Capitol Hill Event: Invisible Lives: Conversations on the Experiences of Black LGBT Americans

Invisible Lives event 2The FIRE Initiative hosted a landmark symposium on Capitol Hill that engaged staff in dialogue around the state of LGBT communities of color.  The event, entitled “Invisible Lives: Conversations on the Experiences, Struggles, and Triumphs of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Americans” was co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Associates and LGBT Congressional Staff Association, and featured a notable roster of fifteen black thought leaders and LGBT advocates including:Invisible Lives event

  • Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post
  • Dr. Dorian Warren, Columbia University
  • Keli Goff, The Root
  • Hilary Shelton, NAACP
  • Darlene Nipper, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
  • Michael Crawford, Freedom to Marry
  • Pastor Delman Coates, Mt Ennon Baptist Church, Maryland
  • Sharon Lettman-Hicks, National Black Justice Coalition

Here are some excerpts from Metro Weekly’s event coverage. Read the full article here.

Moodie-Mills worked closely with Isaiah Wilson, a board member of both the CBA and the LGBT CSA, to craft an afternoon of dialogue with a Aisha Invisible Lives event 2range of panelists and participants, such as Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition; Darlene Nipper, deputy executive Danielle at Invisible Lives eventdirector of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart. The topics of discussion that Friday afternoon in the Cannon House Office Building were: ”Why is marriage equality important to theblack community?” ”What current laws and policies hinder LGBT people and their families from receiving equal treatment?” and ”How do we build an affirming community for LGBT people of color?”

”As the day went on, we started to pull back the layers to look at more of the intricacies of the issues that are facing the black LGBT community,” Michael Crawford, director of online programs at the New York-based Freedom To Marry, said as the event wrapped. Having sat on the marriage-equality panel earlier that day, he explained that marriage is a topic that primes discussion of so many others, from children to economics to employment. ”Marriage is an issue that’s critical to the black gay community, but there are a range of issues that are important to our community. It’s a real good thing when we can discuss marriage – and it’s an even better thing when we can discuss marriage and all of those other issues as well.”

Read the full article here.