Vogue Ball: In honor of National Coming Out Day

Watch the Video from the Vogue Ball

To walk and to dance with confidence. Our Vogue Ball was an expression of one of our core beliefs that we, as an organization and as a community, not only feel safe but be celebrated. To walk and dance while the world cheers us on. The Vogue Ball brought in over 230 people, many of which had never been to a Vogue Ball before! As part of the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour we showcased the Vogue competition as a cultural expression of our community. Originating in the 1980’s and rising from the Harlem Ballrooms of the 1960’s, Voguing is a global phenomenon and continues to evolve both stylistically and demographically.

During the Ball youth from around the city and county competed for prizes and trophies in different categories by voguing, an improvisational and highly technical style dance form, on a runway before a panel of judges while being cheered on by the crowd.

Special thank you to Presenting Sponsors White Eagle Hall and Jersey City Theater Center for their partnership and overwhelming support of our LGBTQ community. The incredible atmosphere of the venue elevated those participating and attending. Keep live performance alive by purchasing tickets to their upcoming shows Whiteeaglehalljc.com and jctcenter.org

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors Carepoint Health and Jersey City Medical Center. Thank you to our Silver Sponsors The Jersey City Pride Festival, Nick Grillo for Ward E, and Novus Equities.

And thank you to our Bronze Sponsor UPB Properties. Your support of our community is celebrated and appreciated.

Over 230 people attended. 7 Trophies awarded. Dozens of Youth & Adults competed. Countless lives changed. The Hudson Pride Center is the largest LGBTQ Center in the state and it’s home is right here in Jersey City! After 25 years of service to the community. The Hudson Pride Center is expanding and needs your help! We’re moving into a new location and expanding our services to grow with an ever developing community. Jersey City has the largest LGBTQ population in the state and it is one of the fastest growing mid size cities in the country so it’s time our community center grows along with it. Help support by clicking on the donate button below.




 

Hudson Pride Connections Center Names New Executive Director

 

 

 


For Immediate Release
August 16, 2017

Hudson Pride Connections Center
32 Jones Street, Jersey City NJ 07306
(201) 963-4779, Fax (201) 963-7983
info@hudsonpride.org
www.hudsonpride.org|
Jonathan Lucas, Board Chair

Hudson Pride Connections Center Names New Executive Director
Michael Billy to Lead LGBT Center in Jersey City

JERSEY CITY – Michael Billy has been named the next Executive Director of Hudson Pride Connections Center, the largest LGBT center in the State of New Jersey. The Board of Trustees will formally introduce Michael in his new position on Thursday, August 17th at City Hall, during the annual Jersey City Pride Flag Raising ceremony at 3:30PM. Mr. Bisogno, known locally as Michael Billy begins his new duties on August 16th.In this role, Michael will be responsible for the overall operations, development and implementation of Hudson Pride’s strategic plan. “Michael’s deep experience in community organizing, creative problem solving and his fearless dedication to social justice positions him perfectly to lead Hudson Pride into the future” said Board Co-Chair Jonathan Lucas. “He has years of experience advocating for the LGBT community and for people who have been disenfranchised, bullied and underserved. Formally, a Hudson Pride board member, Michael understands the organizations talents and needs. We are very delighted Michael has accepted this leadership position.”

“I am honored and excited to be given the chance to lead such a long-standing cornerstone of our community. With the largest LGBT population in the state, we have the opportunity to build a model community center for LGBT community centers across the country” said Michael Billy.

Michael is the founder of several organizations benefiting and promoting local commerce and tourism including the Jersey City International Film & TV Festival, Humanity Pride Productions and Jersey City Stands. Additionally, he has served as the host for Jersey City’s Independence Day Ceremonies and currently serves as the co-chair of the Jersey City Pride Festival. Under his co-leadership with Eddie Baez, the Pride Festival has more than quadrupled in size attracting more than 8,000 visitors annually. “Over the last four years that I have worked with Michael on the Jersey City Pride Festival I have seen him in action firsthand. He has a tireless dedication to the Jersey City LGBT Community and to those served by Hudson Pride. I can’t think of a better person to now take the helm and I look forward to working with him in his new role” says Eddie Baez. Michael’s influence locally and beyond has successfully translated activism into policy. He has organized several social justice rallies and initiatives generating massive support and awareness of injustices affecting the LGBT, Transgender, youth and Muslim communities. His advocacy efforts after the Orlando Pulse nightclub tragedy brought 6,000 people together peacefully to mourn a horrific act.

“Hudson Pride Connections Center has made a brilliant decision by hiring Michael Billy. Not only is he a crucial local organizer, but he is also a national figure that has helped shape our movement” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “As a former employee of Hudson Pride, I am excited to see Michael Billy bring this critical organization into its next chapter and I look forward to working with him in my role at Garden State Equality.”

Jonathan Lucas, who has served in a dual role as acting Executive Director and Board Chair will continue to serve on Hudson Pride’s Board as Co-chair for Operations with Paul Hyman serving as Co-chair for Strategy & Development.

Hudson Pride Connections Center(HPCC), a 501c3 nonprofit community benefit organization founded in 1993 exists to bridge the gap in services and respond to the unmet needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender community (and allies), as well as HIV positive people of any orientation / identity. HPCC provides supportive social, prevention, outreach, advocacy services and development trainings to educate, empower and unite all our communities. ###

Michael-Billy-Hire-Release

Hudson Pride Connections Center chair discusses ‘bias crime’ at headquarters

From Hudson County View
Tuesday, March 21, s017

Hudson Pride Connections Center Chairman Jonathan Lucas provided an update regarding the potential hate crime that occurred at their Jersey City headquarters yesterday morning.

Hudson Pride Connections Center Board Chair Jonathan Lucas provides an update on a potential hate crime in Jersey City.

Posted by Hudson County View on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

“I think part of what made it really unusual is the way it was done: it wasn’t like a brick was thrown in, it wasn’t apparent that it was a burglary – that someone had actually come into the center,” HPCC Chairman Jonathan Lucas explained to Hudson County View.

“But it was apparent that someone had it in or wanted to do some damage to the property. We’re not sure whether they got scared off or what have you but it was very disheartening to see the damage.”

According to Jersey City police, a front window at 32 Jones St., the HPCC headquarters,had been smashed around 10:42 a.m. yesterday.

Local authorities are investigating the situation as a bias crime and the New Jersey State Police and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office have been contacted on the matter, the police report says.

Lucas later stated that he had additional concerns about the incident, given that the Garden State Equality office in Asbury Park was vandalized earlier this month (h/t InsiderNJ).

“The other part of it is just the language we use when we’re talking about it: we tend to focus on ‘a door was kicked in’ or ‘a door was broken,’ or ‘a window was broken’ and that just sort of puts the emphasis on these things, as opposed to the organization and the community,” Lucas continued.

“I look at this now as our home was vandalized, and the same thing with Garden State Equality, it wasn’t a door that was kicked in, it was Garden State Equality that was actually attacked and that’s how I sort of feel about Hudson Pride as well.”

Lucas concluded by stating that he was “on the verge of tears” when he first heard about the act of vandalism, he vowed to keep moving the organization forward – thanking everyone for their continued support.

Police investigate ‘bias incident’ at Jersey City LGBTQ center

From Jersey Journal Via NJ.com
Monday, March 20, 2017

JERSEY CITY — The Hudson Pride Connections Center in Journal Square was vandalized Monday morning in what police are investigating as a “bias incident.”

No one was inside the Jones Street center when a front window of the building was smashed at 10:40 a.m., police said.

Hudson Pride Connections Center, which has been in operation for 24 years, helps provide physical and mental help services to the local LGBTQ population, as well as an “inclusive” environment for everyone in the community.

Jonathan Lucas, chairman of the Hudson Pride Connections Center board, said nothing was taken from inside the center. The building’s security alarm was triggered when the window broke.

Lucas added that there haven’t been any similar incidents or threats made against the organization since he joined its staff six years ago.

A full report of the crime was not immediately available, although police said they are “investigating it as a bias incident.”

Read full story here >>

Interview with Pandora Scooter and Danny Copper for Queerspeak

queerspeak-interview

Hudson Pride Connections Center Presents the Vogue Ball

By ChicPea JC
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fiercest queen of the Ball?  That was the question asked on the night of Saturday, May 21st.  Presented by the Hudson Pride Connections Center (HPCC), the first ever Vogue Ball debuted at Art House Productions.  The Theater of Art House was transformed into a runway fit for Fashion Week, but there was no fashion shows this eventing.  No, this runway was strictly for contestants to strut, sashay, slay, and vogue their way up and down the aisle for the panel of judges to win one of the coveted trophies. And let me tell you, the competition was fierce enough to make even RuPaul proud.

Read full story and see photos here >>

Hudson Pride Connections will host its first LGBTQA Vogue Ball

The Jersey Journal at NJ.com
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hudson Pride Connections Center of Hudson County will host its first Vogue Ball on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 6pm to 9pm. The Art House on Magnolia Street will be transformed into a Palace for this gala event.

The age group of performers are 15-22. All are welcomed. Free Admission.

For more information, call Stephanie Mills @ 201-963-4779 x118 or email at

Stephanie@hudsonpride.org

Hudson Pride thanks supporters for Thanksgiving dinner help | Letter

By Letters To The Editor | The Jersey Journal
Thursday, December 3, 2015

ThanksgivingDinner2015.

On behalf of the staff and board of Hudson Pride Connections Center, we would like to thank all our donors, supporters, and volunteers for making HPCC’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner on November 20th, 2015 at Jersey City Medical Center such a huge success!

This year with all of the generous donations, support, and volunteering we were able to serve over 100 community members.

We would like to give special thanks to Jersey City Medical Center for providing us with an event space, Congressman Sires, the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, and DTCC for the generous monetary donations that made this event possible. We would also like to thank organizations like Radical Wellness and Brightside Tavern who have been supporting our events for quite some time now. Finally thanks to all the other private donors, supporters, and volunteers who made this dinner a true success! We are so grateful for all the community support we get here in Jersey City!

ELIZABETH SCHEDL
HPCC DEPUTY DIRECTOR

 

Plenty to be proud of LGBT festival will celebrate landmark year

From: Hudson Reporter
Sunday, August 23, 2015

This is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered) pride week in Jersey City, featuring a series of events that started Aug. 22 and will lead up to the15th annual Jersey City LGBT Pride Festival on Aug. 29 at the Newark Avenue pedestrian mall.

Ceremonies for the annual event included two flag raisings on Friday, one at the Hudson County Court House on Newark Avenue, and another at City Hall on Grove Street.

The festival is co-hosted by Gayborhood Jersey City and Humanity Pride Productions.

Read more: Hudson Reporter

‘Overjoyed’: Hudson County cheers Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling

From The Jersey Journal
Friday, June 26, 2015

JERSEY CITY — The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down gay marriage bans nationwide makes June 26, 2015 an “historic day,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said this morning.

“I think it’s a great day for civil rights,” Fulop said. “We couldn’t be more excited.”

The nation’s high court ruled 5-4 that states cannot ban gay marriage, in a decision released this morning. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the reasons marriage is “fundamental” under the U.S. Constitution “apply with equal force to same-sex couples.”

Elizabeth Schedl, of Hudson Pride Connections Center, emailed a statement that included five exclamation points. The LGBT group is based in Jersey City.

“Today marks one of the greatest days in history for our community,” said Elizabeth Schedl, of Hudson Pride Connections Center in Jersey City. “We are thrilled that the Supreme Court values the importance of marriage equality and understands how everyone deserves these rights.”

Read full story here >>

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