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2021 LGBTQIA+ PrideMonth. Celebrate Pride with MCC at upcoming events.

LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

Lecture: When We Rise: My Life in the Movement

Cleve Jones, Author & LGBTQ Activist

In this moving talk, drawn from his critically acclaimed memoir, When We Rise, Cleve Jones shares his 50-year personal and political journey to becoming a hero of the LGBTQ+ community. Beginning with the electrifying atmosphere of 1970s San Francisco, Jones takes audiences through the Gay Liberation Movement, his mentorship by legendary activist Harvey Milk, the terrifying early years of the AIDS pandemic, and his own rise to the forefront of activism as co-founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and AIDS Memorial Quilt. Speaking as both a witness to history and as one who critically shaped it, Jones chronicles an era that forever changed both the fabric of our nation and the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ Americans.

For 50 years, Cleve Jones has given a voice to the voiceless, organized the struggling and disenfranchised, and inspired activists and audiences alike with his life stories of driving history-making change. He was recognized as a Champion of Change by President Obama and portrayed in an Oscar-winning film. His acclaimed keynotes connect the historic struggles of the past with the most urgent issues of our time: overcoming pandemics, achieving economic justice, protecting the vulnerable, and standing up for all forms of human rights.

LGBTQ 101: Allies & Inclusivity 

Joan Watke, PC, LLO, Attorney at Law

The presentation and interactive activities will help you become more culturally competent with the topics of sex, gender, and bias. 

Attendees will learn culturally competent terminology, gain a deeper understanding of sexuality, and be able to implement steps to becoming a stronger ally to the LGBTQ community. The first step in improving culture is to become educated in the basics and to create a common language from which more work can be done.

Joni Watke has been an attorney in private practice and a professional speaker since 1996. She co-founded Academy LGBTQ whose mission is to educate organizations and families to elevate themselves so they can celebrate LGBTQ individuals. Joni is also a former PFLAG National Board Member. PFLAG is the country’s oldest and largest organization of allies and LGBTQ individuals working together to move equality forward. 

Joni presents to educate and raise awareness of LGBTQ issues for thousands across the country each year. She’s worked with companies like Comcast, ConAgra, Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha, Bank of the West, the American Bar Association and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Chamber Music Theatre Performance: Equally Divine – The Real Story of the Mona Lisa 

The Core Ensemble

Highlighting the fluid gender relationships involved in the creation of the Mona Lisa in 1503, its theft in 1911 and recovery in 1913, Equally Divine brings the Mona Lisa to life, recalling the famous men who were obsessed by this painting: Picasso, Napolean, King Francis I. What really happened between Leonardo, his lover and the original Lisa during the creation of the world’s most famous painting? Equally Divine is a celebration of the gay artistic genius, Leonardo da Vinci.

No recording of the Equally Divine performance is available. 
Go to You Tube recording to hear the discussion following the performance by the producer and artist of Equally Divine

Panel discussion: YOU ARE INCLUDED

Panel led by Mark Van Kekerix
John Heller, Lynne Mytty, Jennifer Pansing, PFLAG Omaha representatives

Much like the issue of slavery in the early 19th century, the issue of LGBTQ inclusion can be divisive in social and work environments.

For a diverse population to feel included and heard, conversations must be cultivated to encourage understanding and acceptance. To practice true diversity and inclusion, individuals must understand the people within groups that live, look, and act differently from them. Learn from the local LGBTQIA+ community in this session.
Watch again on YouTube: You Are Included            

Film & Discussion: Facing Fear

Discussion led by Jason Cohen, filmmaker with Tim & Matthew from Facing Fear

In this Academy Award-nominated short documentary, worlds collide when a former neo-Nazi skinhead and the gay victim of his hate crime attack meet by chance 25 years after the incident that dramatically shaped both of their lives. Together, they embark on a journey of forgiveness that challenges both to grapple with their beliefs and fears, eventually leading to an improbable collaboration...and friendship.

FACING FEAR retraces the haunting accounts of the attack and the startling revelation that brought these men together again. Delving deep into their backgrounds, the roots of the ideologies that shape how they handle the reconciliation process are exposed. Self-doubt, anger and fear are just a few of the emotions they struggle through as they come to terms with their unimaginable situation. 
Connect here to watch the film discussion from 6/28/2021

MCC personnel and students may access this streaming video by

  1. Going to the MCC Library website:
  2. Click on the Streaming Videos tab.
  3. Click on the blue “Streaming Videos” link.
  4. Click on Microsoft Stream or Docuseek.
  5. Search by video title. 


Questions? Contact: E-mail:

ACCOMMODATIONS: Audience members requiring accommodations due to a disability must contact Barbara Velazquez,, 531-622-2253 at least two weeks prior to the program.