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 2018-07-18
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Black and Pink to hold family gathering in Chicago
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Black and Pink will hold its second-ever family gathering in Chicago on Aug. 4-6. The gathering will bring together formerly incarcerated LGBTQ and/or HIV-positive people for community and skills building in addition to healing opportunities.

The weekend will feature an Aug. 4 community celebration and fundraising dinner at the Chicago Teacher's Union Hall that is free and open to the public ( ). The celebration will feature speakers and performers, including former political prisoners Laura Whitehorn and Ricardo Jimenez as well as from Ashley Diamond and Chicago's Eisha Love.

Aug. 5 will include workshops at Roosevelt University and a film screening—Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four—and discussion with the San Antonio Four at the Second Unitarian Church in Lakeview. The screening is also free and open to the public; visit .

"Our intention for the workshops is for attendees to be able to strengthen their ability to do work in their local communities as well as to have massage, acupuncture and other healing arts to ensure we create a culture of sustainability for our members," said Black and Pink Volunteer Organizer Debbie Southorn.

"I am excited about the upcoming gathering because I get to see people and let them know how grateful I am to be involved in Black and Pink," said Afrika Lockett, a formerly incarcerated Black trans woman and member of Black and Pink in Chicago. "I'm looking forward to meeting new people from across the country, and being amongst people who have been through similar experiences."

The gathering will conclude on Sunday with a family reflection and visioning session on the future of the organization.

Nearly 80 formerly incarcerated LGBTQ members from around the country attended the first gathering two years ago in Boston where the organization raised over $10,000 to continue its mission. Following that gathering Black and Pink released "Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink's National LGBTQ Prisoner Survey" .

"Black and Pink is in an exciting moment of transition," said National Director Jason Lydon. "I founded this organization 12 years ago, simply by staying in touch with people I had been locked up with. We are now the largest ever network of LGBTQ and/or HIV positive prisoners in the world. We got to where we are because of the tireless work of so many volunteers. As I step down from my role as the National Director, new leadership is coming in to take Black and Pink into our next stage. This gathering is a time to celebrate the past and build momentum for the future. We have accomplished a lot, but there is far more work to be done. We have dreams of abolition and our imagination will guide us as we set forth our intentions and strategy to win during this weekend gathering."

Black and Pink has chapters in Boise, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle and Southwest Ohio. In addition to these gatherings, Black and Pink has a pen-pal project and distributes a free newspaper to over 14,000 incarcerated LGBTQ and/or HIV positive people around the country.

"The newspaper includes letters from our family, news and current events, artwork from family members and other information and stories to offer emotional, legal and other forms of support," said Southorn. "The pen-pal project aims to match incarcerated members with people in the 'free-world' to build relationships and challenge the isolation and violence of the prison industrial complex. We know that mail call is an important time in prisons, and can show that someone has support on the outside—which can keep them safer on the inside. Over the past six years, we've helped facilitated over 10,000 pen pal matches, though not all of those remain active as relationships can ebb and flow." ( To become a pen pal, visit )

One of the many Black and Pink leaders is National Organizer Monica James, one of a number of local leaders who organized the upcoming gathering.

"I became a part of Black and Pink as a pen pal while awaiting trial against an off-duty white queer police officer in 2009," said James. "Since then, I have collaborated and supported Black and Pink with a many projects and campaigns. Black and Pink is so important because we do the necessary work to build family oriented relationships with folks on the inside that support each other. These relationships have many benefits and the strongest benefit is the way that we initiate healing and harm reduction through story sharing"

When asked what she hopes people take away from the gathering, James said the most important thing is that formerly incarcerated people are amazing and awesome people with a lot to offer the movement toward social justice on a variety of fronts, and should have a respected position at the table during these discussions.

"If you market yourself as leading the way on social justice and your organization is not prioritizing those that are most impacted by injustices, like formerly incarcerated black and brown bodies and trans bodies then I beg you to do a more transparent job with your intentions around this work," said James. "We are just as powerful with our lived experiences as you are with your academic book sense. I am a living testament that formerly incarcerated folks are powerful in every way. I am the poster child of restorative and transformative justice."

See for more information .

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

9th Circuit denies another Trump effort to implement transgender military ban 2018-07-18 - ( San Francisco, July 18, 2018 ) — Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied yet another attempt by ...

Gay News

Matson withdraws from 48th Ward aldermanic race 2018-07-18 - Embattled 48th Ward aldermanic candidate Morry Matson announced on July 17 that he was withdrawing from the 2019 election, citing health reasons. "Mr. ...

Gay News

Trial date set in Aaron Schock case 2018-07-18 - U.S. District Judge Colin Bruce has set the corruption trial for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock ( R-Illinois ) for Jan. 28, 2019, ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Ezra Furman writes his 'queer outlaw saga' 2018-07-18 - Singer Ezra Furman continues to push the boundaries between gender, sexuality and religion on his latest album Transangelic Exodus. The songwriter was born ...

Gay News

WORLD Surrogacy law, World Cup, message to Trump & Putin 2018-07-17 - The Israeli Parliament ( The Knesset ) approved an amendment to the Israeli Law on Surrogacy, but kept a portion that stipulates same-sex ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. hate crimes, trans measure, gay mayor, Stonewall Inn 2018-07-17 - Equality California noted in a press release that, for the third consecutive year, California saw a surge in the number of hate crimes ...

Gay News

Allred to address LGBT bar association event 2018-07-17 - Famed attorney Gloria Allred will deliver the keynote address and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke will be honored at the Lesbian and ...

Gay News

Rule could force choice between federal funds or anti-LGBT discrimination 2018-07-16 - Grave financial and moral choices await Illinois authorities if the U.S. House of Representatives passes a budget amendment penalizing states prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination ...

Gay News

HRC's giant projection challenges Trump, Putin on anti-LGBTQ crime in Chechnya 2018-07-16 - HELSINKI — Today, just ahead of tomorrow's Trump-Putin summit, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) — America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ...

Gay News

ACLU Responds to Police Shooting in Chicago's South Shore Neighborhood 2018-07-15 - Statement of Karen Sheley, Police Practices Project, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois on the shooting death in South Shore Chicago ...


Copyright © 2018 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 Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos 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 produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.