May 25, 2012
Greetings DC Black Pride Attendees!
The DC Black Pride Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2012 DC Black Pride: ''It's A Family Affair.'' This year marks the 22nd anniversary of DC Black Pride – the first Black Pride event in the United States. In 1991, Welmore Cook, Theodore Kirkland and Ernest Hopkins founded Black Lesbian & Gay Pride Day, Inc. (DC Black Pride) with 800 people attending the first Black Pride. Since that time, tens of thousands of people have flocked to Washington, D.C., over the Memorial Day weekend to enjoy both social and cultural events.
Our Board of Directors, volunteers, sponsors and community partners have worked hard to make this the best DC Black Pride ever! The Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony will be on Friday, May 26th, in the Thornton Ballroom in the beautiful Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel. This year's Wellmore Cook Community Awardee is Leandrea Gilliam, who does outstanding work with youth at the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL). There will also be a fundraiser and a book signing for King Peggy, The Lady King. DC Black Pride 2012 will feature our Hospitality Suite, Poetry Slam, Writer's Forum, fourteen workshops, Film Festival and Interfaith Service, all at the host hotel. On Sunday, we will be back outside at the Stevens-Francis School at 24th and N Streets NW for our Health and Wellness Expo. There will be vendors, food trucks, and entertainment (Buttaflysoul, Simone Battle, Shiqueeta Lee, Ihsan Bilal, Victoria Salter and others) from 1 to 6 p.m., rain or shine. Bring your tennis rackets and basketballs as we have exclusive use of the courts.
Those of us who live in the District of Columbia are very proud of our rights as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender citizens. We have the freedom to marry (and divorce), Human Rights ordinances that specifically protect LGBT individuals, a supportive political establishment as well as nondiscrimination laws that ensure equal access to housing, education, medical care and employment. We want everyone who comes to Washington, D.C., for Black Pride to understand that these rights have been hard-earned and we will not rest until everyone in the United States is able to enjoy the rights that we can enjoy.
The DC Black Pride Board and Volunteers hope you enjoy this year's edition of DC Black Pride and we are appreciative of your continued support. Have a great time and play safe!