The mission of Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus (CBGMC) is to advance health equity among Black gay, bisexual and same gender loving men by developing community-centered leadership and innovative programs.
CBGMC is a grassroots organization led by Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men that works to ensure healthcare engagement, eliminate new HIV infections, and achieve community-wide undetectability. Our “by us, for us” initiatives have ranged from community-based interventions to statewide policy campaigns. Together, they have improved the ability of our local public health industry to provide for men in our community. We serve Chicago on a city-wide level through structural and community interventions.
In 2005, 46% of Black gay men were diagnosed HIV positive nationwide (far beyond our racial counterparts). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that Blacks were often diagnosed at advanced stages of HIV, leading to the onset of AIDS-related complications sooner than any other domestic racial group.
Over the last decade, Chicago continued to experience significant drops in overall HIV cases. However, despite Black gay men being 40% more likely than their White counterparts to engage in HIV prevention behaviors, this has not translated into declining HIV rates among us. CDC data shows that 1 in 2 Black gay men will contract HIV in their lifetime. This is unacceptable.
Eliminating the HIV epidemic among the men in our community requires a systems perspective on change. That is to say, only interventions on the structural level will successfully curb, and ultimately eliminate, the HIV epidemic. Furthermore, these interventions must acknowledge and strive for racial justice and LGBT equality.
Caucus (noun): A group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause
Throughout our work, we maintain a philosophy that achieving community-wide health and wellness will only succeed through community-led models of work and community-informed practices.
CBGMC’s “by us, for us” nature permeates every part of our structure. We maintain a 75% baseline Black gay male representation among our board of directors and staff. Today, 78% of our board are Black gay men and 100% are Black. Also, 100% of staff are Black gay men.
Every year we host at minimum one closed advisory meeting and multiple open community forums where attendees share their needs and recommendations for improving the health and wellness of Black gay men. Each represents the diversity among Black gay men, including age, gender presentation, socioeconomic status, employment, and education. On average, 39% of attendees are living with HIV and 61% are HIV negative. Both our advisory meetings and forums represent south and west Chicago, where city data indicates the HIV epidemic is most concentrated.
CBGMC’s organizational-level decision-making is conducted by our board of directors and facilitated by our executive director.
Erik Elias Glenn
Brandon Maurice Wright
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors offer strategic guidance, fiscal oversight, and secure resources necessary to CBGMC’s operations.
Reginald Jackson, Vice Chair
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