From North Jersey Pride:
Only a handful of tickets remain to North Jersey Pride’s annual black-tie fundraiser!
North Jersey Pride, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting equality, acceptance, and respect for LGBTQ youth and families, has announced that Broadway veteran Robert DuSold (Les Miserables, Jekyll & Hyde, The Producers) will headline the Black & White Ball on Sat., March 12 at The Woodland in Maplewood. DuSold, whose musical Southern Comfort, about a group of transgender friends living in rural Georgia, is currently playing at The Public Theater, will be joined by Julie Waldman-Stiel (Cats, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber).
The Black & White Ball is North Jersey Pride’s annual black-tie fundraiser to support LGBTQ youth programming. This year’s tax-deductible tickets will support expansion of North Jersey Pride’s “Stand Up, Speak Out” educational awareness program launched in 2014.
“Stand Up, Speak Out” brought a series of assemblies to grades 3-5 at Jefferson Elementary School and to grades 6-8 at Maplewood Middle School. During the assemblies, out gay middle grade author and speaker Tim Federle led a discussion with a panel of Columbia High School students to discuss the importance of respect, the weight of language (e.g., why “that’s so gay” is not okay), and the value of standing up for others. The assemblies were well-received by both students and faculty.
A portion of proceeds will also be used to assemble backpacks for LGBTQ foster children, providing them with personal items such as a stuffed animal to cuddle, new pajamas, and school supplies to ease the transition into their foster home. North Jersey Pride will be partnering with New Jersey’s Foster and Adoptive Family Services for this program.
“North Jersey Pride is ‘Pride with a ‘Purpose,’” said Executive Director C.J. Prince. “The Black & White Ball provides an opportunity to break out of the winter doldrums, get dressed up, and come out to party with our amazing LGBTQ and Ally community. But more importantly, it allows us the chance to raise money to support LGBTQ youth, our most precious resource. We are thrilled to have won marriage equality in New Jersey, but unfortunately, that hasn’t yet translated to full equality, or to safety and security for our young people.”
LGBTQ youth continue to face disproportionate harassment, abuse and rejection in school, Prince pointed out. “In our view, education on the topics of acceptance and the importance of language must begin earlier than high school, before anti-gay language and slurs take root. If we can teach our children to be kind, to stand up for themselves and for others, we can prevent a lot of a lot of the pain that leads young people to despair.”
Last year’s inaugural Black & White Ball was a sold-out event, with more than 350 attendees raising more than $10,000 for LGBTQ youth. North Jersey Pride is grateful for the generous support of Black & White Ball Gold Sponsors Bayer, a Whippany-based global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture; and Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, the largest philanthropy in New Jersey.
The Black & White Ball is set for Saturday, March 12, from 7 PM to 11 PM at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road, Maplewood, N.J.
To learn more about the Black & White Ball, visit:
About North Jersey Pride: North Jersey Pride is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that produces events and activities to promote inclusivity, equality, awareness, and understanding in the upper Garden State. NJP produces the North Jersey Pride Festival on the second Sunday in June, as well as a week of activities leading up to the Festival. Our activities bring LGBTQ individuals and straight allies together in support of tolerance, respect, and empathy. We aim to empower young people to become pro-active citizens; businesses to become active community partners; and families of all make-ups to become allies for one another. Our unique Pride Festival offers safe, family-friendly entertainment and fun for all. Throughout the year, North Jersey Pride works in partnership with LGBTQ leaders in their campaigns for more stringent anti-bullying laws and other equality issues in the state of New Jersey. Visit us online at: https://www.northjerseypride.org