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LGBT Rush Center expansion underway

Doug Carl at the Rush Center

The Phillip Rush Center, Atlanta’s LGBT community center, is negotiating to expand by 1,700 square feet, but organizers need to raise another $48,000 in the next six months to complete renovations on the new event space and additional offices for community organizations.

About 100 people attended a March 30 reception at the Rush Center to learn about plans to rent a space in the building located directly behind the current facility on Edgewood Avenue in Candler Park.

Donors pitched in $31,000 that day, including two $5,000 anonymous donations as well as many smaller donations, to help secure that new space and help with its build out.

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$31,000 raised for Atlanta’s LGBT Rush Center

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The Phillip Rush Center begins expansion plans Monday into an approximate 1,700 square foot space in a building located directly behind its current location in Candler Park thanks to more than $31,000 raised at a reception on Saturday.

Linda Ellis, executive director of the Health Initiative, is co-director of the Rush Center with Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality. She explained Saturday that the expansion was needed because the Rush Center has outgrown its space at 1530 DeKalb Ave. as more and more LGBT organizations, such as the Rainbow Center, which serves and advocates for LGBT Jewish people and families, seek permanent office space. The expansion is also to meet the needs of a statewide survey of LGBT residents.

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UPDATE: Gay senior citizens advocate wins racial job bias lawsuit against Fulton County

Doug Carl from SAGE

Doug Carl, known for his community work on issues facing gay elders, has won a federal lawsuit alleging he was passed over for a Fulton County job because he is white and male.

A federal jury ruled Carl deserves $300,000 in back pay, the Atlanta Journal-Constiution reported today.

Carl served as Fulton County's deputy human services director. In 2010, he retired when his job was cut, according to the AJC. Carl had sued five years ago alleging that he applied for a position as a director but was passed over because the county, including Commissioner Emma Darnell, wanted to hire a black woman.

"Its been long five-year journey. It sounds cliche, but when justice prevails it's an amazing feeling.I'm ready to move on," Carl said in an interview with GA Voice. Carl now works with the state Division on Aging and teaches competency training on LGBT issues to healthcare and others who work with LGBT aging citizens.

"I feel complete vindication. It's been a long five-year journey to justice and I've never felt like relief like this before," he said.

The county plans to appeal.

Here's more from the AJC on the case, which the county disputes:

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SAGE Atlanta works to enrich lives of LGBT elders

Doug Carl from SAGEAging is a part of life that many LGBT people are apprehensive about — and for good reason. As it stands now, LGBT aging adults have little infrastructure to support the unique challenges they face. The Atlanta chapter of SAGE — Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders — hopes to change that.

SAGE Atlanta is a nonprofit dedicated to aging adults in the LGBT community. The group just launched a schedule of weekly meetings, held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays at the Rush Center.

Doug Carl, program director for SAGE Atlanta, notes that LGBT elders face a variety of issues, including access to healthcare, financial stability and social isolation.