LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Friday, May 6, 2016 from 8pm-Midnight at the historic Conrad-Caldwell House Museum Rev. Derek Terry will host the inaugural Kentucky Derby Scholarship Shake: Harlem Nights Party. Rev. Derek, who recently came out as an openly gay black pastor on the Oprah Winfrey Network, is hosting the derby party to raise awareness and funds for a new scholarship at the University of Louisville. The Dawn Wilson Scholarship for LGBTQ Students of color was established in the fall of 2015 to raise money for programing and scholarships for undergraduate students of color who identify as LGBTQ. Tickets for the Harlem Nights themed party are only $100 and include a few cocktails, food, and professional valet parking. 100% of all proceeds support the scholarship fund. Tickets are only available at www.DerbyShake.com
The Event The inaugural Kentucky Derby Scholarship Shake will celebrate the spirit and energy of the Harlem Renaissance (the cultural and intellectual movement of Black Americans in the 1920's-30's based in Harlem- New York City). Guests are encouraged (not required) to dress in their best versions of attire from that period. The purpose of the event is to not only raise funds for the scholarship at U of L, but to also provide the community with the opportunity to support the very specific needs of students of color who identify as LGBTQ. The leading cause of death for youth and young adult LGBTQ populations is suicide. Moreover, the Center for Disease Control recently reported that half of all black gay men will contract HIV in their lifetime. The University of Louisville Office of LGBT services seeks to be a national leader in combating these negative statistics through programs and activities that will provide students of color with the tools needed to have a positive campus experience, and be prepared for life after graduation. The Kentucky Derby Scholarship Shake is working to ensuring this dream is a reality. Nationally, very little work is being done on college campuses to address the specific needs of LGBTQ students of color. By having the support of Louisville's diverse population, students and families across the country will recognize that not only is the University of Louisville a welcoming and affirming place to send their children, but that the Greater Louisville area is a loving and supportive community as well. The Derby Scholarship Shake will show the country that Louisville, KY is dedicated towards supporting diverse populations.
A Positive Outlook. A small committee under the direction of Rev. Derek and the Community Empowerment Center has been planning this event for over a year and the road has not been easy. Some individuals have expressed concerns as to whether or not Louisville, Kentucky is ready for an event that openly supports the black LGBTQ population. There are some who do not feel comfortable speaking on issues concerning LGBTQ people; however, Rev. Derek teaches that the only way we can reduce the stigmatization of this sometimes undervalued population is by starting conversations and engaging in honest dialog. "The Kentucky Derby Scholarship Shake is not a 'gay' event or a 'straight' event- it's a derby event whose proceeds will help college students in our community. The committee and I planned an event for to entire community to come together in the spirit of fun, diversity, and love while having an amazing time during Louisville's most exciting time of the year. It's all about love and having a good time! This is something positive and people are craving the opportunity to connect with something positive. I believe in Louisville and I know that the community always supports the right thing. A variety of individuals are already on board supporting and attending this year's event, and we already have three large companies in the area that are interested in serving as title sponsors for a larger event next year! I'm not worried about the small pockets of negativity."
Rev. Derek Terry Since coming out on national television, Rev Derek continues to live walking in his truth. He has amassed an ever growing and thriving following on social media that he affectionately refers to as his on-line congregation (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Youtube/Snapchat/Periscope). He is also the founder of the social media hashtag, #BlastTheStigma, which encourages individuals to post positive images that attack typically stigmatized communities especially those within the LGBTQ community of color. Rev. Derek recently Released his first book, God Loves Me and So Do I, (2015 RDTM Publishing) and also works to help LGBTQ college students of color across the country because he understands that these students have different cultural needs than their white counterparts. Rev. Derek travels throughout the country motivating and encouraging individuals to unashamedly and unapologetically walk in the full truth of who they are as they are. He is currently the pastor of the St. Peter's United Church of Christ in Cincinnati, Ohio and also leads a community service based church in Louisville, KY- The Community Empowerment Center. Rev. Derek splits his time between Louisville and Cincinnati.
Dawn Wilson, the scholarship namesake, is a trans-woman of color who has spent thirty years working for social justice, transgender civil rights, and other human rights issues.
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SOURCE Rev. Derek A. Terry Ministries