May 26, 2010
In my capacity as President and CEO of the International Federation of Black Prides Inc., I write to applaud you on 20 years of stellar service to the Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Same Gender Loving Communities in the DC Region and across the nation.
Twenty years ago a small group of community activists had the foresight to organize a celebration with a cause at a time when many felt celebration was all but impossible. Today, we recognize that brave step as the historical inauguration of the Black Pride Movement and DC Black Pride as the instigator of the movement that today consists of 38 formal Black pride celebrations across the United States, Canada, London and South Africa along with many informal celebrations.
Over the years like many of the service-oriented organizations across the globe, DC Black Pride has faced its share of human, economic and organizational challenges. What DC Black Pride has not faced however is a lack commitment to its original altruistic mission, support from the thousands of community members who have supported you over the past twenty years or the creativity needed to constantly bring your ''A'' game to our communities in year-round activities. It has been your honored vigilance that has inspired the IFBP and the growth of a movement which now reaches more than a half a million people every year with health and wellness workshops, economic empowerment forums, political voice, spiritual resilience, pride and celebration.
As the IFBP continues our mission to promote a multinational network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Black Prides and community-based organizations dedicated to: promoting grassroots organizing around issues adversely affecting the black LGBT communities; promoting community health and wellness; providing technical assistance to our member prides; promoting unity; and ensuring the development of education, economic empowerment, and individual and collective self-determination, we do so knowing that our strength rest with members like DC Black Pride.
As with all of the Black Pride celebrations that will occur over the coming months, we know that you have done all the necessary diligence to ensure that your local communities as well as the thousands of visitors to the District will have a safe and enjoyable experience that they will remember once the celebration is over. We also know that you'll get up on Tuesday, June 1st to start planning all over again. This is what you have done for 20 years.
Today we are encouraged by you, we salute you and we honor you. Yes the ''legacy lives on." Have a great celebration!
Be Safe and Live Proudly!
Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr.
President and CEO
International Federation of Black Prides, Inc.