On Wednesday, Jan. 29, Portia Cantrell, CEO and Founder of Silver Pride Project conducted the first LGBT Senior specific cultural competency training for the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. (Courtesy Portia Cantrell)

Cultural competency training is an important part of ensuring services are delivered without discrimination. Portia Cantrell and her Silver Pride Project are becoming an important resource locally in providing that training.

Silver Pride Project meets at Reverchon Recreation Center once a week and recreation centers are run by the park department. So she teamed with the park department to provide a session in aging and the LGBT community.

“Older adults aren’t always treated with the respect and patience they deserve, and that can be quadrupled for LGBT older adults,” Cantrell wrote. “Society doesn’t particularly value seniors to begin with, and feelings of isolation and invisibility are two things that members of the LGBT community understand all too well.”

She said aging services organizations still have a long way to go in addressing the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults.

Shannon Walker presented with a focus on the transgender community. The training was facilitated by Assistant Director of the Parks and Rec Department Crystal Ross and Parks and Rec Commissioner for District 2, Jesse Moreno. The session was attended by all of the Managers of Dallas recreation centers, and by Park and Recreation Department supervisors and administration Staff.

Part 2 of the training will take place this spring.

— David Taffet