“I am glad we are having these conversations and encourage us all to continue the dialogue and proceed with action,” said Anne Sweet when asked about what we hope to gain from this evening. Those thoughts were echoed by others in the room as we sat down to dig deeper into the work of being supportive of all people in our communities, including LGBT people of color.
On November 11th several community leaders came together, at the Our Families: Leaders of Color Dinner and Screening, to reaffirm their dedication and support of LGBT people of color and discuss next steps in moving forward. Our Families worked with influential leaders to take a public stance in support of LGBT families of color. Over 40 community leaders signed a public statement of support that was published in several local media outlets.
“We want to deepen the dialogue in our communities and identify challenges and successes experienced in supporting LGBT families of color,” said Khalil Edwards, Racial Justice Fellow for Basic Rights Oregon.
Community leaders had an opportunity to view the three videos created by the Our Families community education campaign and reflect on the personal stories shared by LGBT families of color. The dinner and video screening was a chance for those that are passionate about this work to learn how they can be supportive of each other and discuss ways of continuing to actively address issues that uniquely affect LGBT people of color. Kevin Grant, who is featured in one of the videos, talked about how important it is for him and other straight people “to be intentionally supportive and outspoken in that support.”
Community leaders had in depth conversations about the work they are currently doing. They were able to speak candidly about some of the struggles they have had and shared personal stories about their own journey towards acceptance.
Many organizations were represented at the table including the Urban League of Portland, Africa House, Japanese American Citizens League, and Portland State University. Before joining the discussion and panel with the families featured in the videos at our Launch Party they shared concrete steps on how they planned to continue to work towards making their organizations more inclusive.
“We have to talk with our friends, family, community, and co workers. We have to continue to challenge them, but in a loving way,” said Keith Edwards.
It’s time to come out in support of all of Our Families! Please join us!