Pomona Pride Center's 2nd Annual GayLa

Honorees 2022

Senator Connie Leyva

Reelected to represent the 20th State Senate District in 2018, Senator Connie M. Leyva is serving her second term in the California State Senate. The district includes the cities and communities of Bloomington, Chino, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Montclair, Muscoy, Ontario, Pomona, Rialto and San Bernardino.

As our State Senator, Senator Leyva is committed to improving California’s schools, environment and communities, as well as creating quality jobs throughout the 20th State Senate District and California.  She firmly believes that California families benefit most when we invest in and help strengthen small businesses and other job drivers that create good paying jobs in our local communities.

Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan

Torie Weiston-Serdan is a scholar and practitioner with over 17 years of teaching and youth programming experience. An award-winning leader in the youth mentoring field, she wrote Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, which has become the handbook for equity-focused youth work.

Outside of teaching and research, Weiston-Serdan serves as Chief Visionary Officer of the Youth Mentoring Action Network, a non-profit dedicated to building youth power globally through mentoring, education, and wellness. She also founded the Center for Critical Mentoring and Youth Work which works extensively with other community-based organizations in support of their youth advocacy efforts, specializing in training mentors to work with diverse youth populations: i.e. Black, Latinx, LGBTQQ, etc.
As a scholar, she examines how youth of the global majority and other minoritized youth populations are served by mentoring and youth development programs and leads the Community Engaged Education and Social Change Program in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

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Father Mark Hallahan

Mark grew up in Ohio and came out while a member of a Catholic religious order in 1980.  He moved to Los Angeles to begin a new life as an openly gay man and became active in Dignity, the advocacy and support community for LGBTQ+ Roman Catholics.  When he went to his first Pride Parade that year, he immediately felt connected to an international and universal tribe and nation of LGBTQ+ persons who have existed from the beginning of time.  That has empowered him ever since. Mark worked in social services and managed the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Rental Assistance Program.  As a parishioner at All Saints Beverly Hills, he co-chaired the LGBTQ+ ministries there and was a member of the national Claiming the Blessing movement for same-sex marriage. After being ordained a priest in 2006, co-chaired the Bishop’s Commission on Gay & Lesbian Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles while beginning ministry at St. Paul’s Pomona.  Mark was adamant from the very beginning of his time in Pomona that St. Paul’s would continue to be a place that is welcoming to all.  He has never wanted anyone to ever experience the rejection by religion that he experienced.  He also wanted to ensure that the buildings and grounds of St. Paul’s would be used by anyone in our community who needed the space.  That marked the beginning of Pomona Pride Center’s relationship with St. Paul’s.  Even though retired, Mark wants to continue to call others to respect the dignity of every human being and work for justice and peace for all.

Tri-City Mental Health Center

Tri-City Mental Health was established in 1960 through a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Agreement between the cities of Claremont, La Verne, and Pomona, to deliver mental health services to the residents of the three cities. Through this collaborative effort, Tri-City has been the designated mental health authority for local residents, serving children, youth, adults, and older adults alike.

Tri-City understands the needs of consumers and their families and acknowledges their strengths and ability to contribute to the development of their path to recovery. We are committed to providing the highest quality and culturally inclusive behavioral health care treatment, prevention, and education to help individuals maintain and improve their mental health.

Image by Hasnain Babar