Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-03-17
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Boykin focuses on racism and health, wellness
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Black AIDS Institute ( BAI ) Policy, Advocacy and Mobilization Senior Coordinator Maximillian Boykin addressed a packed, standing-room-only crowd about "How Racism is Killing us, and How We Stop it" during the morning session at the Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium Sept. 15 at Malcolm X College.

Boykin previously worked at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Enroll America and on various political campaigns. He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health leader, a member of the Black Youth Project 100 ( BYP100 ) and a Cook County Collaboration on Health Equity steering committee member.

"I ask you to lean in because this discussion may be triggering at times but it is important to have," he added.

Boykin showed a video of him being thrown to the ground by seven Chicago police officers a month ago on the South Side at 71st Street and Jeffrey Avenue.

"A Black man was shot and killed by a police officer that day and we were out there protesting but they wanted to break up what was happening," said Boykin. "They used that excuse to throw me on the ground and when I said I could not breath one of the officers said it did not matter. I was thrown in the back of a police car along with another young man who was leaving work and not involved with the protest. He lost his phone and other belongings and I lost my ID. Just this morning, I got my ID back and this is because I live in Atlanta. Georgia and Illinois government offices do not talk to each other which is why it took so long."

Boykin said he would not focus on the explicit racism that is taking place in Chicago because of how often it happens to people of color ( POC ). He explained that institutionalized racism, like redlining, is what frustrates him the most.

"Last night I went to a friend's funeral, Dejanay Stanton—a Black trans woman who was shot to death in Bronzeville," said Boykin. "Both state and interpersonal violence contributed to her death due to the various barriers she faced in society."

In terms of statistics involving police shootings by race, Boykin showed a slide that said it is 1.47 per million white people and 31.17 per million Black people. He said state violence is perpetrated by elected and other governmental officials who do not allocate resources equitably so everyone can live and have their basic human needs met.

"There is a fear of Black bodies," said Boykin.

Boykin explained that the two different forms of anti-Blackness are overt racism that occurs on an everyday basis and the structural systems that keep Black people "in their place." This anti-Blackness not only comes from white people, it is also done by other POC. This is all about keeping power, Boykin said.

Delving into white fragility and guilt and why it is so hard to talk to white people about racism, Boykin said there are ways to change this including: stopping the oppression Olympics; embracing the discomfort; challenging one's own racial reality; attempting to understand the racial realities of POC through authentic interaction rather than through the media or unequal relationships and taking action to address one's own racism, the racism of others and the racism embedded in institutions.

Boykin showed a video of Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw explaining the definition of intersectionality, saying that embracing this way of thinking will help fight institutionalized racism. One example is the Expanded Sanctuary initiative, Boykin explained, which is a collaboration between Organized Communities Against Deportation ( undocumented immigrants from the Latinx community ) and BYP100. Boykin brought up the work that Black Panther Illinois Chair Fred Hampton did in the 1960s around talking about solidarity before he was murdered by Chicago cops.

"I am not in the business of fighting other oppressed people," said Boykin. "I am in the business of fighting the oppressors."

Boykin turned to the work the HIV Racial Justice Now group, of which he is a member, is doing and how to build a racially just and strategic domestic HIV movement. He said the ways to achieve this include embracing everyone's culture, addressing anti-Blackness, undoing the myth of exceptionalism in the U.S. context, ending systemic inequity and dismantling racist institutions.

Some specific examples Boykin outlined are to listen and uplift POC, centering the leadership of the most impacted, supporting existing campaigns, donating directly to resisting communities so they can continue their work, knowing that police do not equal safety and stop othering people.

"We have to continue to organize around these issues, bring people together and have these hard conversations in order to end racism," said Boykin. "We do that with transforming campaigns of all kinds. As we do that we define and create a culture of health. This means a better value system, having equitable resources, continuing to be collaborative, having representation of people who are impacted by this and making sure institutions and governing bodies are accountable to the people."

A Q&A session followed.

Howard Brown Health and the Center for Education, Research and Advocacy were the symposium's presenters.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

International AIDS Conference to go digital 2020-03-28 - Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23rd International AIDS Conference ( AIDS 2020 ), to be held July 6-10, will become the first ...

Gay News

Chicagoan alleges anti-trans bias against Orangetheory location 2020-03-28 - Following two years of repeated requests to address alleged anti-trans discrimination at Orangetheory Fitness Chicago-Edgewater, non-binary Chicagoan Jes Scheinpflug posted about their experiences ...

Gay News

COVID-19 AFC gala moved to Nov. 21 2020-03-28 - Because of coronavirus-related concerns, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) is postponing its 35th-anniversary gala until Saturday, Nov. 21, at Hilton ...

Gay News

COVID-19: LGBT Chicagoans weather pandemic's economic storm 2020-03-27 - Millions of U.S. residents will face uncertain financial futures as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds. Nearly 3.3 million people filed new unemployment claims the ...

Gay News

COVID-19 Ramirez-Rosa urges undocumented locals to apply for housing help 2020-03-27 - Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa ( 35th Ward ) issued a press release urging undocumented Chicagoans to apply for the city's COVID-19 Housing Assistance ...

Gay News

Fundraisers online for workers sidelined by Chicago bar closings 2020-03-27 - In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker has ordered the closing of all bars and restaurants for dine-in business through ...

Gay News

Coalition of states fighting Texas on blocking abortions during pandemic 2020-03-27 - NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that she will be building and leading a multistate coalition of attorneys ...

Gay News

Pride at Work on COVID-19, working people, AAPIs 2020-03-27 - Statement from Pride at Work: We know this is a very concerning time for everyone right now, and we are reaching out to ...

Gay News

Federal REAL ID deadline extended to Oct. 1, 2021 2020-03-26 - Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ( DHS ) has extended the federal REAL ID ...

Gay News

COVID-19 Quigley, Larsen urge FDA to allow healthy gay, bi men to donate blood 2020-03-26 - U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley ( D-Illinois ) and Rick Larsen ( D-Washington ) urged the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) to ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.