Metro Weekly

D.C. Coalition, Inc.

A Community Profile

ORGANIZATIONAL MISSION: Founded in 1978, the D.C. Coalition seeks to abolish discrimination against, and build a strong political and economic base for the black LGBT community. With its approximately 70 members, the Coalition stresses the beauty of black culture and black LGBT culture.

COMMON ACTIVITIES: Monthly dinner meetings, as well as community workshops and holiday events, such as a Kwanzaa celebration and a Labor Day picnic.

HOW TO JOIN: Membership is open, annual dues $10. (No one will be denied membership due to an inability to pay.) E-mail

BACKGROUND: After a period of inaction, the D.C. Coalition is experiencing revitalization, says local gay activist Philip Pannell, a Coalition member since 1978. ”There was some discussion of disbanding,” recalls Pannell, referring to the Coalition’s inactivity. ”I said no. Let us see what we can do to revitalize.” That revitalization means that locals can look for a Coalition contingent at this year’s Capital Pride parade on June 11. It also means Coalition elections in October, for which Pannell is grateful.

”This has been something exhausting for me, trying to get the word out,” says Pannell about the revitalization push and his hope that the next generation will move into leadership roles. ”I’m a little too old for this!”

NEXT EVENT: Monthly meeting and dinner, Sunday, June 26, at Inner Light Ministries, 1525 Newton St. NW, 6-9 p.m.

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.