Close Up: Volunteer Orientation

All In This Together

Our program assistant Brandon, a recent volunteer himself, was charged with growing our volunteer program. Seizing this opportunity, we conducted our first volunteer orientation May 12th.

During this orientation we facilitated team building exercises for our volunteers to get a sense of what teamwork looks like inside the Caucus. We also put them through mini workshops led by two of our longest serving volunteers, Michael Lofton and Harold Gatewood. Harold talked about his experience with making new friends and what socializing as a Caucus volunteer was like. Michael expanded on what speaking and advocating for the Caucus during community events.

As the Volunteer Program continues to grow, more orientations and opportunities will be available for everyone to be apart of. If you’d like to get involved sign-up on our website today.

Sign-up Form Coming Soon!

Close Up: Chicago LGBTQA Black History Recognitions

History In The Making

February is the month when we honor our community members for their accomplishments and hard work. Together, Chicago Department of Public Health and Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus produced an event to thank our current Black LGBTQA heroes. We also acknowledged Caucus participants with our annual From The Heart Award.

Our honorees were community leaders in Chicagoland that inspire change and work daily to create visibility to our social and holistic needs:

  • Otis Richardson: Activist, entrepreneur, and proprietor of “Lavender Pop Greeting Cards”
  • Jamie Frazier: Activist and pastor of Lighthouse Church of Chicago
  • E Nina Jay: Activist, poet, and spoken word artist
  • LaSaia Wade: Activist, community organizer and founder of Brave Space Alliance
  • Bernard Jenkins: LGBTQA ally and pastor of West Point Baptist Church
  • Kentrele Mizrahi: LGBTQA youth activist and Legendary Father of Ballroom the House of Mizrahi

Special Memorial Recognition

  • Jackie Anderson: LGBTQA activist

From the Heart Awards

  • James Deloach: Activist, caucus volunteer, and Chicago Public School teacher
  • Sydney Thomas: Activist and strategist

Trendsetters To Watch

Reposted from RIZEUPmagazine
March 11, 2017

“Since it’s inception, the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus has been setting trends. It also has a rich history of leadership development with National Youth Pride Services, electing several of it’s young adults to chair youth committees over the years, as well as, co- sponsoring many socially forward events with NYPS back in the day.

That was then, this is now. 2017 looks to be another amazing chapter for this group.”

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Black History Month is every month

Reposted from Windy City Times
March 8, 2017
By Ramon Gardenhire

“But for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) family, our focus on Black history and improving the future of Black and brown people doesn’t just happen in February—it happens every day of the year. We stand alongside the communities most burdened by HIV: young gay and bisexual Black men, transgender women of color and Black cisgender women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, in 2015, African-Americans accounted for 45 percent of all HIV diagnoses, though they make up only 12 percent of the U.S. population.

How do we aim to reverse these alarming trends and support the Black community? By uplifting Black liberation through my team’s policy and advocacy work. By defending the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid from destruction. By uniting with organizations that support Black communities in Chicago, like the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus. By making Black lives a priority not just during February but every single day.”

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Kevin’s Room notes 15 years

Reposted from Windy City Times
By Gretchen Rachel Hammond
February 22, 2017

“National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Feb. 7 saw a celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the release of the film Kevin’s Room. The event was held at the Baton Show Lounge in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

Hosted by the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus alongside event sponsors the Chicago Department of Public Health, the evening was as much a joyous look back on the making of the groundbreaking work as it was a sobering look at the exploration of the challenges still faced by the Black gay and queer community around which the narrative of the profound, funny and deeply moving drama is based.”

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