IMG_5337

DIVERSITY DHS

“We serve to educate, celebrate, and promote the health and wellness of the LGBTQ+ community of Desert Hot Springs through outreach, events, and overall inclusion, while honoring and commemorating the history of the Gay Rights Movement. Our main project is to raise funds and organize the annual Desert Hot Springs Pride Festival and provide financial support for the youth of our city.” – Sam Messler
Sam Messler is the secretary for Diversity DHS and I am so honored that he took time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about this amazing organization. He explained, “DiversityDHS, a nonprofit charitable organization in support of LGBTQ+ Pride. We envision a diverse community in Desert Hot Springs whereby persons of all ages, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and gender-identification embrace each other’s differences under a unifying theme of love. [This love] espouses dignity, self-esteem, and respect for all.”

What impact have you seen Diversity DHS make here in Desert Hot Springs?

“From the onset, we decided admission to our festival will be open to the public at no cost, unlike most LGBTQ+ pride festivals around the world that charge a fee to enter. To accomplish this, it takes a village to put on a successful event with scores of volunteers raising funds throughout the year, much of our excess funds are being donated to the youth of the city. In fact, we are planning a Speakeasy dinner dance for October supporting scholarship funds for our high school students. (pictured: a chorale at the annual DHS Pride Festival)”

Community service wise, are there any projects that you all are involved in currently?

“Most people are not aware that the LGBTQ+ population in Desert Hot Springs ranges in the low thousands. Through the annual Pride Festival, it is our goal to educate the residents of our city that we are truly nice, law-abiding people taking pride in Desert Hot Springs. “

I believe you mentioned scholarships, for high school students? Would you please elaborate?

“Several of our fundraising events not only help pay for the festival expenses, but excess funds are donated to the youth of Desert Hot Springs, For example, earlier this month we held a Check Appreciation Presentation at the Carl May Community Center. [We were able to] donate funds honoring the numerous volunteer hours of four youth organizations: Interact Club of Desert Hot Springs High School, Gay-Straight Alliance of Desert Hot Springs High School, Girls Volleyball Team of Desert Hot Springs High School, and Desert Hot Springs Scout Troop 1606. In addition, we donated funds to Safe Schools Desert Cities in support of their Teen Suicide Prevention Program.”

Why do you love DHS?

“The diverse population of our city. We have people from every walk of life choosing to reside in Desert Hot Springs living together in pride of our unique and stunning desert views, the temperatures being a few degrees cooler than the rest of the valley mostly due to what Mayor Matas once explained, “We don’t have winds here, we have therapeutic breezes”, and our leadership making visions become reality in a safe environment.”

Interested in becoming a part? Mr. Messler added, “We’re always looking for volunteers to join our family including a few openings on our dedicated and fun Board of Directors, sponsors of all levels, booth exhibitors, and financial supporters. We meet the first Sunday of each month commencing at 6:00 p.m. inside The UPS Store in the Vons Plaza in DHS. All are welcome.” For additional information about Diversity DHS visit their website . Thank you Diversity DHS for doing your part to ADVANCE DHS!!!

More From Advancing Desert Hot Springs...

We may not experience all four seasons like other regions, but I believe that we are all excited! After over 100 days of triple degree temperatures, we are finally experiencing a cool off! Soon and very soon, we will begin to see snow caps on our mountains!

By Kephyan Sheppard | October 10, 2020

With our amazing views, spacious floor plans, and great value with our home prices, one would say that the housing market here in our city is prime for great deals. We haven’t spoken to a realtor in a while, but I caught up with one of our local realtors, Natasha Howard. The question was simple,…

“Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.”- Rene Descartes #thinkpositive

By Kephyan Sheppard | September 11, 2020

I am a realist. Although I operate with a high sense of optimism, I am a realist. It has been said that some of us see the city of Desert Hot Springs through rose colored glasses, and that we are ignorant to the things that are not so pleasant about our city. That cannot be…

From Dr. Sandra Lyon

By Kephyan Sheppard | August 10, 2020

As previously stated, our students have returned to school. However, due to COVID protocols, they have returned to school virtually. Virtual learning has proven to be a challenge, and from the responses we have received, everyone is adjusting. I recently reached out to our District Superintindent for additional perspective: “As we begin the year in…

Back 2 School!

By Kephyan Sheppard | August 4, 2020

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”- Nelson Mandela Happy new school year Desert Hot Springs! As we prepare to launch the school year this Wednesday, many of us have become inundated with questions concerning our uncertain, yet immediate future. Because of COVID-19 and all of the safety…

Let’s Be Productive During this Pandemic

By Kephyan Sheppard | July 14, 2020

“A Pessimist Sees The Difficulty In Every Opportunity; An Optimist Sees The Opportunity In Every Difficulty.” – Winston Churchill          Unless you have been sitting under a rock, you have become overwhelmed with news concerning COVID and its current outbreak leading to an astronomical increase in infections in several states. Here in California, we are once…

A Teacher’s Perspective & Beyond!

By Kephyan Sheppard | June 28, 2020

As the 2nd semester of the school year got underway, I’m sure most of our educators were beginning to set plans for the summer. Vacations, completing ‘to do’ lists, and rest were more than likely prioritized. Fast forward to March, and COVID19 became the dominant thought, causing many of them to scrap lesson plans and…

This Graduating Class is Something Special!

By Kephyan Sheppard | May 23, 2020

As we shift gears and begin to prepare for the return of some normalcy, it can’t be understated enough that for some normal may never return. For some the opportunity to take part in once-in-a-lifetime events has been taken away. Our graduation plans, especially for our high school students have unfortunately become casualties to unintended…

Family Engagement Center

By Kephyan Sheppard | April 27, 2020

From ’91-96, I lived here in DHS for the final year of middle school and a majority of my High School Years. I was one of many students who were transported via public transportion from our city to Raymond Cree Middle and Palm Springs High. I may be dating myself, but my school years as…

Little League Baseball

By Kephyan Sheppard | April 4, 2020

Opening day across the Nation has been postponed. COVID-19 has impacted nearly every area of our lives, and even our National past time has taken a blow. With Major League spring ball season at a standstill, our own local Little League program is also influx. Little League baseball has been a fixture in our community…

We are in this TOGETHER!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | March 19, 2020

Admittedly, this edition is a few days late. Several times I began typing and several times what I typed, I deleted. A week ago, our website received anonymous note asking if I would address COVID-19 and the outpouring of fear and concern that has swept throughout our city. With the increasing numbers of those affected…