Through the power of the arts, Dreams of Hope provides the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, and allied (LGBTQA+) youth a welcoming environment to grow in confidence, express themselves, and develop as leaders.
Dreams of Hope values...
The power of young people.
Youth voices and lived experiences are essential to the work of Dreams of Hope. Young people devote time, creativity, emotion, and so much more as Board members, teaching artists, and program participants. The power of young people pushes Dreams of Hope to grow and change with each year.
The safety and protection of young people from exploitation and harm.
The safety and protection of young people is paramount to Dreams of Hope’s work. The organization was founded as a safe space for LGBTQIA+ young people. Because of this, Board, staff, teaching artists, and young people in our programs are held accountable, according to the organization’s bylaws and State and Federal laws, for any harm or exploitation caused to the LGBTQIA+ young people in our programs.
The power of collective histories and acknowledging our forebears in the struggle for liberation.
Dreams of Hope acknowledges that the United States is a settler-colonial project founded on white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and racial capitalism and through the enslavement and genocide of Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Africa. We acknowledge and honor the past, present, and future Indigenous peoples of the Pittsburgh region, including the Hopewell, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Monongahela, Osage/Wazhazhe, and Shawnee, upon whose lands the City of Pittsburgh/Dionde:gâ and Dreams of Hope were founded.
The intersectional experiences inherent in queer and trans liberation.
Because queer and trans people have existed in all cultures throughout human history, our liberation is intertwined with the liberation of all people oppressed by white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and racial capitalism. We cannot be mindful of LGBTQIA+ oppression while ignoring anti-Black racism or anti-semitism or misogyny or poverty or Islamophobia or labor rights or disability rights.
Art and education as tools for radical change.
Through arts education centering the power of queer and trans people in the past, present, and future, Dreams of Hope strives to build communities which care for the lives of all people. In order to do so, we must continuously cultivate our anti-racist and anti-capitalist practices.
Accessibility for all people.
Disabled bodies are queer bodies in the context of capitalism because they are marginalized and seen as less valuable and less exploitable for labor. Accessibility opens spaces not intended for use by disabled bodies, and is therefore an important tool in the fight for queer liberation.
An active practice in community work.
Because the work is never done, Dreams of Hope will direct the work we do with intentionality. This document serves as a reminder that the work must be rooted in growth and change because the status quo maintains oppression and violence against LGBTQIA+ people and all marginalized groups. For this reason, decentering whiteness and centering the experiences of BIPOC LGBTQIA+ people is necessary to achieve liberation for all queer and trans people.