(Boston, MA) June 24, 2020 â€“ The Boston Pride Board announced that it has engaged the services of Dorrington & Saunders, LLC, an organizational development consulting firm, to work with the board on transformational changes regarding diversity and inclusion. Recently, Boston Pride acknowledged that they have more work to do to ensure acceptance, access and inclusion of the full spectrum of cultures that make up the LGBTQ+ community that the board and its members serve. The leadership of Boston Pride has committed to dismantling the systemic oppression and individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural racism within its own organization.
Judah-Abijah Dorrington, Left; La Verne Saunders, Right
Dorrington & Saunders LLC was launched by La Verne Saunders in 1989 after spending 35 years in direct service and management positions for various human service organizations. A graduate of both Howard University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Northeastern University, where she earned a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. Judah-Abijah Dorrington, a long time LGBTQ+ activist and co-founder and principal of Dorrington & Saunders LLC, is a former co-chair of Black Pride New England, a former Boston Pride President, and currently serves as chairperson of the NAACP Atlantic City, NJ Branch LGBTQ+ committee. Judah holds a Masterâ€™s degree in Human Services Planning and Development from UMass Bostonâ€™s College of Public and Community Service, and was an adjunct professor who taught a course on Race, Class and Gender.
Dorrington & Saunders, LLC, specializes in transforming organizations to honor and operationalize their social justice missions from theory to application to practice. The firm is designed to help individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, corporations and public or governmental entities increase their capacity to thrive in ways that serve and promote the good inherent nature of human beings, increase hope and resilience, and enhance quality of life. Dorrington & Saunders LLC has provided itsâ€™ services to the South End Community Health Center, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Center for Women and Enterprise, the Massachusetts Housing and Finance Agency, the Theater Offensive, the Multicultural Aids Coalition, The Transformation Center, and Kiva Centers, among other organizations.
â€œDorrington & Saunders is committed to working with Boston Pride so that as an organization, they are better able to serve Bostonâ€™s diverse LGBTQ+ community,â€ said Dorrington. â€œWe know that this work is challenging but necessary to promote equity, access and inclusion and enhance cultural competence, cultural responsiveness and cultural humility. Our focus will include issues of racial and gender social injustice.â€
â€œWe have heard the voices from our community and we know that Boston Pride must take more substantive steps towards becoming more diverse throughout our organization, including in our leadership. It is important for the community to know that Boston Pride supports the Black Lives Matter movement and the efforts to end systemic racism and police brutality against Black and Brown people including the LGBTQ+ community,â€ said Boston Pride President Linda J. DeMarco. â€œThe experience and commitment to the LGBTQ+ community that both La Verne Saunders and Judah Dorrington bring will help us fulfill the mission of Boston Pride to represent the full spectrum of the diverse community that we serve and to address structural racism and police violence in the region.â€