Tuesday, September 15, 2015

GALAEI moves to Philadelphia's Latino neighborhood

GALAEI, a queer Latin@ social justice organization serving the Philadelphia community since 1989 was founded to respond to the lack of support and resources for our community during the HIV epidemic. Their programs include transgender services, youth programs, and sexual health and HIV prevention.

For years (since their founding) their office was located in Center City, miles away from the community they serve. But in April...they moved back into the community. The organization was very eager to get back into the community and unlike most agencies, no appointment is needed, no impersonal office building. Executive director Elicia Gonzalez told the Philadelphia Daily News she wanted GALAEI to be "...working for and in the community."
And it makes sense. This move was 20 years in the making. If you are serving minority populations, it's better to go to our constituents, not have them travel to you. The new office as mentioned before is very informal, and is meant to be a comfortable and safe space for all.

"This is the first time GALAEI has a home in the neighborhood where most of our community lives after nearly two decades of existence," said board president Rafael Alvarez Febo. "GALAEI's new location allows us to be a hub for Queer Latino community needs, services and empowerment."

One notable feature in the new space is a portrait of Gloria Casarez who passed away last October. After passing away from cancer, the Mayor's office stated, "Gloria was a fun, serious, strong and kind person who always wanted to do more for others and who fought for equality of rights for all people. She was a clear, strong voice to the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia and across America."

For more information on GALAEI and to get involved, visit galaei.org.

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