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 2019-10-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lighthouse Church holds racial-justice summit, announces new foundation
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2019-07-15

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding Boystown's Progress Bar, Lighthouse Church of Chicago UCC held a "Racial Justice Summit: Boystown & Beyond" event July 13 at Lincoln Park's St. Pauls United Church of Christ.

The packed event happened after a controversial internal email from Progress Bar owner Justin Romme that told DJs to stop playing rap music was made public on social media. What resulted were an outcry from LGBT activists, a June 2 protest across the street from the bar and demands from activists—to which Romme agreed.

Lighthouse Church of Chicago Founder Rev. Jamie Frazier spearheaded the event and gave the keynote address. He also announced the formation of the Lighthouse Foundation and its community-organizing arm, Coalition of Allies for Racial Justice ( CARE )—of which he is the founder and board member—as a response to racism that occurs in Boystown and other Chicago neighborhoods.

According to the foundation's press release, it is a "non-sectarian, non-profit organization that will address the needs and advance equity and justice for the African American LGBTQ+ population throughout Chicagoland. The Lighthouse Foundation aims to empower African American LGBTQ+ people through entrepreneurship, empowerment, education and entertainment."

Frazier said "CARE will collaborate with allies organizing for [fair] treatment in Boystown and beyond."

Lighthouse Foundation member Edward Davis, St. Pauls United Church of Christ Senior Minister Matt Fitzgerald, Illinois Conference UCC Associate Conference Minister Rev. Dr. Vertie Powers ( who serves the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the UCC ) and Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches Rev. Jackie Beilile spoke ahead of the panel discussion that focused on the lived experiences of three Black LGBTQ people and their interactions with Boystown.

Davis said this summit was the culmination of multiple injustices against Black LGBTQ people in Boystown while Fitzgerald said he and his church has been glad to partner with Lighthouse over the years and with the new foundation.

Powers spoke about the UCC church being "a place of safety and sanctuary for all God's people and especially those who are hurt or wounded."

Beilile said "enough is enough" and explained that the need for visibility and connection is so important to LGBTQ people on the whole.

Moderator and Lighthouse Foundation member Karlyn Meyer led a discussion with panelists Lighthouse Foundation African American Trans Caucus Leader Lyric Lee, Lighthouse Foundation African American Lesbian and Bisexual Caucus Leader Alicia Lee and Lighthouse Foundation African American LGBTQ+ Entertainers Caucus Leader Cleo Pockalipps.

Meyer asked everyone what their level of comfort is with Boystown.

Alicia said she has heard from Black LGBTQ people who said they used to feel comfortable in Boystown but lately that is not the case because they feel profiled due to their race. She explained that it used to be easier to navigate the neighborhood at places like Belmont Rocks until it shuttered.

Lyric spoke about being a recent Chicago transplant from San Antonio, Texas, and her experiences since moving here. She said that, while working a second job in the area, some customers hurled anti-trans slurs at her; the managers allegedly did nothing about it, causing her to quit. Lyric explained that she cannot get from point A to point B anywhere in Chicago without worrying about her safety.

Pockalipps—noted as the Roscoe's Drag Race Reigning Champion and the first Black person to hold that title—spoke about performing at a variety of Halsted Street bars. She said recently Sidetrack made her the "All Things Beyonce" host—but added that this came after years of her working harder for fewer opportunities. Pockalipps explained that progress overall is too slow for Black LGBTQ people, including being chosen as a performer at PrideFest and Northalsted Market Days. She spoke about the situation involving the Halsted Street store Beatnix's and its history of racism and anti-trans bigotry including selling Confederate flag merchandise and profiling certain customers based on their race and gender identity.

Frazier's keynote highlighted the Stonewall Uprising and the Black and Latinx LGBTQ people who led the fight, especially Marsha P. Johnson whose cause of death remains a question. He spoke about the 11 Black transgender women who have already been killed in the United States this year.

"Black LGBTQ folks recognize that we are the heirs of Marsha P. Johnson, the mother and midwife of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement," said Frazier. "We have come to challenge her beneficiaries, mainly white gay men, for our inheritance. Black LGBTQ folks+ demand justice, particularly here in Chicago."

Frazier spoke about the key issues the Foundation will be addressing including Beatnix ( a Boystown-area store that has had complaints of racism ), the Halsted Street parking ban, Walsh Security and the Center on Halsted ( the Center ). He said Walsh Security operated without a private contractor's license when the Center chose the company and its owner Thomas Walsh Sr., who was a Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) officer, was suspended from CPD in 2017 for beating a Black man and calling him the N-word. ( Center COO Kim Fountain attended the event. )

In terms of the Center, Frazier said the leadership there should end their business relationship with Walsh Security and do better outreach in the Black and Latinx LGBTQ communities.

"I am not interested in casual conversation. I am interested in community-driven demands," said Frazier.

Fitzgerald also spoke as a white ally alongside Ravenswood United Church of Christ Pastor Jason Coulter and Gather Church founder/pastor Tim Wolfe.

Fitzgerald said that white people should be better allies, adding that he met Frazier at a protest in front of the Moody Bible Institute president's office when the Nashville Statement ( an anti-LGBT ) evangelical Christian statement of faith ) was released while Coulter said "until everyone is free, no one is free."

Wolfe explained that his church is focused on "the reclamation of LGBTQ+ Christians who have been shunned and traumatized by faith." He said most people spend all their time studying and planning an issue but do not execute it or measure its successes and failures. Wolfe challenged everyone to execute plans and less time talking about them.

Frazier ended the event with a call for Black LGBTQ folks throughout Chicagoland to join Lighthouse Foundation through one of its seven caucuses that he said encompass the "full spectrum of the Black queer experience." He encouraged allies of Black LGBTQ people to join the Foundation's organizing arm, CARE.

Among the event's co-sponsors were the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches and the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the UCC.

See www.facebook.com/lightfoundchi for more information on the Foundation.


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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

On 10th anniversary of law, Matthew Shepard's parents Challenge Barr, DOJ 2019-10-17 - Washington DC — On Wednesday, October 16th at the Department of Justice commemorative event to mark the historic 10-year anniversary of the signing ...


Gay News

Congress warned about mental health challenges experienced by Black queer youth 2019-10-17 - WASHINGTON— The National Black Justice Coalition ( NBJC ) yesterday, joined Susan Taylor, former Essence magazine editor-in-chief, and the National CARES Mentoring Movement ...


Gay News

CPS head Johnson found lying down in car 2019-10-17 - Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called for an internal investigation on himself after officers responding to a call found him lying down in ...


Gay News

Legal titan Pat Logue, and her impact on many LGBT people 2019-10-16 - Politics and social justice causes have been parts of award-winning retired Cook County Circuit Court Associate Justice Pat Logue's life since childhood. Logue, ...


Gay News

Supreme Court analysis: Probabilities in the Title VII rulings 2019-10-16 - U.S. Supreme Court observers are more reluctant than usual to try and predict how the court might come down on the always hot-button ...


Gay News

WORLD Brazilian LGBT figures, 'Kill the Gays' bill, singer Hozier 2019-10-15 - The European Parliament announced the finalists for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought—and, for the first time in its 30 years of ...


Gay News

National Period Day rally Oct. 19 2019-10-15 - A rally to mark National Period Day will take place Saturday, Oct. 19, 12-2 p.m., at Federal Plaza, 219 S. Dearborn St. Organizations ...


Gay News

Women & Children First targeted by anti-trans vandals 2019-10-14 - The windows at Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., have been vandalized on multiple occasions with stickers featuring anti-trans messaging, ...


Gay News

New report details network of organizations working against LGBT rights 2019-10-10 - ( Washington, DC ) Today, Accountable for Equality released a new report that outlines the vast and broad network of state and national ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood Votes launches electoral program for reproductive freedom 2019-10-09 - Washington, DC — Today, Planned Parenthood Votes announced the launch of its largest-ever program to help elect reproductive rights champions up and down ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



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 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.