April 17, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

The Center Long Beach Brings Diversity To The Board

The Center Long Beach has announced the addition of three new members to the board of directors: Long Beach business owner Romeo Garcia, resident Alishia Holmes-Watson, and Wilmington native Victor Ibarra. Each has extensive experience working with under served populations in the community.

“The Executive Committee recognized the need and opportunity for more diversity on the board,” said Board president Stella Ursua. “Each of these new members have proven track records in the Asian/Pacific Islander, Latinx and African American communities of the greater Long Beach area. They will bring a fresh perspective to the growth of The Center.”

Chef Romeo Garcia is a small business owner, founding Romeo Chocolates in 2014 through pop-ups followed by a brick-and-mortar chocolate and wine bar in Downtown Long Beach since 2017. He serves on the Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Culinary Advisory Board for Long Beach City College.

Alishia Holmes-Watson has served a number of non-profit organizations in various capacities. Currently she is a board member with the Downtown Long Beach Alliance and chairperson of their Marketing and Communications committee. She also has served as ambassador of No Black Girl Left Behind, LA Chapter which is an organization that connects and uplifts minority women, creates resources that promote leadership in local communities and furthers education on black culture. She strives to push for diverse representation and empowering the marginalized.

Victor Ibarra is Senior Field Representative for Democratic Caucus Chairman Assembly member Mike A. Gipson of the 64th District. He proudly identifies as First-Generation Queer Latino and is passionate about addressing the lack of political involvement and under-representation in his community.

“We are thrilled that The Center’s board reflects the diverse backgrounds of our clients and partners,” adds Ursua. “Together we continue to work towards creating fully affirming communities where all LGBTQ people live in health, wellness, safety, and prosperity.”

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach supports more than 25,000 people a year through programs including youth services, senior services, counseling, legal services, domestic violence support, trans health programs, HIV and STI testing, and more than 20 weekly support groups. Currently many of these services are offered online during the pandemic.

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