FROM READERS: The Center Project celebrates a decade of serving mid-Missouri

Thursday, May 8, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Stanford Griffith is on the board of directors for The Center Project, heading the organization’s communication and marketing efforts.

Happy 10th birthday, The Center Project! That’s a decade of service to the LGBTQQA community of mid-Missouri and five years of providing a physical space for related community events.

To celebrate these 10 years, the Center is hosting an open house May 9, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at 300 St. James Street, Ste. 104, Columbia. Everyone is invited to attend this family-friendly party. Light refreshments will be served, and dress is casual.

The Center Project, also known as TCP, is a grassroots nonprofit organization and is mid-Missouri’s only community center focused on the needs of LGBT people. Designed as a safe and open space, TCP supports the under-served sexuality and gender-based groups within the region, including youth, families, and those living in rural communities.

To me, The Center Project is important because the community needs a safe and open space where such programs can meet. We’re not exclusively for LGBTQQ either. All allies are welcome — and we have so many. As we enter a new decade, I can see TCP working more to unite our community and bring better lives to all in mid-Missouri.

Several organizations use The Center’s meeting space; additionally, health, health equity, and legal equity presentations have been featured events.

MLAN promotes HIV education and prevention as well as healthy relationships for gay and bi men. It’s a great way to meet local guys outside of bars.

PRISM provides a safe and caring space for LGBT teenagers. Hang out, and learn about yourself.

PFLAG unites parents of LGBT children, allowing them to discuss their families in a safe and private space.

Project LOLA encourages older lesbian, bi, and transgender women to live active, healthy lives through exercise, nutrition, education, and interaction.

LGBT Parents supports LGBT people who have children. Meet other parents, and learn how they’re handle situations.

Transgender Blender supports all people across the transgender spectrum.

The Center was founded in 2004 and was housed at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia in 2005. The Center Project first opened the doors to a physical community space on May 9, 2009.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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