Cultivating Acceptance Video

Watch our Cultivating Acceptance video.


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Pride center reaches out to Stockton area youth


The San Joaquin Pride Center is located in downtown Stockton. Photo: Seth Hemmelgarn. 

On a recent Friday afternoon, a group of teenagers sat around a table at the San Joaquin Pride Center in downtown Stockton discussing where they were going to college, ideas for social activities at the center, and drag.

Listening to a group of LGBT youth, some of whom are still in their mid-teens, confidently discussing their sexuality and their futures may seem unlikely to happen in Stockton, a city with around 300,000 people that's about two hours east of San Francisco in California's Central Valley. The region is best known for agriculture, and LGBTs in the region are scattered.





Blair Eversley, 21, who's gay and grew up in Stockton, experienced bullying in high school and abuse at home. Speaking to the Bay Area Reporter earlier in the day, he said it was "really, really hard for me to come out," but when he was introduced to the center, people shared their coming out stories with him and made him comfortable.

Nicholas Hatten, the center's executive director, said with that kind of experience with youth at the center, "I realized this is what they need more than anything. They need that peer support."

The center, which has been working for more than five years to create a safe space for LGBT youth and others, has received a boost in its efforts with a grant awarded by the state health department's Office of Health Equity to launch its Cultivating Acceptance project.

With the grant - $1.18 million over five years - the center aims to expand outreach efforts to youth and help them make their school campuses safer, educate parents, and increase cultural competency among mental health professionals, among other goals, said Hatten, who's 42 and gay.

The funding will help boost the center's budget to $365,000 in the next fiscal year and enable the organization to hire an additional outreach director and other staff. It will also allow it to provide stipends for people who are earning their master's in social work.

In a news release announcing the grant awards for the center and other groups, Dr. Karen Smith, the lesbian director of the state's health department, said, "The California Reducing Disparities Project recognizes that many of the promising mental health services in our most diverse communities need additional support in order to improve their effectiveness."


To read the full article click HERE.

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S.J. Pride Center receives $1.18 million dollar "Cultivating Acceptance" grant

LGBT+ Cultivating Acceptance Program


The San Joaquin Pride Center (SJPC) is proud to announce the launch of its LGBT+ youth program, Cultivating Acceptance, that addresses the unique challenges that face LGBT+ youth within our region.   The SJ Pride Center received a $1.18 million dollar grant to fund this program.  Through youth advocacy and empowerment, mental health support services, transgender awareness, advocacy, and health services, SJPC is on the forefront of reducing disparities for this targeted population. SJPC’s program addresses the discrimination and social exclusion issues, social and environmental conditions, and quality of mental health care for our LGBT+ youth of San Joaquin County.

To read the entire article click HERE.

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State Grant will allow Pride Center to help LGBT+ youth

Record Staff Writer 

STOCKTON — The San Joaquin Pride Center has received a “game changing” state grant that will allow significantly increased services for LGBT+ youth. The program, titled Cultivating Acceptance, will be funded by a $1.18 million grant from the California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity.

“There were only seven LGBT+ programs funded in the state and we are the only one with the focus on youth,” said Nicholas Hatten, executive director of the Pride Center. “This will make a huge difference in our ability to help young people.”

The Pride Center’s current annual budget is only about $80,000, Hatten said.

Stockton Unified School District officials said the district is fully engaged for the Cultivating Acceptance program, and Hatten said he’s had favorable response from other county school districts.

“Growing up in Stockton and dealing with thoughts about my sexuality, I always wished there had been a place like the Pride Center,” said Lange Luntao, an SUSD trustee who is gay. “And now for the center to have a program established at this level, it will enable so much more outreach.”

The program officially begins on May 1. Jenna Santoyo, a Lodi native with a social work background, has been hired by the Pride Center through the grant to provide services.

“I believe in the work done by nonprofits and this sort of support opening up to the Pride Center can result in systematic change,” Santoyo said.

To read the entire article click HERE.

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Our View: Protests can be orderly


What if they called a protest and the protesters didn’t cause total chaos?

That was the scene last week at a Stockton Unified School Board meeting where supporters of LGBT+ rights wanted to make sure the district stayed on the course that, by the protesters own estimation, is among the most favorable in San Joaquin County.

But protesters were worried some of the support of their views was eroding and staged a protest to ensure district leaders knew they were being watched.

Leader Nicholas Hatten made it clear to his supporters he wanted order to the protest and not the chaos that has developed around protests of Stockton City Council meetings.

“Sometimes our strength is just showing our support and showing our numbers,” Hatten said.

That is First Amendment at its highest ideal. Speaking out respectfully as well as forcefully.

To read more of this article click HERE.
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Ralliers urge SUSD to stand by pro-LGBT policies



Ralliers urge SUSD to stand by pro-LGBT policies

STOCKTON — San Joaquin Pride Center Executive Director Nicholas Hatten walked among friends draped in rainbow flags on North Madison Street, showing their support for the Stockton Unified School District's commitment to pro-LGBT policies.

As cars drove past and honked horns in support, the peaceful demonstration of about 25 people showed while they may appear small, their voices are as loud as ever.

"We're here, we're queer, get used to it," Pride Center supporters chanted.

"The 'T' in LGBT is not silent!"

For the full article click HERE.

To watch the walk to the district office click HERE.


To watch speeches given at the school board meetings click on these links:

Community Member Dafahlia Mosley click HERE

Executive Director Nicholas Hatten click HERE

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KCRA Series: Now I Am Me

A KCRA series, “Now I Am Me,” shares the journey of transgender children —and their families — as they each decide how to become their true self.

Part 1 click HEREMeet three transgender youth who face powerful milestones, as well as painful challenges and obstacles, on their path to live an authentic life.

Part 2 click HEREFor transgender youth, having support from their families and loved ones can mean life and death.

Part 3 click HEREAfter socially transitioning, transgender youth look to medical and surgical means to transition.

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Grand Re-opening

Watch full coverage of our Grand Re-opening at the San Joaquin Pride Center that took place on October 20th 2016.

Click Here.


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Filters, Prisms and Issues of Race

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

— Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockinbird”

That quote eloquently describes the problems we have in understanding race and gender issues.

In short, we exhibit a lack of empathy in attempting to understand another’s point of view because we do not share the same experiences.

Race was the issue at last week’s meeting of The Record’s Reader Advisory Committee and it was interesting to be part of a discussion that included people of various ethnicities explaining their point of view and others attempted to understand it.

To read the full article click here.

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March for Civil Rights



Record Staff Writer

STOCKTON — Dozens marched along the streets of downtown Stockton to the steps of City Hall on Thursday evening to denounce Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman who defeated Hillary Clinton in an earthshaking upset in Tuesday’s presidential election.

The San Joaquin Pride Center, Fathers and Families of San Joaquin and the Little Manila Foundation joined forces to organize the march. A group of about 50 people converged on City Hall holding signs with slogans such as “Love Trumps Hate,” “Hope Trumps Fear” and “Not My President.”

Nicholas Hatten, executive director of the Pride Center, said the demonstration was held to voice concerns over Trump’s 100-day plan. That plan includes repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, suspending immigration from nations that are havens for Islamic terrorists and beginning construction on a wall along America’s porous southern border.

To read more of this article click here

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