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Local News, Activities, and Events

The following meeting information concerning local news, activities, and events organized by groups other than the CCSJ is updated at the beginning of each calendar month. Please check with the originating organization because of likely cancellations or changes since they were originally posted here. See Regional News for news, activities, and events activities not organized by the CCSJ taking place outside the Morgantown area.

CITY OF MORGANTOWN LGBTQ+ PRIDE MONTH PROCLAMATION
The Mayor and City Council of Morgantown released a LGBTQ+ PRIDE MONTH Proclamation on June 2, 2020. A copy of the PDF can be downloaded at this link.

SUPPORT LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
Do you want to “do something” to help in this difficult time when we are supposed to be staying at home? If so, we are suggesting that the following local organizations might benefit from any financial assistance you are able to provide as they help people in need in the Morgantown-Monongalia County area. As far as we know, all are 501 (c) (3) organizations so contributions would be deductible to the extent allowed by law:
Bartlett Housing Solutions (Bartlett House):
 Link. 10 West Run Road, Suite 200, Morgantown, WV 26508, (304) 292-0101, info@bartletthouse.org
Caritas House: Link. 391 Scott Avenue, Morgantown, WV 26508, (304) 985-0021.
Christian Help: Link. 219 Walnut Street, Morgantown, WV 26505, In-Kind Contributions / Collection Drives: information@motownchristianhelp.com, (304) 296-0221; Financial Contributions: finance@motownchristianhelp.com, (304) 296-0221 ext. 11.
Community Kitchen, Inc. at Trinity Episcopal Church: Link. P.O. Box 922, Morgantown, WV 26507. See more about this effort below under the news from the Church of the Brethren.
Empty Bowls Monongalia: Link. 7 Rousch Drive, Westover, WV 26501, (304) 241-5510
Milan Puskar Health Right: Link. 341 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV 26505, (304) 292-8234, info@mphealthright.org
Morgantown Area Meals on Wheels: Link. 3375 University Avenue, Morgantown, WV 26505, (304) 599-1954, morgantownareamow@gmail.com.
The Pantry Plus More: Link. 9 Rousch Drive, Westover, WV 26501, (304) 282-1123, info@pantryplusmore.org.
Scotts Run Settlement House: Link. P.O. Box 590, Pursglove, WV 26546, (304) 599-5020, email link.
The Shack Neighborhood House: Link. P.O. Box 600 Pursglove, WV 26546, (304) 599.5466, email link.
United Way's list of food and hunger sites: Link.
Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc., Emergency Impact Fund for North Central West Virginia: Link. P.O. Box 409, Morgantown WV 26507, 304-296-3433

YOUR VOTE MATTERS
The West Virginia Primary Election is now scheduled for June 9th. All Monongalia County registered voters should now have received an application for an absentee ballot. The key dates are now:
May 19: Last day to register or update your voter registration
May 27 - June 6: Early Voting at Any registered voter within Monongalia County is eligible for early voting at Mountaineer Mall, 5000 Greenbag Rd., Unit D-20 (former Goodwill Store), Morgantown, WV 26505; Mason Dixon Park, 79 Buckeye Rd., Core, WV 26541; Westover Community Building, 399 Crowl St., Westover, WV 26501; WVU Alumni Center, 1 Alumni Dr., Morgantown, WV 26505; or Fort Pierpont - Suite #102, 200 Fort Pierpont Dr. Suite 102, Morgantown, WV 26508.
June 3: Last day to request an absentee ballot
June 9: ELECTION DAY and return of absentee ballot
You can get more information about registering to vote by April 21st, early voting, and absentee ballots from the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office.
Lists of candidates are available here for state-wide races and here for local races like sheriff and Board of Education members.
Please note that there are also four levies on the Monongalia County ballot that are renewals of the levies currently in effect with the addition of new organizations to the Parks, Trails, and Recreation Levy. They are the Monongalia County Urban Mass Transportation Authority Levy (supports MountainLine bus system), Fire Protection Levy (supports volunteer fire departments and others), Morgantown Public Library System Levy, and Parks, Trails, and Recreation Levy (supports Camp Muffly Park, Chestnut Ridge Park, Mason-Dixon Historical Park, Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail Trails, WV Botanic Garden, Westover Park Baseball Facilities, Cheat Lake and Laurel Point soccer fields, and the Morgantown Ice Arena). If you get an absentee ballot, the levy information and places to vote is on the back of the ballot.

SUNDAY MAY 31 VIRTUAL RALLY AGAINST RACISM
The event was hosted by Women's March WV Eastern Panhandle, Women's March West Virginia, Morgantown-Kingwood NAACP Branch #3241, Morgantown Pride, West Virginia Working Families Party, Our Future West Virginia, and ACLU of West Virginia. It looks like there were 4,000 people watching the program.

The speakers were Dr. Jerry Carr Jr. (president of the Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP), Romelia Hodges (Fairmont Alliance of Minorities Network Administrator; Commissioner of the Governor's African American Task Force), Rosemary Ketchum (Wheeling City Council Candidate Ward 3), Jason Davis (Kyumei Ju Jitsu LLC), Audra Slocum (Associate Professor of English Education, WVU), Stephen Smith (Candidate for Governor), Jennifer Wells (Our Future West Virginia), Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (District 16), Delegate Sammi Brown (District 65), Delegate Danielle Walker (District 51), Mollie Kennedy (ACLU-WV), and Ash Cutright (Morgantown Pride).

A video of the Zoom virtual rally against racism is here.

MORGANTOWN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
The next regular meeting should be Thursday, JUne 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Public Safety Building Conference Room on Spruce Street. However, the City has been cancelling all non-essential meetings so stay tuned. You can get information on the commission, including information on filing complaint forms here, copies of the agendas and minutes for the commission meetings here, and a calendar of annual human rights observances here.

Greater Morgantown Interfaith Association (GMIA)

No updated information was available about future meetings at “press time.”
You can follow GMIA on Facebook or on the web. The email address is morgantowninterfaith@gmail.com.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
The League of Women Voters is working with the state-wide West Virginia Women Vote project and the local group, West Virginia Women Vote-Morgantown, to begin planning for the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave all women in the country the right to vote in 2020. If you are interested in participating in the planning, please contact Vicki Conner at vicki_conner@msn.com. 

MORGANTOWN NOW CHAPTER
Events are cancelled until further notice. Follow this group on Facebook

PFLAG MORGANTOWN
June 9: PFLAG Meeting via Zoom at 6:00 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
Link: https://zoom.us/j/7358121634?pwd=aEExalBnK24ycEFKYktlYXhJd3lzUT09
Meeting ID: 735 812 1634, Password: PFLAGSOC

PFLAG News
“We decided that we would like to start a network of supportive listeners. The idea is that we want to continue to serve the community by offering folks people to talk with about their experiences. As such, if you're willing to be a supportive listener to individuals who reach out to PFLAG,” please contact Amy Root at kennedyamye@gmail.com. She “will add your name to a list of folks who will be contacted if a someone reaches out for some support/with questions. If there are specific topics you have personal experience with, let her know ... If you volunteer, you will use the chapter Zoom account to communicate (i.e., you will not be giving personal phone number/email to strangers).”

PFLAG will participate in WVU's Diversity Week in October. Specifically, PFLAG and the WVU LGBTQ+ Center will host a panel on ‘Faith and the New Sexuality.’ If you'd like to join the education committee, please let Amy know at the above email.

Follow PFLAG on Facebook or at their website

WVU NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM
See their website for information.

MORGANTOWN CHURCH OF THE BETHREN
The church goes to Zoom: The congregation is meeting virtually via Zoom at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. They also plan to have some outdoor services on blankets at Wiles Hill Park.  Please go to Facebook for further information.

MORGANTOWN PRIDE
This group “provides social and educational resources for the LGBTQ+ Community, Friends and Allies in Mon. County.” Follow this group’s activities on their Facebook page.
Morgantown Pride News
“Please celebrate Pride Spirit Week with us!

“We encourage you to celebrate Prom week your way! Dress up and send us pics, make art, share your stories or dance a little. We are giving away various things this month including Pride attire, gift baskets and gift cards from local businesses and other fun stuff so send us pics, messages or emails to be included in the raffles each Sunday in June.”

“We are so excited to celebrate Pride Month! as an organization we are trying to find ways to safely celebrate at home.
Please join us in showing off Your spirit! those who participate and share with us their Spirit week creations will be put into our weekly raffles for giveaways. We encourage you to dress up, make art and share your inspirations with us.
Please tag Morgantown Pride, email us or private message us to be eligible for our giveaways.”

The 2020 Morgantown Pride Parade is postponed until September 5th.

NAACP
The next meeting will be on June 16th at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. Contact the NAACP at 3241naacp@gmail.com for more information and to learn how to participate. 

Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Morgantown
Beth Houseknecht reports that “We have 3 folks who have reached out for June.  Musician Andrew McKnight, a friend of Robb's named Bob, and Rev. O'Kelly - probably will include a membership meeting and that's four.” Check the web site or the Facebook page for updates.

If there is no service on Sunday, the Fellowship encourages everyone to go to the Pittsburgh UU website  and enjoy one of many Sunday Services. Beth says the 8:00 p.m. services with The Church of the Larger Fellowship is superb for an online service.

WVU CENTER FOR BLACK CULTURE AND RESEARCH
For more information, please go here.

WVU CENTER FOR WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES
For more information, please go here.

WVU LGBTQ+ CENTER EVENTS
See link for more information.

INCREASING MORGANTOWN'S MUNICIPALITY EQUALITY INDEX UNDERWAY
Morgantown Pride members “have been working alongside the Morgantown Human Rights Commission to increase our Municipality Equality Index - which demonstrates how our city supports our LGBTQ+ community. With the suggestion of our mayor and HRC, we created two volunteer liaison positions for our city which can be found below. These positions have been voted on and passed by the Morgantown HRC.”
They were presented to the Morgantown City Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 28th. The position descriptions are below.
If you have comments, you can find contact information for council members here. Please note that meetings are now virtual meetings, so it is best to email comments to be read by the city clerk during the meeting. The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 5th at 7:00 p.m.
LGBTQ+ City of Morgantown Liaison Position Description
Under general supervision, the LGBTQ+ City liaison will serve as an accessible and friendly ear to the City’s LGBTQ+ community and elevate LGBTQ+-related concerns to the City Manager and other City officials. The liaison will also develop, plan, organize, direct, and implement public information, employee support, and community education and organization efforts with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer communities. This includes planning, preparing, and distributing information to stimulate interest on the part of the community in the services and programs provided by The City of Morgantown and identifying existing and prospective needs for new or improved services or programs. The potential liaison shall interact with community groups, volunteer organizations, government agencies, various councils and boards, private business, etc., to improve communication and identify community interests and concerns. This position will include interaction with city employees and administrative and managerial staff in city departments to promote diversity and resolve problems and complaints. Extensive contact with the Mayor of Morgantown, Morgantown City Council, Human Rights Commission of Morgantown, The Minority Liaison Coordinating Council, and community members requires sensitivity, sound judgment, and a cognizance of the unique obstacles faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community.
Examples of Liaison Responsibilities:
● Acts as the LGBTQ+ liaison to the City of Morgantown, Human Rights Commission of Morgantown, The Minority Liaison Coordinating Council, community interest groups, volunteer organizations, etc., to facilitate community outreach, provide information about city services and programs, and promote and enhance diversity in the city workforce;
● Participates in meetings on a continuing basis and interprets city policies to area councils and community interest groups to identify and prioritize service needs, issues, topics, and concerns;
● Develops questionnaires and surveys to identify community interests, needs, perceptions, attitudes, and problem areas, and compiles and analyzes information to develop effective strategies and programs to ensure their needs are being met;
● Proposes and assists in the development or revision of city services, policies, procedures, outreach programs, and educational and informational materials based on community needs and concerns;
● Serves as a liaison with and nurtures relationships between the city and various organizations, interest groups, committees, etc., representing the LGBTQ+ community, to maintain a learning network designed to promote and identify the needs of the LGBTQ+ community;
● Consults with relevant parties with any investigation either with the Human Rights Commission of Morgantown or with city officials conducting the investigation;
● Meets with and counsels city employees and departmental representatives in order to resolve problems and complaints;
● Refers members of the public alleging charges of discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender to the Human Rights Commission of Morgantown, The Minority Liaison Coordinating Council, and Police LGBTQ+ Liaison, assisting claimants in negotiating the process;
● Prepares reports with supporting data, tables, graphs, demographics, etc., using computer applications for use by the administration in planning services and programs;
● Establishes priorities for involvement in community programs and activities within the framework of available budgetary and staff resources;
● Schedules, prepares, and conducts speaking engagements at organizations, community groups, schools, etc.;
● Researches and identifies areas where local, state, and federal issues or legislation may impact areas of concern as relates to the LGBTQ+ community and assists in formulating initiatives to address those issues;
● Collaborates with City Officials in the development of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action policies, goals, and objectives to attract, retain, and promote a diverse workforce;
● Evaluates public information materials to determine their effectiveness in promoting and describing city programs and services;
● Provides information and referral services in response to inquiries from city employees, community interest groups, and individuals;
● Uses computer applications and other automated systems such as spreadsheets, word processing, calendar, e-mail, and database software in performing work assignments.
● *Attend educational events and trainings held by the City Police Liaison, Human Rights Commission of Morgantown, The Minority Liaison Coordinating Council, City Manager, and/or City Council.
Morgantown Police Officer Liaison Position Description
Under general supervision, the LGBTQ+ Police Officer Liaison will serve as a dedicated officer that focuses on the public safety needs of the LGBTQ+ community and their allied community. The officer will conduct educational initiatives alongside the LGBTQ+ City Liaison and Human Rights Commission on issues related to hate crimes and public safety. Their primary focus will be to gain trust of the LGBTQ+ and ally community and seek out information that leads to the closure of hate and violent crimes within the LGBTQ+ community. They will also conduct patrol functions and respond to all LGTBQ+ based complaints. They will advocate creating mutual trust so the community members can gain increasing confidence in the police through the provision of fair and professional policing services. The potential liaison must interact with community groups, volunteer organizations, government agencies, various councils and boards, private business, etc., to improve communication and identify community interests and concerns. This position will include interaction with city employees and administrative and managerial staff in city departments to promote diversity and resolve problems and complaints. Extensive contact with the Mayor of Morgantown, Morgantown City Council, Morgantown Human Rights Commission, and community members requires sensitivity, sound judgment and a cognizance of the unique obstacles faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community.
Examples of Liaison Responsibilities:
● Attending the monthly Human Rights Commission of Morgantown meetings, Minority Liaison Coordinating Council meetings, and City Council meetings
● Present and lead in educational trainings alongside the City of Morgantown LGBTQ+ Liaison, Human Rights Commission of Morgantown, City Manager, and/or City Council
● Coordinating MPD participation in LGBTQ-related events in the city limits
● Creating a website or webpage “Safe Place” in which folks can contact the Police Liaison
● Responding to all "Safe Place MPD" website/webpage requests and inquiries
● Monitoring all LGBTQ+-related crime statistics and responses
● Working closely with the LGBTQ+ community on a variety of community-related events and issues.