Update on Charlotte Pride Executive Committee meetings

Effective immediately, the Charlotte Pride Executive Committee has decided to close its regularly scheduled board meetings which had been previously open to community members.

On March 5, 2014, a regularly-scheduled Charlotte Pride Executive Committee meeting was interrupted by the presence of a known anti-LGBT protester who has attended past Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade activities and is also known for his public anti-LGBT advocacy elsewhere. Further, this individual stated that he or others may attempt to attend our meetings in the future.

The Charlotte Pride Executive Committee meetings are designed to be a space and time in which members of our board and our volunteers can discuss plans for our activities and the general governance of our organization. Such discussions can be hindered when interrupted by protesters and others who are opposed to our general mission and vision.

Our decision has not come lightly and we are still committed to organizational transparency and openness, but we are also cognizant of our board’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure meeting location for members of our board, our volunteers, and others who may be using our meeting space, generously provided to us by a local faith congregation.

Further, our decision to close Executive Committee meetings does not preclude any member of our board from inviting guests and volunteers to attend and participate in our planning sessions; neither is this decision meant to limit the attendance of community members who truly seek to engage with Charlotte Pride while supporting our mission and goals.

Community members who seek to support our mission and are interested in attending one of our regularly-scheduled meetings or becoming a Charlotte Pride volunteer can contact co-directors Richard Grimstad at richard@charlottepride.org or Craig Hopkins at craig@charlottepride.org, as well as any other board member.

We respectfully ask that those who seek to use our meetings in contravention of their intended purposes and our organization’s mission refrain from attending or attempting to attend our meetings. The Charlotte Pride Executive Committee meetings are held on private property; as such, the rights and privileges of the owners of this property must be respected and protected.

The Executive Committee would like to thank the members and staff of Caldwell Presbyterian Church, our volunteers, and all those community members who have previously attended our meetings in support of our mission and goals. We look forward to an exciting year of growth and collaboration with those who share our mission and goals for a community fully affirming and accepting of LGBTQ people.