RICHMOND, Va. -- June is Pride Month in Virginia which commemorates years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for the LGBTQ+ community. Since the mid-’70s, Virginia Pride has worked to create a safe and welcoming state for the community.
CBS 6’s Brendan King spoke to the non-profit’s Director James Millner about the work they do outside of June.
“We also have a scholarship program where we award $10,000 a year in aid and scholarships for post-high school education,” Millner explained. “We have a grants program where we return tens of thousands of dollars a year back to other LGBTQ and other ally organizations.”
During the pandemic, Virginia Pride worked alongside Richmond Diversity at a food distribution site on the city’s Southside. The volunteers aimed to serve more than 500 families while distributing 15 tons of food and supplies over two days.
“We try to make sure we take the resources we are able to pull together and share those with the community. That’s what we do with our grant programs,” Millner said.
Virginia Pride also organizes the state’s largest LGBTQ+ celebration in September called VA Pridefest on Brown’s Island. The event attracts thousands from all over, including allies of the community.
“The goal was to bring awareness of the community and to promote diversity while enabling unity among the Richmond LGBT community members. The organization struggled to gain momentum and mostly achieved a sense of presence by hosting the annual Pride celebration here in Richmond,” according to the non-profit’s website.
As part of his CBS 6 Gives, Brendan surprised Millner with a donation to the non-profit.
“To continue helping the community, give back, and help others get back on their feet especially after a pandemic that has been so disastrous to so many people,” Brendan said. “I hope you can put the donation to good use I am sure you can.”
“We absolutely will,” Millner responded. “I promise. This is really wonderful of you to do. Thank you so much to CBS 6!”