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Pride Week Features Traditional Series of Events, Inaugural 5K Run

Week culminates with Pride Festival Sunday in Maplewood.

The 2014 Pride Week begins Monday to celebrate diversity and promote equality, leading up to the Pride Festival Sunday at the Memorial Park Amphitheater in Maplewood.

North Jersey Pride, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equality, awareness and understanding in the northern region of the state, will host a series of LGBTQ-themed events throughout the week.

The week culminates with the free Pride Festival that features a full afternoon of unique family-friendly entertainment.

The festival’s Main Stage will feature "X Factor" top-10 finalist, Bea Miller, De’Borah Garner from Season 3 of NBC’s "The Voice," the alt-country-all-female-boot-stompin’-rockers, Antigone Rising, and many more.

“We are thrilled to be producing yet another uplifting and fun-filled week of Pride events for the LGBTQ community and supportive allies in the Garden State,” said C.J. Prince, executive director of North Jersey Pride. 

“Attendance has grown tremendously since we started in 2011 and this year we anticipate thousands more LGBTQ and ally families to participate. We love inspiring our constituents to take the energy and enthusiasm they gain from our events and work towards real change in their communities on the most pressing issues facing LGBTQ adults and youth today. This year, we’ll be celebrating our tremendous marriage equality win, but also recognizing how much more we must do when it comes to teen bullying, transgender inequality, homeless LGBT youth and senior discrimination.”

This year’s Pride Week events include an interfaith flag-raising ceremony at Maplewood Town Hall on Monday, a lecture on transgender issues by award-winning author, storyteller and educator, S. Bear Bergman on Tuesday, and a presentation on how parents can help their children navigate adolescence, by motivational speaker, Scott Fried on Wednesday.

The parent event is co-sponsored by the Tyler Clementi Foundation, with Jane Clementi providing the introduction. There is also a teen story slam and dance on Friday co-sponsored by Garden State Equality and Studio B, and for the first time, a North Jersey Pride 5K Pride Run on Saturday, along with NJP’s signature fundraiser, the Dance for Equality, also on Saturday.

North Jersey Pride also has a new app for iPhone and Android users, allowing participants to navigate all the Pride Week activities in one place.

Full Listing of North Jersey Pride Week Events Below:

Monday: Flag-raising Ceremony 
6 PM, Maplewood Town Hall, 574 Valley St., Maplewood, New Jersey
Meet us on the steps of Maplewood Town Hall for a moving flag-raising ceremony and rally led by Mayor Vic Deluca. Then head over the Highland Place (5-Highland Place, Maplewood) for toast to equality! Cash bar, no cover, 8 PM.

Tuesday: Trans-Equality Talk: “5 Questions People Always Want to Ask the Transsexual (But Shouldn’t)(But I’ll Answer Some of Them Anyway)”
 with S. Bear Bergman 8 PM, Burgdorff Cultural Center Maplewood Area, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood, New Jersey
Award-winning author, story teller, and educator, S. Bear Bergman (2014 Lambda Literary Award Nominee) asks the questions trans people are constantly asked—then turns them inside out and upside down. You’ll learn just what’s behind them (and how they perpetuate certain myths) as he helps you gain some real understanding of what trans lives and experiences are all about. Cosponsored by Maplewood Township’s Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

Wednesday: North Jersey Pride and Jefferson Elementary School to Host Anti-Bullying Day 8:30 AM TO 2:30 PM, Jefferson Elementary School, 518 Ridgewood Rd, Maplewood, New Jersey 
North Jersey Pride is partnering with Jefferson Elementary School in Maplewood, New Jersey to produce an anti-bullying day at the school. The program includes age-appropriate assemblies for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in which students will learn about words that hurt and language that heals. In the afternoon they will participate in a flag raising ceremony and take a pledge to stand up to bullying.

Wednesday: How to Talk to the Creature in Your Car: A Survival Guide for Parents of Teenagers. 8 PM, St. George’s Maplewood, 550 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood, New Jersey
Cosponsored by the Tyler Clementi Foundation and North Jersey Pride, this moving presentation by adolescent motivational speaker and HIV/AIDS health educator, Scott Fried, reveals the secrets most teens keep from their parents, and shares specific strategies and techniques on parenting a teenager through this difficult time of adolescent angst. Introduction by Tyler Clementi Foundation co-founder, Jane Clementi. 

Thursday: Movie Night: Award-winning film “Concussion” and Q&A with Director Stacie Passon and Cast 8 PM, Bow-Tie Claridge Cinema, 486 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, New Jersey
North Jersey Pride is proud to present a special screening of “Concussion,” a Rose Troche (L-Word, Go Fish, Six Feet Under) film that premiered at Sundance and won a 2014 GLAAD Media Award and the 2013 Teddy Award at the International Film Festival in Berlin. Set in Montclair, "Concussion" explores the life of interior decorator-turned-soccer mom played by Robin Weigert (Deadwood, The Good German) who suffers a blow to the head and finds herself re-examining every corner of her suburban New Jersey life in an effort to confront a mounting desire for something more. A universal theme, skillfully and artfully handled. Discussion following the film with Director Stacie Passon and cast members Johnathan Tchaikovsky ("Wolf of Wall Street," "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs") and Julie Lawrence ("Electric City," "Six Degrees"). 

Friday: SLAM-DANCE for Teens! 7- 10:30 PM, Burgdorff Cultural Center, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood.
North Jersey Pride is teaming up with Studio B and Garden State Equality to give the stage (and the dance floor) to our community’s LGBTQ kids (between 15 and 20) and their pals. Teens will bring their best personal stories, poetry, fiction, or manifestos, and put their names in a hat. If their names are called, they’ll take the mic for 5 minutes. Three real-live literary agents will listen . . . and at the end of the night, they’ll choose a SLAM WINNER! After that, teens can show off their moves at a dance with a DJ, and enjoy free pizza (courtesy of Community Sponsor Roman Gourmet). The Story Slam winner will receive a free iPad, donated by North Jersey Pride Leadership Sponsor, Verizon Wireless. 

Saturday: North Jersey Pride Equality 5K: Moving Forward Together
9 AM, Cameron Park, 5 Mead St., South Orange, New Jersey
It's North Jersey's first Pride Run! This chip-timed event, run by Compuscore, will bring runners (and aspiring runners) from all over the state to move forward for diversity, equality and community! Children and dogs welcome. 

Saturday: 2014 Dance for Equality 9 PM to 1 AM, The Club at Orange Lawn, 305 North Ridgewood Rd., South Orange, New Jersey
The annual Dance for Equality is North Jersey Pride's premier fundraising event. Participants will dance all night long to the beat of award-winning DJ, Steve Sidewalk (of NYC's Ritz, XL Nightclub and BMP-New York fame), who will spin the proverbial platters until 1AM. Attendees can also bid on items at our silent auction, including Broadway show tickets, spa treatments vacations, jewelry, designer fashion, artwork, unique experiences—plus raffles, 50/50 and more.

Sunday: North Jersey Pride Festival12 PM, Memorial Park Amphitheater, 123 Dunnell Road  Maplewood, New Jersey
"Built for Grownups, Safe for Kids," the North Jersey Pride Festival is a family-friendly event that brings together LGBTQ and Straight Ally individuals, couples and families from all over the state to celebrate diversity, equality and love. The Festival features a live stage with superb national and local talent, including: the extremely popular X Factor top 10 finalist, Bea Miller, the raw vocals of De’Borah Garner from season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, the alt-country-all-female-boot-stompin’-rockers, Antigone Rising, and America’s favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet, The Kinsey Sicks. The Main Stage entertainment will be emceed by award-winning host, TV-radio personality, celebrity interviewer, lifestyle expert and comedian, Scott Nevins, of Bravo’s new series,The People’s Couch and formerly of the hit show, truTV Presents: Word’s Dumbest…Other performers include: The Lavender Light Gospel Choir, Paper Mill Show Choir, Front & Center Kids Ensemble, The Greys, and Mood Ring. The Pride Festival also includes a huge Rainbow Kids Zone with inflatables, face painting, and arts & crafts, along with a brand new Interactive Kids Stage with the Lizard Guys, story time, kids Zumba, relay races, danceathon, and more; 85+ exhibitors and merchant/artist vendors; and our famous Five-Star Food Court featuring the best of our local New Jersey eateries. 

Full details here: http://www.northjerseypride.org/pride-2014/north-jersey-pride-festival/

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