BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — City of Buffalo Councilmember Mitch Nowakowski announced Thursday a grant of $26,000 will be awarded to the Pride Center of WNY.

The grant was funded through the neighborhood initiatives program, and though it will primarily benefit the Pride Center of WNY, it will reportedly benefit three other Buffalo-based nonprofits supporting LGBTQ+ programming as well.

Those nonprofits include:

  • Upstate New York Black and Latino Pride — brings intersectionality and visibility to LGBTQ+ people of color
  • Vogue Buffalo — a dance studio allowing for freedom of self-expression and individuality through dance
  • Growing LGBTQ+ Youth Support (GLYS) — creates opportunities for emotional growth, peer interaction and education for those 21 and under

The nonprofits received $5,000, $3,000 and $5,000 of the funding, respectively. The remaining $13,000 will be utilized by the Pride Center to plan and host the 2022 Trans Wellness Conference, purchase personal care and safety kits for community members, and support operational costs.  

“While Pride Month is a joyful time for many of us, we must also remember that there is no celebration of LGBTQ+ people and communities without investment and affirmation of those same people throughout the entire year,” Nowakowski said. “As other communities across the nation introduce policies meant to harm or disenfranchise gay and trans communities, here in Buffalo, we will continue to celebrate our LGBTQ+ neighbors. We will go beyond celebrating and proactively affirm their right to exist and actively invest in their future.”

The Pride Center, located on Delaware Avenue, is an affiliate of Evergreen Health and specializes in health and wellness initiatives for LGBTQ+ people. The center also conducts training and education for schools, employers, and community organizations of all sizes and industries across the region. 

“This generous level of support will help us to provide a safe, inclusive and celebratory space, specifically for young people of transgender experience, and allow the Pride Center of WNY to continue to strengthen the resources and support we offer lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people throughout Western New York,” Pride Center Director Kelly Craig said. 

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.