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New resource center provides support for Akron's Black LGBTQ community

The Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Resource Center in Akron has a weekly family-style dinner for anyone in the gay community.
Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Resource Center
The Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Resource Center in Akron has a weekly family-style dinner for anyone in the gay community.

Akron now has a resource center that’s focused on supporting the Black LGBTQ community. The Bayard Rustin LGBTQIA Resource Center offers a range of services including HIV prevention, housing referrals, mental health and substance abuse counseling and job readiness training. The staff includes three case managers and one outreach worker. The center’s administrative chief Steve Arrington says the community has needed this for a long time.

Steve Arrington
Akron's new center for LGBTQ Black community

“It’s a center where they can come and be themselves. It’s a safe space, nonjudgmental. You can get education. You can get knowledge, and you can get help. That’s important for us to have a neutral place.”

Nearly 200 people have already used the center since it opened in January.

The center, operated by the Akron AIDS Collaborative. It's namesake, Bayard Rustin, was a civil rights pioneer who was gay who among his many accomplishments helped organize the March on Washington.

Kelly Krabill is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media. She is excited to engage viewers with visual storytelling. While living near Canton most of her life, she recently moved to Cleveland.