This morning, we learned that trailblazer Jussie Smollett was hospitalized after suffering a violent assault in Chicago ( We’re disturbed by the news of this homophobic and racist attack. Thankfully reports say that he’s in good condition. Jussie is a beloved member of our community, with breathtaking portrayals of Black love and life.

If you or someone you know is threatened or feels unsafe, please reach out**:

Center on Halsted – Anti-Violence Project 24-Hour Crisis Line
(773) 871-2273,

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights – Hate Crime Project
(312) 630-9744,

Chicago Commission on Human Relations – File a Discrimination Complaint

**While we build resources tailored to our Black LGBTQ experience, remember agencies like Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, Affinity Community Services, and Brave Space Alliance if you have questions on who to turn to when your safety is compromised.

Hate crimes are on the rise in this country. We know this from our lived experiences and national studies. We need to take care of each other while we work for a more equitable society, where each of us can live in safety.

EACH and every member of our Black LGBT communities deserves a safe and violence-free life.

At a Glance: October 2018

For Our Future

This month, the Caucus ramped up our community engagement. Between panels and creating framework with partners we made sure that the our community had hands in the process.

Take a look at our October activities:

Getting to Zero Health Care Access Committee Meeting
As a co-chair of Getting to Zero Health Care Access Committee, our executive director Erik Glenn facilitated the development of recommendations to improve health care access for Illinois living with and vulnerable to HIV.

LGBTQA Community Advisory Council
The Caucus joined the Advocacy Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s advisory council this year to ensure that our community had a seat at the table at one of Illinois’s biggest hospitaL systems..

Body: A Nude Male Paint & Sip
The last fundraiser in our AIDS Run & Walk campaign was a sold out event with all proceeds went to our AIDS Run & Walk goal.

Chicago LGBT Needs Assessment – Launch
In 2011, Morten Group launched the Chicago area’s first major LGBT community needs assessment. Now in 2018 the assessment is back with the Caucus in the front row .

Embracing Inclusive Leadership: Conference
Our executive director Erik Glenn joined the Alexson Center for Nonprofit Management to be on a panel called the Nonprofit Leaders Respondent Panel where he and other panelist discussed leadership in nonprofit organizations in Chicago.

10/22/18- 10/23/2018
High-Impact HIV Prevention Training
The Caucus staff attended a training by the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Community PROMISE team. The training provided us with all the ways Community PROMISE can be implemented within the Caucus work and outreach.

At a Glance: September 2018

AIDS Run & Walk Season

This month, we reached for the stars with clear focus on sustainability. We took on AIDS Run and Walk with full force, with weekly fundraising events, citywide trainings, and community events.

Take a look at our September activities:

9/10/18- 9/12/18
Undoing Racism Workshop
We attended a two 2.5-day workshop hosted by Chicago Department of Public Health on deconstructing structural racism.

Sky High Movie Night
AIDS Run & Walk team member Carl Branch hosted a screening of the sequel to Chicago’s hit film Kevin’s Room. All proceeds went toward our AIDS Run & Walk campaign.

Caucus Corp Planning Meeting
We brought together long-time Caucus volunteers to plot out what our new membership body, Caucus Corp, will look like. Keep an eye out for its launch in early 2019.

Coffee Hour Chicago
Our executive director Erik Glenn was keynote speaker at Coffee Hour Chicago, where he facilitated conversations about sexual history assessment with Black sgl men.

Put on by board member Lora Branch and Simone Koehlinger, BarbeQueen was a successful backyard barbeque fundraiser with a twist. We raised nearly $5,000 during BarbeQueen! Make sure to check it out next year.

Pay It No Mind Ball
In honor of Marsha P. Johnson, Brave Space Alliance threw a ball for the community to live proud and outloud. The Caucus was a proud sponsor.

AIDS Run & Walk
The event we we’re waiting all year for finally came! The Caucus team walked the 5k Soldier Field track sharing our stories of resilience and loss in the face of HIV. Watch our recap video!

I Heart Sundays
After AIDS Run & Walk, we took over the popular I Heart Sundays at Progress Bar. With our friends at Howard Brown, party organizers, Rail Entertainment and David Dodd, welcomed community engagement first hand. We discussed PrEP, handed out information about accessible care, and cupcakes by Blaque Rose Pastries.

¡Presente! Latinx En Accíon Activism Panel
Our executive director Erik Glenn was a part of a panel put together by Center on Halsted, that discussed the history of the Latinx community and how Black latino men can move forward.

Close Up: LoveFest 2018

For the second year in a row, the Caucus celebrated Black Pride with our annual health festival, LoveFest. Hosted at The Promontory, a Hyde Park hot spot, nearly 600 Black same gender loving men connected with each other and agencies dedicated to our health.

We would love to thank all the organizations and people that helped put on LoveFest 2018: Chicago Department of Public Health, Equality Illinois, FZ Entertainment, Rails Entertainment, Janseen, Project VIDA, University of Chicago. Thanks to our performers: Otis Mack, Dj SupaMan, Lighthouse Church of Chicago Praise Team.

LoveFest is one of the biggest events that truly celebrate our community. Make sure you sign up for our email list to get all the details about LoveFest 2019!


Close Up: A Celebration Of Black LGBT Business

All about Bid’ness

In honor of Black History Month, the Illinois LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus celebrated our spirit of entrepreneurship in our community. We brought together Black LGBT business owners from all over Chicago to share lessons learned and network.

Our panelists were a mix of go-getters from fashion, non-profit administration, and finance:

  • Reformed School’s Peter Gaona
  • Pride Action Tank’s Kim Hunt
  • Taylor Mason of Taylor’s Tacos
  • Brian D. Johnson from the Commonwealth Initiative

Celebrating their achievements and listening to their experiences helps us build a strong and vibrant community.