Following a surge in requests for assistance from counselors and amid an increase in hate crimes across the country and within Long Beach, the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach (The Center) announced last week that it is teaming up with Groundwork Fitness to host free self-defense seminars.
The first class, which is all-inclusive, will occur this Saturday, December 3 at 11:30AM at Groundwork Fitness.
“We are proud to partner with Groundwork Fitness on these seminars to support community members who are expressing concerns about their personal safety,” says The Center’s Executive Director Porter Gilberg. “It is our hope that co-hosting these seminars will increase the sense of personal safety and self-confidence of everyone participating.”
Classes will focus on self-care, de-escalation techniques, and hands-on instruction to safely defend against potential attacks and grabs.
According to The Center, social justice activist Gisele Fong, Ph.D., will lead the seminars, with outreach and support from numerous community organizations, including Building Healthy Communities Long Beach. Fong serves as the executive director of EndOil, an environmental health and justice organization and holds a black belt in Kenpo Karate.
Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing for the 90-minute seminars. Water and snacks will be provided.
The two remaining seminars will each occur on December 17, including an all-inclusive seminar for transgender and gender nonconforming people at 11:30AM and a seminar for people of color at 1:00PM.
Groundwork Fitness is located at 333 Pine Avenue.