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Dining Out For Life® San Diego - Four Days To Dine & Give Back!
March 22, 2021

Dear Center Community, 

As the sun begins to peek through the dark clouds of this terrible pandemic, The Center is delighted to announce a reinvented Dining Out for Life® San Diego (DOFL) event for 2021, designed to support local businesses and fight HIV. This year, many DOFL locations are at reduced capacity and so, for the safety of diners, we are providing more opportunities to participate by extending this year's event. Join us from Thursday, April 29 through Sunday, May 2 where you can participate safely and Dine Out or Take Out, and Fight HIV for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks as we raise critical funds for HIV Services and Prevention Programs. 
This year, as part of reinventing this important event, we want to acknowledge that for 15 years, many local eateries and bars have gone above and beyond to support Dining Out for Life® San Diego and The Center. Now, in this challenging time, we want to repay their generosity and make sure they feel equally supported through this important community-wide event. With that in mind, our goal for Dining Out for Life® San Diego in 2021 is two-fold – to help local restaurants recover and to raise funds to fight HIV in San Diego. Our virtual DOFL Ambassadors and volunteers will work extra hard to support the participating locations and seek individual contributions to the event.
 As always, all Dining Out for Life® San Diego locations make a commitment to support The Center’s Sexual Health and HIV Prevention and Education services, but this year, since some have been severely impacted by the pandemic, they can either continue to give a percentage of sales or instead, make a flat contribution on a sliding scale. Because of this adjustment, we are counting on community support to meet our goals! Individuals who make a special Dining Out for Life® San Diego gift in advance or during the event are more important than ever to make this event successful.
The bottom line is that we are all in this together. The faster our community businesses recover from this pandemic, the stronger we will be as we continue to fight HIV in our community. We hope you will join us! 
-Cara Dessert (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Executive Officer

If you are interested in volunteering for DOFL, and are new to The Center, click here to apply to be a DOFL Ambassador!
If you are already a volunteer with The Center, click here to sign up
Last week, The Center acknowledged the one-year mark of the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order to combat the pandemic and the life-altering year and the heartbreaking loss it brought with a community ofrenda (altar). Community members commemorated their loss and paid respects by bringing flowers, creating custom notes, lighting candles, and more. We hope everyone continues to stay well and we look forward to when we can gather again in community. If you need The Center's Emergency Services, please reach out: 619.800.4252 from 9am - 4pm or 619.800.4216 from 4pm - 9pm or email

If you'd like to see The Center's impact on our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here to watch.
Last week, San Diego moved from the Purple Tier to the less-restrictive Red Tier and The Center wants to keep you up to date on the latest COVID-19 vaccine information. As of March 15, the COVID-19 vaccination was made available to those with certain health conditions, disabilities, illness, living spaces, or work environments that put them at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness, including those living with HIV. Also eligible are congregate residential settings, such as incarceratio­n/detention facilities, homeless shelters, or behavioral health facilities

To get up to date on COVID-19 vaccine phases, information on who is eligible, details on vaccination sites, or to make your appointment, visit the San Diego County website.
In honor of Women’s History Month in March, The San Diego LGBT Community Center is proud to host “LGBTQ Women in Civic Leadership”, a virtual panel of LGBTQ women leaders from and throughout the San Diego region who are serving in new and exciting civic positions. Join us Wednesday, March 24th for a virtual lunch-hour conversation from 12-1pm, livestreamed on The Center’s Facebook to hear from these amazing leaders on their leadership journey, how they bring their intersection of identities to their work, and how their current leadership within civic spaces advances both women and our LGBTQ community. 

 Featured Panelists (in alpha order by first name):
  • Crystal Page, pronouns: she/her/hers, Chief of Staff to San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer
  • Jamie Fox, pronouns: she/her/hers, Chief of Staff to San Diego City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert
  • Dr. Jennifer Campbell, pronouns: she/her/hers, City of San Diego Council President 
Moderated by:
  • Jennifer LeSar, pronouns: she/her/hers, San Diego Port Commissioner & former Center Board Chair
With Introductions by:
  • Cara Dessert, pronouns: she/her/hers, CEO at The San Diego LGBT Community Center, and California Commissioner, Healthy California for All
Please RSVP to receive a direct link to watch on March 24th. We hope to see you there! 

Rebekah Hook-Held (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer
Thanks to all of you who joined us for Tantrums & Tiaras REWIND this past Saturday night! We are also sending out a big thank you to our fabulous Hostess, Babette Schwartz and all of the other special guests that made the evening fun and memorable. Most importantly, we'd like to thank our wonderful community for watching and donating so that The Center can continue its Emergency Services, as well as give back to our Drag and Service Industry workers. The good news is, if you were unable to attend, you can still donate and make a difference in the lives of so many in our community. Visit here to donate:

With much gratitude,

Ian Johnson (Pronouns: He/Him/His)
Director of Development
The Center is continuing our advocacy for a more equitable San Diego City budget with our partners at the Community Budget Alliance (CBA). CBA is putting on a series of workshops to deconstruct sections of the City’s budget to educate our community on what is included and what CBA’s budget priorities are. Join the upcoming online forums to help imagine a new vision for the City of San Diego so we can advocate together for a true People's Budget. Want to stay up to date on The Center’s Advocacy efforts? Click here to sign up. 
Tuesday, March 23, 5:30pm-7pm
Housing & Tenants’ Rights: Panelists will provide community education about resources for renters and the need for more protections. The panel will also talk about what we’re fighting for in this year’s budget and the ongoing fight to protect tenants.

Tuesday, March 30, 5:30pm-7pm
People’s Economy: People not corporations are the economy. Panelists will talk about how we can protect workers rights and explore how any economic recovery efforts must put people first.
Tuesday, April 6, 5:30pm-7pm

Redefining Public Safety Panel #2: Invest in Communities: Panelists will discuss how investing in communities and community care is what makes us safe.
Join in community for discussion and support groups, special programs, and more via Zoom - all tailored for our LGBTQ community. Please visit our website, visit The Center's Facebook page, or call us at 619.800.4252 from 9am - 4pm or 619.800.4216 from 4pm - 9pm to find the right one for you. Below find just some of The Center's offerings. 
Join our partners at San Diego Pride as we virtually celebrate Transgender Day of Empowerment on Friday, April 2, 2021 from 6pm-7pm! On this special evening, enjoy speeches, live performances, community awards, the awarding of the Tracie Jada O'Brien Student Scholarships, and more! This event will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Click to RSVP here: and join the live stream directly here For more information contact Sarafina Scapicchio, she/her, San Diego Pride's Director of Philanthropy at 619.906.0024 or If you are interested in contributing to trans excellence and would like to support a San Diego scholar, please click here to donate. 100% of donations to the scholarship fund are given directly to local transgender students seeking higher education, and are tax deductible.
The Center is one of San Diego’s most exciting places to work, with staff renowned for dynamic and creative teamwork, cutting edge innovations, consistent professionalism, and extraordinary heart and dedication. The Center offers employees an amazing environment where community building, compassion, and care are uniquely combined with an insistent striving toward excellence and best practices. Check out our job listings. 
We make it easy to share The Center's weekly E-News - just click this link and forward to a friend! If your friends would like to sign up to stay informed, they can sign up here:
If you are in crisis or considering suicide, you are not alone.
There are resources and help available for you:
  • Trans Lifeline: 1.877.565.8860 - For trans or nonbinary folx in the US
  • Trevor Project Lifeline: 1.866.488.7386 - For LGBT youth (18-24)
  • National Suicide Hotline: 1.800.273.8255 - For all ages & identities
  • San Diego Access and Crisis Line: 1.888.724.7240 - Free suicide prevention/intervention hotline in San Diego County
Copyright © 2021 San Diego LGBT Community Center, All rights reserved.

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