Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Wilmington nonprofit focused on equality and social justice asks community to help brand it

The Frank Harr Foundation is in search of a new name that represents its mission of inclusivity and social justice. (Port City Daily/Courtesy of Frank Harr Foundation)

WILMINGTON — The Frank Harr Foundation (FHF) has been a safe haven for the LGBTQIA community for 13 years. With a focus on education, inclusivity and social justice, it has expanded cultural diversity and equality across southeastern N.C. The foundation advocates for and offers various programs and services for LGBTQIA youth, families, seniors and the community at large.

As it continues to build alliances with community members, businesses, organizations, and others, it’s asking for feedback on its branding. Specifically, the nonprofit is on the hunt for a new name representative of its continued outreach.

“As beloved as Frank Harr was, we’ve come to realize that the foundation’s current name is not immediately identifiable as an LGBTQ-focused nonprofit,” FHF board chai Virginia Hager said in a release. “The time has come for a name that is in alignment with our mission, especially in this promising time when diversity, inclusion and equity are in the forefront”

Ken Cox founded the 501(c)(3) in 2008, to honor the passing of his partner and political activist, Frank Harr. Harr was a fighter for social justice and founding member of the local chapter of the Stone Wall Democrats. He also served on the board for CARE, which offered support to families facing the health hardships of HIV/AIDS. Harr also co-founded and co-chaired the annual AIDS benefit in Wilmington, as well as helped start the St. Jude Metropolitan Community Church.

Harr worked closely with senators and political officials for causes near and dear to him, and was honored for his work by the Democratic Party with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over the last decade, the Frank Harr Foundation has brought numerous outreach programs to Wilmington. It hosts “safe zone” trainings that teach inclusivity to schools, businesses, nonprofits, civic and social organizations. It fosters AIDS awareness and even helped bring the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Wilmington a few years ago. The foundation has assisted with advocacy and services for LGBTQIA seniors through SAGE, hosted events — including beach blasts and youth proms — and also started a Wilmington Youth Pride Group.

To continue strengthening ties to its community, the foundation is now asking allies to weigh in on how it will imprint itself and deepen roots further into the future. The foundation wants a name “to focus on the needs of the Cape Fear LGBTQ community.”

Ideas can be submitted Mar. 11 – 25, especially ones that include the “LGBTQ” acronym. All suggestions can be sent to name@frankharrfoundation.org or the can be sent through FHF’s Facebook page.

Have tips or ideas? Email info@portcitydaily.com

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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