What: Common Bond U-21
Where: 1103 Texas St., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110-7813
When: Every Friday Night from 7pm – 9:30pm
For more than twenty years, Common Bond’s U21 Project has provided one of the only places for Albuquerque’s LGBT youth to socialize in a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment. Every friday night, Albuquerque youth under the age of 21, come together to discuss issues and play games in an environment free of bullying or judgement, an environment where every student can express their true self without fear of being teased, mistreated, or physically harmed. In a world where LGBT rights are still being debated, and members of the LGBT community are still victims of prejudice and abuse, organizations such as U21 are critical to the health and well being of our city’s youth.
Participants in U21 reflect a wide spectrum of race, religion, and socio-economic backgrounds.
The teens are all different and understandably have different reasons for attending U-21. Most students come every Friday night because they have fun and enjoying playing games and socializing. We work to provide an environment that can be fun as well as educational. We frequently invite guest speakers from outside organizations.
U21 is facilitated by a handful of volunteers that have undergone background checks and agree to abide by strict confidentiality and no-fraternization policies. Facilitators have reach-back capability to several licensed counselors and contacts at the Children Youth and Families Department, should the need arise to
refer a matter to a trained social worker.
In addition to Friday night activities, U21 sponsors two annual events: U21 Float and booth at Albuquerque Pride Fiesta and the Qulture Talent Program. Every year we enter a float in the Albuquerque Pride Fiesta, the largest LGBT event in New Mexico. Those who choose to participate can walk as group with U21 in the parade or hang out at our booth at the fair grounds.
Once a year U-21 sponsors the Qulture Talent Program, which provides an opportunity for U-21 members to show off their talents on stage. Selling tickets for this event and the silent auction of donated art is the primary fundraiser for the U-21 program.