When I first got involved with Pride Foundation more than 10 years ago, I had just moved to Portland and I was co-directing a feminist community center, while searching for my own place in this new home and community.
I could hardly have imagined then that I would be writing this note today, sharing my excitement and joy to be leading this organization that I have loved for so long. But, after 5 years as a grantee and volunteer, and another 5 years on staff—here I am doing exactly that.
I am so deeply honored and humbled to have this opportunity to work in new ways with this incredible ecosystem of leaders, organizations, volunteers, businesses, scholars, foundations, leaders, supporters, community partners, and friends who make Pride Foundation’s communities here in the Northwest so vibrant, fierce, and tireless.
I’m looking forward to expanding my home and community to Seattle, where I’ll be moving in a few months, and across the Northwest as I travel throughout the region, reconnecting and meeting with all of you—the people who make this community all that it is.
Reflections in this Moment
Among the many feelings I have right now, what rises to the top for me are gratitude, awe, and admiration for every single person who has made Pride Foundation what it is today.
Your effort, resources, and vision have changed the ways our communities are supported in towns, cities, and rural places across the Northwest. You have created opportunities for people to come together and build the world we want to see and that we deserve. You have changed people’s lives.
I’m certain we all know our work together is far from over. Just in the past few weeks, there are trans women caught up in our immigration system who are seeking safety and refuge in this region, LGBTQ+ people in Portland who are experiencing an alarming increase in violence at the hands of white supremacist groups, communities in Fairbanks, AK who do not have the protections they deserve after a non-discrimination ordinance was recently vetoed, and so much more.
Pride Foundation’s Vision
Our communities across the region continue to face so much—but the work we have in front of us is clear. Thirty-five years ago, Pride Foundation was created as a place for people to be able to come together—a space where we could all be who we are.
The vision we were founded with is still our vision today: to create a world where all LGBTQ+ people get to live safely and openly as our whole selves, in all the communities we call home.
I am here today because I believe with my whole heart that this vision is possible. I believe our community fundamentally deserves to be able to be the multitudes of who we are in all the places we find ourselves.
I believe that together, we will change the world. We only have to look back at the history of this organization to know that’s true.
As is my default state, I am full of energy and excited to dive in to all I know we can do together.
Thank you so much—for all you have done and all you will do to make this world a better place. I cannot wait to build this better world alongside all of you.
Please do reach out if you’d like to connect—chatting over coffee with our Pride Foundation community is one of my favorite things!
Katie Carter is Pride Foundation’s CEO.