Inaugural Louisville Black LGBT Pride Festival to support LGBT students of color at U of L.

The city of Louisville is gearing up for its very first Black LGBT Pride Festival on Sunday, August 27. Proceeds from the event will benefit key initiatives for LGBT students of color on the University of Louisville's campus.

Dominique Barber, alum and lead organizer of the event, thought it was important to give back to his community: "I am an event planner from Louisville so I always want to make sure that my events have a community service aspect to them so that they have a lasting impact outside of just being a weekend party." Barber says he discovered Shades, a student-led campus group dedicated to empowering LGBT students of color, and knew they should benefit from the festival. Shades offers both support for those who want to connect with helpful others, and public advocacy for out members who want to work on all forms of racism, homophobia, and transphobia on campus. "I liked that it was a group for POC inside of the LGBT Center. It made me think that they had a group of individuals to connect with because sometimes the minorities in the LGBT community get left behind/don't get enough shine."

Shades student leader, Christian Arroyo, tabling at a campus event.

Aisha Bibbs, graduate student in the U of L College of Business, donated her time and skill set to design the official logo and other branding for the event. "It was important to me to give to this community event in whatever capacity I was able. As an undergraduate student I served as an officer on the Shades executive board and know first-hand how important it is to build peer support and provide representation for LGBTQ+ students of color. We need a space of our own, and Shades has provided that space for so many students. I'm happy that the first Black LGBT Pride Festival is being so intentional about giving back to youth here in our community."

In addition to aiding student-led efforts, proceeds from the event will also support the Dawn Wilson scholarship for LGBTQ+ students of color

Tamara Russell, staff adviser to Shades, is encouraged by the partnership. "We are thrilled to know that our students are receiving this kind of aid from a community event. The funding will help our students this year as they build skills around providing advocacy, event planning, and peer support. It sends a strong message to our LGBTQ+ students of color that their goals, aspirations, and initiatives are important."

The Louisville Black LGBT Pride Festival will take place on Sunday, August 27 from 12-pm-11pm on the 900 block of East Market Street. Opportunities to volunteer or to provide individual sponsorships are still available. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit the Louisville Black LGBT Pride Eventbrite page or find them on Facebook


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