Collaboration Includes Exchange Trip, Video Diaries, and Events in the U.S. and Russia

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Pride St. Louis announced today the acquisition of a grant funding a collaborative partnership between Pride St. Louis and the “Samara Regional LGBT Movement Avers” (Самарское Регинальное Общественное ЛГБТ Движение Аверс). The grant spans the last few months of 2017 and the first half of 2018.

The collaboration between the two organizations focuses around sharing and understanding the similarities and differences of LGBTQIA+ culture in the United States and Russia. The partnership also aims to increase awareness of the state of LGBTQIA+ affairs in Russia. The participants will be documenting the progress of the grant using a series of video diaries, and will be designing an implementation manual of best practices for international LGBTQIA+ community building and collaboration.

As part of the grant, five staff members from Avers will be visiting St. Louis for two weeks in February 2018. The visiting colleagues will include well-known Russian LGBTQIA+ activists Evodkia Romanova, recently featured on “NowThis” and Mikhail Tumasov. A cultural exchange dinner that is open to the public is being planned; attendees will have the chance to hear first-hand from the Russian activists, and have the opportunity to ask questions. In May 2018, three members from Pride St. Louis will be visiting Samara, Russia as the second part of the exchange, including Wolf Smith and Landon Brownfield, co-chairs of PrideCenter of St. Louis, the region’s only LGBTQIA+ community center. The St. Louis team will be accompanied by a videography team to document the trip.

“We are honored to be participating in this exchange with our colleagues in Samara, Russia, and we hope to shed light on what it means to be LGBTQ+ in Russia," said Wolf Smith, project coordinator for the grant. "We invite everyone to be a part of this project by following both teams’ journeys.

“This is a first-of-its-kind partnership, and we could not be more excited to collaborate with the brave, dedicated individuals in Samara," added Landon Brownfield, the project’s communications manager. "With the current worldwide climate towards LGBTQ+ people, such a partnership has perhaps never been more necessary,” 

Pride St. Louis is currently seeking a volunteer age 18-24 for a four-week long internship in Samara, also during the month of May in 2018. The PrideSTL Scholarship Committee is administering the selection process for the intern. Interested individuals may contact scholarship "at" , ATTN: Samara Internship, for more information and to apply.



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