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 thirty years, Common Bond’s U-21 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 U-21 are critical to the health and well being of our city’s youth.
Participants in U-21 reflect a wide spectrum of race, religion, and socio-economic backgrounds.
The participants are all different and understandably have different reasons for attending U-21. Most young people come every Friday night because they enjoying playing games and socializing with their peers. We work to provide an environment that can be fun as well as supportive and educational. We frequently invite guest speakers from outside organizations.
U-21 is facilitated by an inspiring group of volunteers that have all been vetted by the program organizer 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 out to a trained social worker.
In addition to Friday night activities, U-21 sponsors two annual events: U-21 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 U-21 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.