HARTFORD, CONN (June 28, 2019) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin joined members of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and discuss “Pride Under the Stars,” a public event to mark the Stonewall anniversary.  “Pride Under the Stars” will take place this evening at 6 PM on Burr Mall and it will feature drinks, food, a public art presentation including projections of events in LGBTQ+ history, and DJ Ephraim Adamz, a Hartford resident who will also be playing at World Pride in New York City.  The event is sponsored by Stanley Black & Decker and TheaterWorks.

“The movement for LGBTQ+ rights started long before Stonewall, but it was a galvanizing moment in the fight for true equality and we’re proud to commemorate this fiftieth anniversary as a community,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “We have come a long way, but we have a lot more work to do as a city and as a country.  We want our city and our country to be a place where you can live openly, proudly, safely, and happily, no matter who you love or how you identify.  I want to thank the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee for their months of work to put together a terrific event, and I also want to thank Stanley Black & Decker and TheaterWorks for their generous support.”

Mayor Bronin also announced the appointment of David Grant to serve as the City of Hartford’s first LGBTQ+ Liaison in the Mayor’s office, in addition to his current role as an Executive Assistant, where he assists with City Council legislative business and a range of other responsibilities.  Since joining the city last year, Grant has helped change internal city forms to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees and trained the City’s Reentry Welcome Center staff on how to engage with LGBTQ+ individuals returning from incarceration.  He has also helped lead the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee and currently serves on the Hartford Pride committee.

“David is an important member of my team, and I am excited that he has agreed to serve officially as our LGBTQ+ Liaison, a role he has played informally for some time,” said Mayor Bronin.

“The evening program is an opportunity for the LGTBQ+ community and allies to unite and celebrate, and it will also be informative,” said Charlie Ortiz, Executive Director of Claro and the Chair of theHartford Pridecommittee, who is also a member of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee.  “We will be projecting images and short documentaries.  The event will be held at Burr Mall, which is strategically located at the crossroads of several residential developments and cultural assets, offering a great opportunity for social integration.”

“At Stanley Black & Decker, we know that diverse perspectives are essential for achieving our vision and living our purpose – which is to support and advance those who make the world,” said Fiona Mohring of Stanley Black & Decker.  “We’re proud to be headquartered in New Britain, Conn., where we have been part of the Greater Hartford community for 176 years. We feel that there is no better way to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion than by supporting the LGBTQ+ community in our own backyard.”

“It has been enormously satisfying to collaborate with the City and other cultural and service organizations to mark this important milestone,” said Eric Ort, the Artistic Associate at TheaterWorks and a member of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee.  “If Pride Under the Stars has as much good spirit, respect, and affection as the committee meetings, it will be a remarkable evening.  TheaterWorks actively looks for ways to connect communities and so, naturally, we wanted to be part of this historic anniversary.  The anniversary of Stonewall is an opportunity to celebrate, but when we gather, we are also putting a stake in the ground to ensure that civil rights for all people continue to expand.”

Members of the Stonewall 50 Hartford Planning Committee include representatives of: Buzz Engine; the Connecticut Historical Society; TheaterWorks; the Wadsworth Atheneum; the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective; YWCA New Britain Sexual Assault Crisis Service; Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus; Capital City Pride; the Obama Foundation’s Community Leadership Corps; the Hartford Symphony Orchestra; Out Film CT; LGBTQ+ Commission; Journey Writers; and other local residents.