HTJ kicks off, LGBT orgs of color thrive

BTL Staff
By | 2018-01-15T18:23:49-04:00 July 16th, 2009|Uncategorized|

Hotter Than July’s 2009 week of events is coming up, and what better time than on the cusp of these fun-in-the-sun events to reflect on the state of LGBT organizations of color and race issues in the community.
Many LGBT racial organizations and initiatives have really taken off in
Michigan, and the results are showing themselves as time goes on. Organizations include KICK, Sistahs Providing Intelligence Creativity and Empowerment, Karibu House, Black Pride Society and more. All have been upping their efforts in recent months with events, new Web sites and updates to the community – several funded by new grants.
The Racial Equity Initiative, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan’s HOPE Fund for LGBT organizations, has made huge strides in providing funding for several of these groups. Launched in 2007, the Racial Equity Initiative was funded by the Arcus Foundation to help push LGBT organizations of color forward in their missions. In 2009, they did just that by issuing their first grants to KICK and S.P.I.C.E.
KICK’s grant was to be used toward helping to implement technology to forward their mission and their goals, while S.P.I.C.E. planned to use the funds toward increasing programming for lesbians of color in Michigan.
Both organizations are holding events during the time that Hotter Than July is running, including a Film Festival by S.P.I.C.E. and a celebration of music by women for women and by men for men by KICK.
Those two events come along with the tons more put on by the Black Pride Society for Hotter Than July, including a candlelight vigil, Ruth Ellis Birthday March, Soul Brunch and, of course, their signature picnic in Palmer Park.
Lastly, in an ongoing effort, Affirmations community center in Ferndale is making huge amounts of progress with their Multicultural Advisory Committee and with programming for LGBT people of color. This year, they hosted events all month long in honor of Black History Month, including a performance by singer Jocelyn B, who not only sold out the concert, but came out publicly for the first time ever at the center. The MAC has plans in place to take their efforts further, and Affirmations’ pairing with the Black Pride Society for the performance by Rene Hicks is just another step in the right direction.
We at Between The Lines wish the best for all the Hotter Than July upcoming events and are proud to see Michigan’s LGBT organizations of color and their allied LGBT organizations working together and making strides forward.
Though some may believe that the fights for civil rights and gay rights have nothing in common, the people who are fighting for both definitely do: A wish to be equal, to be visible, to be proud of who they are and to accomplish their goals.
Happy 14th annual black gay pride, Michigan. Here’s to how far we’ve come, how far we’ll go and the friends and allies we’ll make along the way.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.