Pride Minot rebrands itself

LGBTQ group now known as Magic City Equality

Pride Minot is now known as Magic City Equality.

Board members James Falcon, Christopher Dix, Shannon Krueger and Jorden Laducer all said that rebranding the organization will help it do even more to help people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or are questioning their sexual orientation.

The new nonprofit organization is seeking to secure 501(c)(3) status. In the meantime, Magic City Equality has formed a partnership with the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, which will serve as a fiscal sponsor for the non-profit. Through this, donations to Magic City Equality can be tax-deductible.

Laducer, the treasurer of Magic City Equality, said he hopes that the group will be able to receive more grant funding, particularly for youth outreach and community education efforts.

Falcon is president of the organization; Dix is vice president; and Krueger is secretary. Other board members include Rochelle Young, member at large and military ambassador, and River Avalon, member at large, youth and volunteer coordinator. All previously served on the board of Pride Minot, which had been in existence since 2013.

Submitted Photo RIGHT: Magic City Equality educates both the general public and the LGBTQ community in northwestern North Dakota about LGBTQ culture, current events, and community concerns. The Magic City Equality Board includes: James C. Falcon, president; Christopher Dix, vice president; Shannon Krueger, secretary; Jorden Laducer, treasurer; and Rochelle Young and River Avalon, members at large.

They will build on what had been offered by the Pride Minot organization, said Krueger.

The group had already been holding a regular gathering for youth in the community on the first Sunday of the month and hopes to sponsor more events in the future that will “help instill pride, celebrate the history and accomplishments of LGBTQ individuals, and embrace diversity in the North Dakota region,” according to a press release from the group.

The group will also take over the responsibility of putting on the Minot Pride Festival, which will be held June 27-30, and other projects that had previously been supported by Pride Minot.

The group also plans to reach out to other organizations in the state that have not yet attained non-profit status – its “other brothers and sisters.” Dix said Magic City Equality will likely work closely with a new group in Williston.

Falcon said they hope to eventually host events that will make Minot the kind of destination spot for Pride events that larger locations like Fargo and Minneapolis have traditionally been. Dix said people have been willing to travel several hours for Pride events in those cities and to celebrate with people with whom they share something important in common.

Krueger said Magic City Equality’s board is all volunteer. They also hope to help develop future leaders who will gain experience from working with the group and planning events.

Dix said he has found friends and an important source of support with the members of the organization, which he hopes to extend to others.

He recalls dreading his return to Minot when he moved back to the community, but attending a meeting for volunteers with Magic City Equality has helped to change his life for the better, he said. The board said others in the community will find friends with Magic City Equality.

“I want to make Minot a more welcoming and safe feeling place for people who are coming up and graduating out of high school (so they) don’t feel like they need to find a college in a place that’s more liberal and more accepting,” said Dix. “I want them to feel that here.”

“We want to be a voice for the community that is feeling neglected, maybe,” said Krueger.

More information about the organization and upcoming events can be found at www.MagicCityEquality.com

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