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.”
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