Metro Weekly

Equity Rising

D.C.-based International Federation of Black Prides announces expanded mission as Center for Black Equity

The International Federation of Black Prides, an organization sprouted from the 1999 D.C. Black Pride event and today encompassing dozens of groups, announced Thursday evening that the federation is taking on a much greater mission as the newly named Center for Black Equity.

Fowlkes (L) and Norton at the Oct. 11 launch

Fowlkes (L) and Norton at the Oct. 11 launch

(Photo courtesy Center for Black Equity)

“The name, Center for Black Equity, refocuses and elevates the deep commitment to our mission of achieving equality and justice for Black LGBT communities through expansive platforms focused on Health Equity, Economic Equity and Social Equity,” said CBE President Earl Fowlkes, as quoted by CBE in an Oct. 12 release announcing the change. ”We believe that our new identity and expanded platform will facilitate the erosion of misconceptions and prejudices against our members and revitalize the public’s commitment to advocate collaboratively for immediate institutional changes in laws, policies, programs and resource availabilities that allow everyone, including Black LGBT people, to compete effectively in the marketplace.”

In this new iteration, the CBE will continue to serve as the umbrella organization for black LGBT pride events and others, such as some Latino LGBT pride days, but will add components targeting health, economics, social equity and research.

”Education, availability of resources, and meaningful access to those services are the touchstones of change to foster a unified and prosperous community for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation,” Fowlkes continued. ”We look forward to growing the worldwide movement of our supporters to all levels, from local community leaders to political leaders who will continue their work to ensure all LGBT people of their basic equal rights.”

The Oct. 12 release also quoted Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who was at the Thursday launch event, held at the National Council of Negro Women’s Dorothy I. Height Building in D.C.

”Many Black LGBTs in this country and worldwide suffer daily ostracism and discrimination, often in isolation, within their own black community and in society at large,” Norton said, as quoted by CBE. ”Today’s political climate provides opportunities to reinforce the importance of universal human rights that draws no artificial or discriminatory lines. The CBE, for example, must not be alone in responding to some pastors urging people to stay home in response to President Obama’s support of gay marriage.”

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Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

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