Youth Pride, Inc. started as a support group for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Greater Rhode Island in December of 1992. In the middle of a snowstorm, four youth and an adult facilitator held their first meeting at Brown University’s Sarah Doyle Women’s Center. They shared their experiences, built community, and named themselves, “The Way Out.”
This small weekly group grew quickly, soon overtaking the Women Center’s living room with dozens of young people sitting on laps, tables, and every part of the floor. In order to meet the needs of this rapidly growing group, “The Way Out” became Youth Pride, Inc. (YPI) and received its own tax-exempt status as a not-for-profit organization in 1994. One of YPI’s main discussion groups is named, “The Way Out” in honor of the original group.
LEADERSHIP: YPI is committed to creating the leaders of today. Youth voices drive our process, and we seek to develop the leadership skills necessary both within the organization and outside of it.
AFFIRMATION: YPI believes all youth must be affirmed for who they are and how they express themselves. We are committed to making that a reality in all of the environments in which young people live.
COMMUNITY: YPI believes building strong connections is essential to youth success and empowerment. We strive to create a caring, respectful and diverse community of young people and adults.
Policy and Advocacy: Youth Pride Inc. is here to advocate for the policy needs of LGBTQQ youth and to foster self-advocacy among the youth that we serve. This includes everything from testifying at the statehouse and attending rallies to addressing the needs of youth in schools or in out-of-home care. We chair the statewide LGBTQQ Youth Task Force which authored a set of recommendations for improving equitable services and cares for LGBTQQ youth in the fields of child welfare, mental health/social service, health, and education systems. Youth Pride staff and youth also sit on a variety of panels and commissions throughout the state to make sure the needs of LGBTQQ youth are considered in decision-making processes.
This is one of our organization’s largest fundraisers, with all proceeds raised going directly towards the programs and services we offer.
We invite our friends and allies to join us for an evening of celebration with live music, awards, a 3-course meal, and valet parking. Guests will connect with other supporters of YPI, meet staff and board members, and get insight into upcoming events. Information on this year’s Gala will be announced on our website, social media pages, and listserv.
Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Projects:
We have various projects at YPI to assist our state’s GSA clubs and groups. From visiting to brainstorm with students and teachers to sharing resources among communities. The largest of these projects is our Annual GSA Conference, a day full of workshops and activities for GSA advisors and students alike. To get involved or to start your own group email email@example.com to be connected with our resources and GSA personnel.