June Newsletter

June Newsletter

Dear friends and supporters,

Happy Pride month! We are so grateful for the many contributions of our LGBTQ and gender non-conforming allies and ancestors. Trans women of color in particular have paved the way for much of the anti-violence movement's gains that we as a society benefit from today. So, it is with deep respect and solidarity that we celebrate Pride and LGBTQ history this month.

Sadly, this month we also observe the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando. This senseless act of violence claimed 49 lives, most of whom were Latinx LGBTQ folks, and brought fear and trauma to dance floors across the country and beyond. While there are different theories as to Omar Mateen's motive, one fact is known: Mateen had a history of domestic violence just as many mass murderers before him. Statistics show that people convicted of domestic or intimate partner violence are much more likely to commit future violent crimes and yet domestic and intimate partner violence are still largely treated as private rather than public health issues. If any lesson can be extracted from this tragedy perhaps it would be to see the interconnectedness of various forms of violence and to remember the importance of working in solidarity. Our movements, like our struggles, are bound up with one another and as Assata said:

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

In honor of all LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people past and present.

Check out what we’re up to this month:

Immigrant history month

Since 2013, the month of June has been recognized as Immigrant Heritage Month. Right now it feels particularly important to uplift, celebrate, and defend the diverse immigrant histories and communities that are an essential part of our American identity.

1st Annual Bronx Summit for
Women & Girls

Last month over 100 women, girls, and their allies convened at the 1st Annual Bronx Summit. This event was a collaborative effort organized by VIP, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and Girl Vow, Inc. to discuss to examine the intersectionality of criminalization, sexism, & race against women and girls. Our very own Cecilia Gastón was one of the featured panelists. We look forward to making this happen again next year!


9 A.M.-2 P.M.

Catch Cecilia Gastón, Stephanie Martin Llanes, Samelys Lopez and many more change makers at this one day conference!

More info: tinyurl.com/LLIJune24Event


This Saturday a VIP dream team of donors, volunteers, staff, board members, and supporters will hit Central Park for the NY Mini 10K. Team #Run4VIP will be spreading awareness and visibility about VIP's life-saving services in our new purple shirts as they loop their way around Central Park.

WHEELS Interns

We recently hosted high school interns from Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) at our various program sites. The short internship provided an opportunity for the young people to learn more about our counseling and advocacy work. One intern had this to say about her experience at VIP:

"I learned a lot about what it takes to really work with people in all different types of situations...I'm glad I was able to help in any way I could and that I was able to takeaway some things to put my decision of becoming a psychologist more into perspective."