes are manufactured by Priority Bikes based out of NYC. Purchasing the Marriott's Bike Providence Package with your stay gives you access to two of their top-of-the-line bicycles for a six hour rental period. The package also includes a map to various interesting places in Providence, the East Bay Bike Path map, and a $15 credit for Fresh-Bites, the Marriott's fresh take on in-room dining. Bike tours can be scheduled upon appointment.

Marriott Providence Downtown is located at 1 Orms Street in Providence, 02904. Check out their bike package page below!  
Meet Our New Board Chair!
Michelle Saunders 
Board Chair

I am a married mom of two teenagers, one of which is an active participant at YPI. Our family first learned of YPI when looking for resources for our then 6th grader who wasn't feeling like other kids in his grade. After connecting with the previous board chair about ideas for programming I was asked to volunteer to be on the board, and I am honored to be working with an amazing team as newly appointed board chair. I have walked with my son and YPI in the RI Pride Parades since 2016 and that has now become the highlight of my year! Professionally, I am Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning for Ocean State Job Lot, a Continuing Education Instructor at RWU, and a Strengths Coach for Leadership Rhode Island. I am an avid volunteer and guest speaker with the Year Up Program and this year was a part of a team that ran the Boston Marathon. I also serve on the board of Family Service of RI. I received my B.S in Marketing from Johnson and Wales University and an M.A. in Adult Education from the University of Rhode Island.

YPI is a place for kids to go and feel at home. Many youth do not have families who support them as LGBT, so YPI is that safe space. On the other hand, I have also met many great parents at YPI. I believe it's important for me to be involved with the board at YPI as a parent so that we can drive programming for children and their families. Many of us parents need resources and guidance and want to be there for our kids. Being a teenager is hard, being a parent of a teenager is hard, and both parents and teens are in need of education and resources as we find out who we are as a family in support of an LGBT youth.

As Board Chair I hope to help guide the team in working to develop our board to support our RI community, to expand our impact and to sustain for many years to come!
RI House of Reps Votes 62-2 to Bar 'Gay or Trans Panic Defense'
Although never used in the state of Rhode Island, the Gay and Trans Panic Defense is a legal defense claiming an individual acted excessively violent, usually in terms of assault or murder, due to the victim's gender or sexual identity. The crux of this defense is the idea that unwanted sexual advances or inquiries from same-sex individuals can cause temporary insanity in those on the receiving end and therefore justifies committing violence.

The states of California and Illinois have legislation in place that bars the use of Gay or Trans Panic defenses. The Rhode Island House of Representatives voted on similar legislation in late May to oppose such defenses. The following is a snippet of the legislation; " A person is not justified in using force against another based on the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of the victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation... [including] circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted non-forcible romantic or sexual advance toward the defendant". The bill has passed into the Senate.

Representative Kenneth A. Marshall (D-District 68, Bristol, Warren; pictured above) sponsored the legislation with cosponsors Representative David E. Bennett (D-District 20, Warwick, Cranston), Representative Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-District 2, Providence), Representative Kenneth J. Mendonça (R-District 72, Portsmouth, Middletown), and Representative Gregory J. Costantino (D-District 44, Lincoln, Johnston, Smithfield). Marshall calles the legislation "common sense", and commits himself to promoting true justice while delegitimizing defenses that serve to corrupt it.
Gay Panic Defense Clears Texas Man of Murder
James Miller (pictured to the left), 69, is a retired police officer of the Austin Police Department. Attempting to assemble a Jazz band, Miller befriended his neighbor Davis Spencer, 32, who plays the saxophone. Supposedly after a night of drinking and practicing music, Spencer attempted to kiss Miller. Miller states he rejected the advance and then felt threatened by Spencer who is taller, more youthful, and menacingly holding glassware that could be used as weapon. Subsequently, Miller stabbed Spencer twice with a knife before going to the police two hours after the altercation. He was then charged with murder.

The incident occured in September 2015, but Miller's trial concluded in late April of 2018. Miller's defense attorney, Charlie Baird, claims Miller was innocent and acting in self-defense during his "gay panic" following the attempted kiss. Texas jurors did not find Miller guilty of murder or manslaughter but did charge him with criminally negligent homicide. Miller was sentenced to six months in jail, with no prison time. He has to pay $11,000 in restitution to the Spencer family, complete 100 hours of community service, and will be on probation for a decade. Charlie Baird states the verdict and outcome are unfair to Miller, as the jury should have acquitted him for self defense.

Currently only two states, California and Illinois, have legislation prohibiting gay and trans panic defenses from being made in court.
Our Mission
Youth Pride, Inc. is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of youth and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression while working to end the homophobic and transphobic environments in which they live, work and play.

LEADERSHIP:  YPI is committed to creating the leaders of today. Youth voices drive our process, and we seek to develop the leadership skills necessary both within the organization and outside of it.
AFFIRMATION:  YPI believes all youth must be affirmed for who they are and how they express themselves. We are committed to making that a reality in all of the environments in which young people live.
COMMUNITY:  YPI believes building strong connections is essential to youth success and empowerment. We strive to create a caring, respectful and diverse community of young people and adults.
Your tax-deductible donation helps YPI continue to do the important work we do in accordance to our mission. Your gift would be directly investing in our state's LGBTQ youth so that they may have a chance to share their gifts and light with the world.
Our Programs and Services
Youth Pride, Inc. serves over 700 Rhode Island LGBTQ youth and their straight allies a year through a variety of programs and services.
Our Center, located on Westminster Street in Providence, primarily serve as a drop-in and programming space, and is currently open to youth ages 13 to 23 on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-8pm and Thursday from 3 to 5. Youth ages 9 to thirteen are welcome at our exclusive 13 and under drop-in time on Thursdays from 5-8 pm. All YPI Center services and activities are free to youth. YPI youth get to attend events, workshops, cultural, educational, social, and wellness activities at YPI and around the state.

Our center is home to a Basic Needs Pantry, open to youth in need of food, clothing, toiletries, and school supplies. We offer one on one counseling with in-house clinicians. Our clinicians facilitate and supervise three peer-support groups.

YPI also offers support to those who work with youth through policy and advocacy, and by providing professional development workshops and technical assistance to service providers and educators.

For more information on getting involved with YPI as a volunteer or if you or someone you know is in need of our services, contact
If you have a story you feel should be included in an upcoming newsletter, email