Creating Vibrant Community
    by helping LGBTQ people along their way



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    760.416.7790 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Behavioral Health programs at The Center aim to serve people who may be dealing with challenges to their mental, or emotional well-being. You can get the help you need to address and overcome these challenges.

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Take control of your mental & emotional health with these programs at The Center. Whether you're dealing with abuse, self-esteem, depression, losing a loved one, loneliness, addiction, anxiety, or identity issues, The Center provides direct counseling, support groups, and more through this programming and the Behavioral Health Clinic @ The Center.

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Empowerment programs at The Center help you embrace your identity and expression, with increased capability and pride. Check out these programs that enable you to become stronger and more confident in your life.

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Vounteerism is the lifeblood of The Center. Accordingly, with this week’s newsletter, we are adding a feature profiling those who give so generously of their time and talent to insure the success of our mission.  We’re starting with several of our program instructors and will soon follow with visits of less visible – but no less appreciated – volunteers.  The series is written by our Creative Writing workshop instructor, David Wallace.

Today we introduce Christopher Itai Cardona, host of our popular American Sign Language (ASL) series,

Itai (E-tie, a Hebrew name meaning “friendly,” and the name he usually goes by) hails from Springfield, Missouri, where he became interested in the sign language which accompanied hymn signing during worship services at the Pentecostal church he attended.  Then, when he was 17, he was afflicted with a hearing loss (eventually cured with radiation surgery) during which he relied heavily on ASL, followed by a job working with deaf children in the local public schools. After graduating from Arkansas State University with a BS in Education, he earned a BA in Business Administration from Columbia College, and a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts (4.0 average from all of them). After receiving his MA, Itai then earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies (and Doctor of Divinity honor) from a Pentecostal seminary. “I guess I was a professional student,” he laughs today.

He and his partner, Carlos Cardona, moved to California a few years ago where his first assignment was to present    workshops for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf:  "Interpreting in the Deaf/Gay Community," and "Interpreting for Palliative Care."  “Several students recommended I teach at the LGBT Center, and I have been teaching classes here since,” he adds.

Itai, who also teaches university classes online and manages multiple residential properties locally, recently received a grant to study the effects of educators on the identity formation of fifth grade Deaf students in Southern California , and  a scholarship to earn a post-graduate  teaching certificate from Harvard. He is a member of the American Sign Language Teachers Association, the National Association of the Deaf, the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development, and Kappa Delta Pi, an honor society for educators.


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  • The LGBT Community Center of The Desert

    The McDonald/Wright Building

    1301 North Palm Canyon Dr, 3rd Floor
    Palm Springs, CA 92262

    760.416.7790 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Open Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

    The Center is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public charity
    EIN # 33-0937301

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