As summer winds down, I wanted to share three quick highlights from our work across the Big Sky State. These moments of inspiration are one of the many reasons I love my job—highlighting the courage and resiliency of our local community.
1. Kalispell School Board Updates Policy to Protect LGBTQ Students.
After months of hearings, the Kalispell School Board successfully updated their non-discrimination policy to protect students based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. This decision follows on the heels of the historic passage of the Bully Free Montana Act (learn more here), yet takes things one step further by providing enumerated protections for LGBTQ students.
2. Great Falls Community Continues Building Support.
Earlier this year, Great Falls opened its first LGBTQ community center, marking an important milestone for the community. With a full-time volunteer and a steering committee working on long-term sustainability, the community center is off to a great start. In addition, more than 25 local community members recently joined us for a house party to learn more about Pride Foundation, and there’s also a new support group on the local Malmstrom Air Force Base, called ‘Proud Airmen & Allies.’
3. Pride Foundation Leadership Action Team Member Honored for His Work With the Trans* Community.
Shawn Francis, a Billings resident and Pride Foundation volunteer, recently received the ‘25 Under 25’ award from Forward Montana, acknowledging the incredible work he’s done on behalf of the local transgender community.
Kim Leighton is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Montana. Email Kim.