Press Release

For Immediate Release: October 9, 2020

Queer Pioneers and Activists to Highlight New “OUT in Union County: Queer Empowerment Hour” Web Series, Oct. 14

Union County, NJ – Union County’s free new online series, “OUT in Union County: Queer Empowerment Hour,” returns for a second episode on Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. The Freeholder Board invites County residents to sign up and tune in to join host Micayla Mirabella for an hour of stories and discussions about queer pioneers and activists in and around Union County.

The Queer Empowerment Hour series is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, organized by the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs. The first episode aired on September 30. The biweekly series is running every other Wednesday evening through December 9, with each hour-long session beginning at 7:00 p.m.

“We were simply overwhelmed by the positive response to Queer Empowerment Hour when the series launched in September, and we are all looking forward to another informative and thought-provoking episode this week,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Queer Empowerment Hour provides the Union County community with a new opportunity to connect and share experiences, and I encourage everyone with an interest in queer affairs to join in.”

“The COVID-19 outbreak has created new burdens on members of the community who may already feel alone and vulnerable, and Queer Empowerment Hour helps to overcome this barrier of isolation. The Freeholder Boards is proud to send the Queer Empowerment Hour message of support and camaraderie throughout Union County, and beyond, said Freeholder Rebecca Williams, who is liaison to the Freeholder Board’s LGBTQ+ Ad Hoc Committee.

OUT in Union County: Queer Empowerment Hour explores LGBTQ+ specific topics and offer stories and discussions involving queer folks from different backgrounds and experiences, in an hour-long format that includes some of New Jersey’s most dedicated LGBTQ+ advocates, community leaders, and allies.

Registration is required for individuals to access each webinar through Zoom, where participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. All of the webinars will be live-streamed as well. The schedule and registration links can be found at ucnj.org/lgbtq.

The first episode aired on September 30 with a focus on parental support for queer people.

In recognition of LGBTQ History Month, the October 14 episode will feature educators from across New Jersey discussing the state’s inclusive curriculum and its role in raising awareness of LGBTQ pioneers and activists.

The episode will highlight Bayard Rustin, Marsha P. Johnson and other New Jersey activists who earned a place in history, along with Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, and other prominent figures in queer history.

Also featured are pioneers who whose record of activism continues to this day, including Billy Jean King, Laverne Cox, and other

Following October 14 episode, the remaining installments are:

Wednesday, October 28: Transgender Identity and Inclusion

Wednesday, November 11: Being Queer in the Military

Wednesday, November 25: Ally Talk – Hear from Straight Friends and Advocates

Wednesday, December 9: Faith and LGBTQueer+ Panel

The Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs provides a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

For more information about the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or dnewbury@ucnj.org or visit ucnj.org/lgbtq.

For more information and updates on all Union County services and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, visit the new Union County COVID-19 website at ucnj.org/covid19.

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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