Nellie’s Sports Bar hires activist to focus on concerns of LGBTQ+ people of color

Nellie’s Sports Bar said staff have been trained on conflict de-escalation training. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
Nellie’s closed for a month following an incident caught on video of a woman being dragged by security personnel. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
Nellie’s Sports Bar announced the hiring if a new manager and director of community engagement. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)
Nellie’s Sports Bar’s new manager will focus on the concern of LGBTQ+ people of color. (WTOP/Valerie Bonk)

After closing for about a month following the emergence of a video that captured a woman being dragged by security personnel, Nellie’s Sports Bar in D.C. said that it has hired a longtime activist to help staff with diversity, sensitivity and inclusion training.

Ruby Corado has been hired as a manager and director of community engagement. Nellie’s said that Corado’s position will put a focus on the concerns of LGBTQ+ people of color.

“Ms. Corado, who also serves as the executive director of Casa Ruby, has a 29-year career as a passionate advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ bilingual and multicultural community” in the area, Nellie’s said in a statement.

In a Facebook live post Friday, Corado said she recognized the opportunity to continue to bring the issue of violence, of hate, against members of the LGBTQ community.

She recalled doing a fundraiser at the restaurant and how the Nellie’s staff made her feel welcome and comfortable, and she wants that same experience to be “across the board.”

The restaurant closed for a month for a “thorough review of the incident” that happened on June 12. Cellphone video the next day surfaced on social media showing a Black woman, later identified as 22-year-old Keisha Young, being dragged down the steps by security. The video, which was posted on Twitter, also shows multiple other patrons at the bar getting into a physical confrontation at the bottom of the stairs.

D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board referred the case to the District’s Office of the Attorney General, which is still reviewing the case.

Nellie’s reopened earlier this week, only to be met with people who formed a “human chain” to try to stop people from going in, WUSA reported.

About 6 p.m., the restaurant appeared to be open, WTOP’s Valerie Bonk reported from the scene. A manager declined to comment.

Later Friday night, protesters gathered outside shouting “Boycott Nellie’s” and “If Keisha don’t get it, shut it down.”

Nellie’s said that staff and managers have also completed conflict de-escalation training, which will be part of its onboarding process for new employees, and has created a customer feedback website.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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