Lighthouse Foundation, a social-justice advocacy centering its work on LGBT persons of color, will offer an online training June 20 aimed at white people wishing to have meaningful participation in the movement for racial justice coming to the fore since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis weeks ago.
Many white allies are concerned with both over-policing of Black and Brown Americans, as well as the numerous socio-economic disparities that those communities face, said Jamie Frazier, pastor at Lighthouse Community Church in Lincoln Park, who also heads the Lighthouse Foundation. But at the same time those allies often lack education in the nuances within calls for reform and various proposed solutions.
Some advocates maintain that community members of color should not have to repeatedly perform the intellectual and emotional labor that is required to explain their own perspectives, which is where Frazier hopes the June 20 training comes in.
"We recognize that people are entering this moment with varying levels of insight about racial justice work," he explained. "We want to work with people along the continuum."
Smash, a white ally who is active within the foundation, will conduct the training, Frazier said, adding that Smash is "someone who has an analysis but is engaged in meaningful action."
After a racist episode in Boystown over the Memorial Day 2019 weekend, activists mobilized to demand accountability from business owners over the following summer. Lighthouse subsequently led a coalition asking for Center on Halsted officials to drop its controversial security provider, which the Center subsequently agreed to do.
Frazier said that the Foundation has been energized by widespread calls for policing reform, noting that about 60 people attended a June 6 online discussion that partially centered on the topic.
He added, "We had 60 folks in attendance. We discussed the double pandemics of COVID 19 and white supremacy and how they impact Black queer individuals. … It was an opportunity for Black people to share our stories, shine light on civil oversight and discuss reducing the funding of CPD, with money going towards community programs and mental health programs, for example, instead."
Frazier also noted that the Foundation is making a push for financial support to assist with its general operating expenses. Contributions can be made at www.phimc.org/donate; choose "Lighthouse Foundation" from the dropdown menu.
To register for the allies' training on June 20 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., go to bit.ly ./3fu0RUJ.