‘Impossible to Overstate the Impact’: How This New Center Will Honor LGBTQ+ History   

The Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center, of which JPMorgan Chase is a founding supporter, will celebrate an important history and continue the fight for equality.

November 30, 2023

  • By Betty Marton,

A countdown starts as eight people suspend their shovels over the rainbow-colored dirt outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City. “3…2…1”

Local officials dig their shovels into the ceremonial box of earth, scattering the bright colors and marking the official groundbreaking of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center (SNMVC). The Stonewall National Monument was first designated as part of the National Park system by President Barack Obama in 2016. Now, the significance of this place is being further recognized with a 3,700-square-foot center that will aim to share the impact of the Stonewall Inn and its significance in LGBTQ+ history.

The center’s operations, exhibitions, and programs will be led by its lease holder, Pride Live, the LGBTQ+ social advocacy and community engagement organization  that launched the project. According to Diana Rodriguez, founder of the SNMVC and Pride Live, it is more important than ever for the LGBTQ+ movement to elevate the stories of those everyday leaders who stood up for equal rights on and around the site where the rebellion took place.

“It’s alarming that, after all these years, we’re still fighting for basic rights and even going backwards,” she said. “It’s impossible to overstate the impact of a historic building like this and the exhibitions and programs that will bring both history and our ongoing struggle alive in an incomparable way.”

The Stonewall National Monument was the first in the country dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality, and it shone a long-awaited light on the history of Greenwich Village and the community that surrounds it. The site of the Stonewall Rebellion, which took place in New York City on June 28, 1969, when a police raid of the gay bar sparked a days-long community protest,has always been a pivotal point in LGBTQ+ history. For those who understand this place’s significance within the long struggle for equality, it is much more than a local bar.

Remembering the past, looking toward the future

Scheduled to open in the summer of 2024, the SNMVC will take over half of the Stonewall Inn, the part that is no longer occupied by the bar at 51 Christopher Street in lower Manhattan. Its exhibitions and programs will include in-person and virtual tours, lecture series, and visual arts displays so tourists, school kids, and all people can explore and experience LGBTQ+ history and culture. It will also serve as home base for the National Park Service Rangers who are responsible for the preservation of the nearby Stonewall National Monument.

For Brad Baumoel, JPMorgan Chase’s Global Head of LGBT+ Affairs, the historic groundbreaking, with officials including Gov. Kathy Hochul, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, and designer Michael Kors in attendance, was both personal and bittersweet. While they heralded the value the SNMVC will bring to sharing the stories and educating the public about LGBTQ+ rights, participants simultaneously recognized the long road ahead that still remains.

“The power of the community reminded me that we need to remain committed and create something that will take us to a better place,” says Baumoel, who grew up through much of the LGBTQ+ movement and lived for many years next door to the Stonewall Inn.

Moving the needle through local action

Lori McNamara, Chase Private Client Director in Lower Manhattan, has led efforts that help the company to take a more proactive role in supporting the local LGBTQ+ community.


“About five years ago we realized the need to be more visible, especially around Pride Month,” explains McNamara, whose efforts led JPMorgan Chase to be one of the top two contributors to the SNMVC.

Hundreds of employees now support both the annual Pride Month and local parades as well as year-round events and initiatives such as a financial literacy series at a local LGBTQ+ community center and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus performance at Carnegie Hall to celebrate of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. In addition, each of the four local branches works closely with many business owners in the community to help meet their financial and business planning needs.

Baumoel serves the SNMVC as a Stonewall Rebel—a group of activists, trailblazers, community leaders, and allies supporting the initiative. He describes the company’s support for SNMVC as fundamental to the goals of JPMorgan Chase’s Office of LGBT+ Affairs: to drive equity and inclusion for employees, customers, partners, and communities, globally.


To Rodriguez, founder of the SNMVC and Pride Live, the partnership with JPMorgan Chase is a shining example of the kind of support, commitment, and involvement she has cultivated over three decades of fundraising and activism.

“Beyond their hugely important financial support as a founding partner, JPMorgan Chase is the ideal creative collaborator—always ready to offer ideas, connections, and technical support in any way they can,” says Rodriguez. “It takes a very special leader, brand, and corporate culture to have stuck with us, with something of this magnitude, since the beginning.”

Find out what JPMorgan Chase is doing to support underrepresented communities.

Learn more about how JPMorgan Chase supports New York City

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