Throughout the week of June 3, the nonprofit is hosting a series of engaging LGBT-themed events, leading up to its signature Pride Festival on Sunday June 9. The Pride Festival includes a full afternoon of unique family-friendly entertainment that brings together LGBTQ people and straight allies from all over the Garden State to celebrate diversity and promote equality. Newark Mayor, Cory Booker will kick off the festivities at noon.
“We produce an inspiring and fun-filled week of Pride events for the LGBTQ community and supportive allies in the Garden State,” said C.J. Prince, Executive Director of North Jersey Pride. “But we are more than a great party.
After the tents come down and the last band plays, we want the crowd to take all that energy and enthusiasm and feel empowered to go out and make real change. Our attendance has grown 400% year over year since we were founded in 2011 and this year, we anticipate thousands of LGBT and ally families will join us. We aim to send them home armed with information that will help them educate their neighbours, family and friends.”
PNC Bank is this year’s Pride Week presenting sponsor, and praised the collaboration: “Supporting diversity and inclusion is simply the right thing to do,” said Linda Bowden, New Jersey regional president for PNC Bank. “The participation of local business and a family-friendly kids zone, coupled with terrific entertainment from nationally known musicians like Antigone Rising to performances by local artists like The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir, reflects the great work that the North Jersey Pride Festival does to help us celebrate and bring our communities together.”
Along with the many important events leading up to Pride Festival, on June 4 at 7 PM, North Jersey Pride in association with the Tyler Clementi Foundation, the Spectrum Club at Columbia High School and GLSEN, will present, “Engaging Families: Turning Bystanders Into Upstanders.” Joe and Jane Clementi, along with other panelists will host a conversation about what they experienced when their son Tyler died by suicide following a much publicised episode of bullying, and will talk about their journey to helping other vulnerable youth to reach different outcomes.
Tyler’s brother, James Clementi said his family is pleased to be a part of North Jersey Pride’s celebration of the LGBT Community. “As a family and as a foundation we are thrilled to participate in the panel discussion and pride festivities right here in our home state of New Jersey.
As we work to create safe and inclusive spaces for LGBT and vulnerable youth we feel that it is important to engage in meaningful discussions to raise awareness about LGBT people in the Garden State.”
Who/What: North Jersey Pride Week 2013
Where: Maplewood, New Jersey (See Various Locations Below)
When: June 3-9, 2013
Full Listing of North Jersey Pride Week Events Here
Monday, 6/3: Kickoff Cocktail Party
Help us start Pride Week with a toast to equality! DJ, Cash bar. 8pm, Coda Kitchen + Bar, 177 Maplewood Ave., Maplewood, NJ.
Tuesday, 6/4: Engaging Families: Turning Bystanders into Upstanders
Join us as we welcome the family of Tyler Clementi at Columbia High School to talk about how to put an end to bullying. Cosponsored by the Tyler Clementi Foundation, GLSEN and SPECTRUM, Columbia’s gay-straight alliance club. 7-9 pm, Columbia High School Auditorium, 17 Parker Ave., Maplewood, NJ.
Wednesday, 6/5: LGBT Author Signing at Words Bookstore
Veteran Broadway performer and author Tim Federle will read from his sweet debut novel about a gay 13-year-old boy who wants to make it big on Broadway. The New York Times calls Better Nate than Ever a “twinkling adventure tale.” 7pm at [words] Bookstore (also a North Jersey Pride Dignity Sponsor) 179 Maplewood Ave., Maplewood, NJ.
Thursday, 6/6: Trans-themed Movie Night
Join us for a special screening of “Gun Hill Road,” a provocative Sundance Jury Award nominee, and director Rashaad Ernesto Green for a Q&A following the film. Rated ‘R.’ 8pm-10pm, St. Georges Episcopal Church, 550 Ridgewood Rd., Maplewood, NJ.
Friday, 6/7: Story Slam with Studio B: “Coming Out”
Bring your best five minute tale of any coming out. Gay? Debutante? Undercover agent? All secrets revealed. We will choose 10 names out of a hat to read. Or just come to listen and soak up the cultural vibe. Burgdorff Cultural Center, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, NJ.
Saturday, 6/8: The 2013 Dance for Equality
Eat, drink and dance the night away at this magical NYC nightclub-themed evening. Award-winning DJ Steve Sidewalk will spin all night long. Fabulous silent auction includes an Atlantic City getaway, Cartier jewellery, exclusive artwork, tix to Kinky Boots, Book of Mormon, David Letterman, and Cyndi Lauper’s latest concert—plus a meet-and-greet with the Diva herself! The Maplewood Club, 489 Ridgewood Rd., Maplewood, NJ.
Sunday, 6/9: The 2013 North Jersey Pride Festival! Memorial Park Amphitheater 124 Dunnell Road, Memorial Park, Maplewood, NJ