The Bowen Center: A Place For Inclusion

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Established more than three decades to help combat the stigma of mental health illness in the Harlem community, by ensuring that the community had a local resource where they would feel comfortable, the Emma L. Bowen Center Community Service Center continues to be a safe place for the city’s most vulnerable individuals.

The Bowen Center’s broad array of programs and services allows this important nonprofit to work with individuals of all ages—from infants to senior citizens, individuals of all sexual orientations and genders both in-person and through telehealth, as appropriate, in accordance with a client’s needs and preferences.

As we kick-off Pride Week to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, we want to share a few thoughts from some of our LGBTQ+ clients, staff and friends.

We wish all of our clients, friends and allies in LGBTQIA+ community a very happy and safe Pride!

What does Pride month mean to you?

In a world that has become increasingly divided and pitted against each other, I believe Pride month serves as a reminder that no matter how dark things may feel, no one is every truly alone in their efforts to live true to themselves. Having a community of people across all walks of life who share one common factor allows us to feel confident in living openly throughout the other eleven months. So long as the drive to fight for a brighter future remains in these communities, Pride will continue to be a rallying point in which members of the LGBTQIA+ community can see the fruits of their labor and celebrate how far we have come, even if the work remains. Pride is about letting the once unspoken truths of our lives never fall below a whisper again. Zach B.

Dr. King said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” I believe Pride is an opportunity for people all around the world to pause, express and celebrate love in all forms. It is a time for compassion, understanding and breaking down barriers to recognize and accept the individuality of those around you. – Chris J.

“Pride month is expressionism, being true to yourself, expressing yourself however you see fit.” Leonora N.

“Pride month is about acceptance, equality, and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community. For me, it’s more than a recognition of my identity and for others to accept me as I am – a Lesbian, without judgement, is an affirmation of equal rights and a celebration of visibility, diversity, and dignity in the LGBTQ+ community. It is also a time for reflection, to remember where we came from and recognize those who paved the way for us to outwardly celebrate our Truest selves. Pride is all about being proud of who you are no matter who you love.”Smiley

“Pride month gives me the opportunity to reconnect with my peers joyfully and affords me the hope that society is becoming more loving.”Martin M.