CK Pride creates opportunities to celebrate, advocate, support, mentor, and educate to enhance the quality of life for members of the LGBTQ2SI+ community in Chatham-Kent. CK Pride partners with community groups and creates alliances with social services to show we are all one big family in CK - to take the language away from "us versus them". CK Pride is a young grassroots and growing group.
Recently the CK Gay Pride Association completed a 2020-2025 strategic plan. Their goals and objectives will be reached through the recently opened, Bill's Place. This centre is the dream and legacy of Bill Brokenshire who grew up in CK. He generously left a fund for the Chatham-Kent Gay Pride Association to secure "a safe space for the LGBTQ2SI+ community, their allies and partners to serve the needs of our community."
CK Pride's driving force is to be community-focused. The association has long sense left the notion of building tolerance; they focus on building inclusion, equity and the way to do that is through partnerships and allies. Bill's Place will be the bridge to get our community to be more connected. It will connect LGBTQ2SI+ to the great community services already available in Chatham-Kent. These connections will first be fostered within the safe, welcoming walls of Bill's Place. This is so that the person accessing the services feel safe and secure with the community partner to continue accessing the services at their respective location.
Bill's Place welcomes everyone from the community to visit as long as they understand that it is a space of inclusion and equity. It will have a lounge area so that you read a book and feel safe. Enjoy the café with pay as you can wares, access peer supports with others that have overcome similar issues, and a private meeting room equipped with computers. Bill's Place is a community win!
From CK Pride's work, local community organizations like Chatham-Kent Police Service, Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services, United Way of Chatham-Kent, Chatham-Kent Public Library and Employment & Social Services have started to review their existing services and invest time to redevelop their policies and programs to promote equity and diversity. CK Pride's works to ensure the marginalized members of our community feel safe and included. Local businesses have come forward to have their forms and policies reviewed and revised to a friendlier, non-colonial approach to ensure inclusion and equity.
Members of the LGBTQ2SI+ that move to CK are welcome, families with children that come out as gay, trans or youth at risks are safe, and all know that CK Pride and Bill's Place is available to help them thrive.