Individuals Reforming Ideas to Secure Equality

Pictured are Ally Styan, Executive Director; Tara Chandler, Board President; and Joshua Kumm, Executive Director. I-RISE is working to create Asheville’s first LGBTQ community center, scheduled to open this summer at 237 Haywood St. in downtown Asheville. The center will serve Asheville’s LGBTQ and supportive community by offering low-cost counseling, HIV testing, a lending library, conference & art gallery space, entertainment, educational programs, a cafe and much more. Ally Styan states, “It has always been disappointing to me that a place like Asheville, having such a high concentration of queer and transgender folk, does not offer more in terms of services to that community. A community center seemed like the perfect way to start addressing the needs of the queer community and to start building stronger ties between like-minded groups and individuals.” For more information, visit or call 279-3497.

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