Three cheers to activist Jerry Allred, who will be honored at this year’s Gay City News Impact Awards on March 28 for his lifelong advocacy for the LGBTQ community.
The Bay Ridgite is one of the founding members of Kings County’s first pride march back in 1997 and founded the Brooklyn Community Pride Center in 2008.
If that wasn’t enough, he also joined the now-famous New York City Gay Men’s Chorus in its inaugural year in 1980, where he channeled his love for choral singing.
The Brooklyn Pride Parade, which has brought the rainbow colors to Park Slope for more than two decades, was a brainchild of Allred’s, along with three of his friends who gathered in Manhattan in September 1996 and decided that Kings County deserved a march of its own.
“We had the parade in Manhattan, and then I’d heard about the Queens pride parade,” he said.
He and his friends spread the word and got the permissions from police and the Parks Department to run the parade along bustling Seventh Avenue to huge success.
“We didn’t know if anyone would come, or if we had enough money,” he said.
Three years in, they shifted the event to 7 pm, making it the only nighttime LGBTQ parade on the East Coast, Allred said.
Over the years, the gathering has attracted notables from Borough President Adams to Mayor DeBlasio, who didn’t have to venture far from his Park Slope home to join in the mirth.
Allred says the event is a space for people to feel like themselves and meet other people they can bond with.
“It is a place for people to come and meet and see if they are the same as other people. I’ve had people come up to me and just thank me,” he said. “They would say, ‘Thank you so much, I get to meet other people like me here. I used to think I was the only one and now I can meet other people like me.’”
The Brooklyn trailblazer has since retired, but says that he’s happy to have made way for the next generation.
“A good leader passes the torch on to the next group,” he says.
His number one advice to budding young activists?
“Get involved. Try it out, you might like it,” he said.— Kevin Duggan
Three cheers for the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter, for presenting the Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant to SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence.
The staff of the Alzheimer’s Center accepted the $25,000 grant on Feb. 22, on behalf of Dr. Carl Cohen, director of the Alzheimer’s Center.
With the grant, the Alzheimer’s Association is furthering the important work of ending the disease in Brooklyn and throughout the world.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to reaching our goal of a world without Alzheimer’s by investing in research,” said Dr. Anafidelia Tavares, senior director of programs for the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter. “Supporting the work of SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence is a part of a broader Alzheimer’s Association effort to nurture a robust pipeline of fresh ideas that will lead to more effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”
The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research in the world, having awarded more than $410 million to fund more than 2,700 scientific investigations. The Association is currently investing more than $110 million in nearly 400 of the best projects in 19 countries.
For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association, visit its website www.alz.org/