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: November 2018

How We Give

Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus was thankful for partnerships this month. While planning for 2019, we attended a number of citywide trainings and community events.

Take a look at our November activities:

Chicago Bisexual Community Forum
Chicago Bisexual Health Task Force is a new group dedicated to improving the lives of bisexual individuals. The taskforce held a forum for community leaders and institutions to brainstorm and share ideas with one another.

Getting to Zero Steering Committee In-Person Meeting
As co- chair of the Health Care Access committee, our executive director worked alongside the others to create the first full draft of the Getting to Zero plan together.

Open Enrollment Digital Roundtable at AFC
AIDS Foundation of Chicago hosted a digital roundtable all about Open Enrollment for the Black SGL community. Our Program Assistant Brandon Maurice Wright was one of the panelists on the table.

Americorps Training
As Americorp gains a new cohort of interns, The Caucus provides a cultural responsiveness training for them as they go through the program. Our executive director Erik Glenn leads the cohort through various exercises and discussions.

Party Boi Discussion (Black Alphabet Film Festival)
Michael Rice’s Party Boi film held a panel discussion after its premiere at this year’s Black Alphabet Film Festival. Our executive director Erik Glenn was one of the many panelists that discussed imagery the film and the impact of crystal meth on Black sgl men.

Paragon Ball
The University of Chicago and the House of Paragon teamed up for their 8th Paragon Ball this year galvanizing the House/ Ball community. The Caucus has been a proud sponsor of the Paragon Ball for those 8 years of community connectedness.

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: BarbeQueen

You Betta Werk

During AIDS Run & Walk 2018, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus unveiled BarbeQueen, a new take on the classic backyard barbeque, to support our programs. Amongst many events, BarbeQueen was hosted by our board member Lora Branch and Simone Koehlinger was a huge success!

Together with a team of Caucus volunteers, they assigned each guest a historic queen- from Diana Ross ro Rupaul- and asked to show their BarbeQueen spirit.

Guest enjoyed performances by four of Chicago’s top Drag artists: Ruff N Stuff, Dakota LadyGotti Monroe, Cleo Pockalipps, and Iyanna Frantz.

Our Barbequeens donated nearly $5,000.

We thank our all of our queens and supporters for coming Barbequeen and helping us reach our AIDS Run & Walk goal.

Join our email list to keep up with the Caucus and to see what next events are coming up!