By: Chris Gilmore/TRT Reporter—
BEVERLY, Mass.—North Shore Pride (NSP), the largest LGBTQ pride organization north of Boston, is set to launch its 6th annual Professional Networking Event at the Cabot Theatre later this month, according to organization officials.
“The annual North Shore Pride Networking event has been held for the last 5 years,” said Hope Watt-Bucci, North Shore Pride president. “The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for the local LGBTQ community to network with the larger North Shore community and to strengthen the bond between our community.”
This year’s event will take place at the newly renovated Cabot Theatre in Beverly, Mass.
“The Cabot Theatre is a historic icon on the North Shore,” said Watt-Bucci. “The recent renovation of this historic building was a true community effort. North Shore Pride thought it fitting that we hold our Networking event, which focuses on LGBTQ history, in a building that also shares a great history of community effort.”
NSP is expected to bring in another high profile keynote speaker this time around. Last year was Judy Shepard (from the Matthew Shepard Foundation) and this year will be Paul Schmitz, a President Obama appointee to the White House Council for Community Solutions and CEO of Leading Inside Out.
“Paul was chosen as this year’s Keynote Speaker due to his work in community leadership and social change, both topics that are paramount to the LGBTQ community,” Watt-Bucci said.
The organization, and its networking event, in particular, has come a long way in the last five years. Watt-Bucci attributes current growth trends to an investment in inclusiveness and proactive initiatives.
“I believe we are starting to see a paradigm shift towards social action and community investment in inclusiveness in this country,” she said. “In addition, North Shore Pride works diligently to bring keynote speakers who provide both an educational and inspirational message to our community. I think the combination of those two factors, along with North Shore Pride’s consistent message of education and advocacy for LGBTQ persons is what makes North Shore Pride’s Networking event such a success.”
Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, North Shore Pride has developed its overall theme on the historic event and has dubbed Pride 2019 as Stonewall 50: Looking Back Marching Forward, Watt-Bucci said.
“This year at our Networking event we will honor several Stonewall survivors and Paul Schmitz will review the history of the LGBTQ movement and discuss our progress towards the goal of equality and inclusion in business and in our personal lives,” she added.
Although there will not be vendor tables at this year’s networking event, attendance is expected to be vast.
“This year we are not offering business vendor tables, as the venue is not really conducive to that type of arrangement,” she explained. “Instead we welcome our North Shore community to come enjoy a truly inspirational message and a wonderful evening of networking.”
To become a sponsor of this event, e-mail [email protected], or call 978-808-5451.
“Our goal each year with this event is to bring our community together via an educational and professional platform, and to engage with our larger community,” Watt-Bucci said.
To learn more about this event, Pride day 2019, and future North Shore Pride events on the roster this year, visit www.northshorepride.org.
[This TRT exclusive was first published on the March 7, 2019, issue of The Rainbow Times.]