Charlotte Pride attends annual general meeting and worldwide conference for InterPride

A scene from a plenary session at InterPride 2015, courtesy Fierté Canada Pride (via Twitter).

A scene from a plenary session at InterPride 2015, courtesy Fierté Canada Pride (via Twitter).

Representatives from Charlotte Pride attended the 2015 annual general meeting and worldwide conference of InterPride, Oct. 14-18, in Las Vegas, Nev. InterPride is an international association of Pride organizers, bringing together this year over 200 people representing 60 Pride organizations from 15 countries across Asia, Australia, Central America, North America and Europe.

While at the conference, Charlotte Pride networked with Pride organizations across its southeastern region, as well as other Pride organizations across the country and world. We discussed a variety of topics, gaining insight on the experiences of other Pride organizers and learning more on issues like diversity and inclusion, organizational growth and sustainability, the role of Pride organizations in local, national and international human rights initiatives, new trends in vendor and other operational and events logistics management, and media/marketing strategies and efforts.

In InterPride business sessions, Charlotte Pride supported a variety of motions to increase participation in the international organization. Charlotte Pride strongly supported a measure that creates a transgender position on the InterPride board of directors. The proposed position is just one step of many continuing efforts to increase participation, inclusion, and affirmation for transgender members of our worldwide community. After three prior years of failure, this measure passed with 83 percent of delegates voting in favor. It will receive its final vote at InterPride’s next global conference in Montpellier, France, in October 2016.

Charlotte Pride also supported initiatives to create absentee voting rights for delegates who miss voting plenaries due to travel back to their homes. In addition, Charlotte Pride supported a measure that would shorten InterPride’s current two-year bylaws amendment procedure and open voting to the organization’s entire dues-paying membership worldwide. Charlotte Pride also presented its own amendment to InterPride’s bylaws amendment process, with the support of delegates from Pride Azores, Santa Fe Pride, Vancouver Pride and Pride Calgary. The amendment would lengthen the time allowed for consideration and review of amendment and resolutions proposals, as well as allow for notification of proposals to InterPride’s worldwide membership prior to each annual global meeting. The amendment passed with 76 percent support from voting delegates and will receive its final vote in Montpellier next year.

Charlotte Pride also pledged financial support for InterPride’s scholarship and solidarity initiatives. Combined with other member organizations, nearly $30,000 was pledged to support those needing assistance to travel to each year’s world conference and to support Pride organizers working in hostile locales around the world.

Charlotte Pride has been a member of InterPride since 2013 and an active participant in the organization’s regional and international activities. Earlier this year, Charlotte Pride hosted the regional conference for Prides of the Southeast (InterPride Region 5). Co-director Craig Hopkins currently serves as an alternate regional director for the southeastern region. Representatives for Charlotte Pride at this year’s InterPride conference were co-directors Richard Grimstad and Craig Hopkins and media and marketing chair Matt Comer.