July 29, 2015 at 1:47 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Equality Md. board to meet Aug. 2 to talk future
LGBT immigrants, Gay News, Washington Blade, Carrie Evans, Gay Maryland

A budget shortfall prompted Equality Maryland to lay off then-Executive Director Carrie Evans on June 6. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Members of the Equality Maryland board of directors will meet on Sunday to determine the organization’s future.

“We’re either going to close down or we’re not,” Equality Maryland Foundation Chair Isabella Firth told the Washington Blade on Wednesday during a telephone interview. “If we don’t close down we’re going to scale down greatly.”

Firth and Stephanie Bernstein, chair of the Equality Maryland board of directors, announced on June 30 that a growing budget shortfall may force the organization to close.

The financial crisis prompted the organization to lay off Carrie Evans, who had been Equality Maryland’s executive director since November 2011. The organization told supporters in an email earlier this week that it will vacate its Baltimore office on Friday as “part of cutting overhead costs in our current financial situation.”

Firth told the Blade one option the board will consider on Sunday is electing a transitional board “that can help put the organization on a stronger financial footing.” Keith Thirion, interim executive director of Equality Maryland, said in a follow-up email the response to his organization’s fundraising appeal earlier this month “could sustain a scaled-back Equality Maryland in the short term.”

“There is still no question that financial support needs to increase for the organization to be sustainable,” Thirion told the Blade.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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