Now in its fourteenth year of existence, WonderRoot, a nonprofit arts and services organization with a mission to unite artists and community to inspire positive social change, is stronger than ever and on the ...
After being fired from a well-paying restaurant job, Lance Berlin, who is transgender, was unsure what to do. Then he took a hike up Stone Mountain with members of JustUs ATL.
“That’s when I decided to get involved with the community,” said Berlin, 25, who believes he lost his job due to his gender identity.
Now working at a Midtown gay bar, Berlin has made organizing with JustUs ATL a major part of his life. He feels the organization is critical for all youth, especially for trans-identified youth like himself.
After three years together, Thomas Brook and Manny Recinos knew it was time to tie the knot. They decided they would travel to a state where same-sex marriage is legal while also holding a ceremony and reception in their home state of Georgia.
They searched online for an LGBT-friendly venue, located the Georgian Club in Cobb County, and met with the assistant manager to tour the facility on Feb. 19.
They loved it.
“The assistant general manager, Andrea Wilson, was very friendly and accommodating,” Brooks says.
The most recent tax return for YouthPride lists board members who say they were not involved with the group at the time, echoing ongoing questions about leadership and accountability at the Atlanta-based LGBT youth agency.
The handwritten tax return, which is riddled with crossed-out numbers, is for the YouthPride fiscal year that began Oct. 1, 2010, and ended Sept. 30, 2011.
The return was stamped received by the IRS on Sept. 18, 2012. It was filed by YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul, who dated his signature May 30, 2012.
The call went out in January 2012 that if YouthPride did not raise some $40,000, the youth LGBT nonprofit would be forced to close its doors. After the public plea for funds, it was discovered YouthPride did not have a five-member board of directors in violation of its bylaws and that a full board had not met since December 2010.
Now, a year later, the agency is once again sending out fundraising emails — the most recent, sent Dec. 21, has the subject line “Acceptance is a Precious Gift” — but leaders still refuse to grant interviews and either can’t or won’t list a five-member board.
After YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul made a public plea for funds in early 2012, an independent task force volunteered time to investigate the financial and leadership struggles of YouthPride and determined the agency was deep in debt and faced possible state and federal fines for not filing tax forms on time.