Contact: Rickie Smith / 678.429.2927

In The Life Atlanta Celebrates “20 Years Strong” Atlanta Black Gay Pride with focused approach

Using the theme “20 Years Strong,” In The Life Atlanta, the official organizer of Atlanta Black Gay Pride (ABGP), celebrates 20 year of service to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community with a Town Hall and Discussion Series on September 1st & 2nd at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Blvd, Atlanta 30313. The annual Atlanta Black Gay Pride celebration now attracts gay people of color from every part of the nation, as well as from countries abroad.

ITLA is taking different approach to past ABGP celebrations while maintaining some of its social and signature events. More attention iITLA20s paid toward public awareness, social responsibility and advocacy education. It has invited Georgia Equality, Georgia Unites Against Discrimination and other organizations to present a town hall, symposiums and seminars.


Atlanta is known as the “Black Gay Mecca,” with one of the largest Black populations in the country that has become a welcoming, melting pot of diverse communities. A William Institute Report indicates that Georgia ranks third nationally for African American both LGBTQIA individuals and same-sex households. Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton Counties rank 10th, 7th, and 4th respectively for African American same-sex households.

“We’ve evolve to where we are promoting community leadership, education, healthy living, self- empowerment, economic growth, and political involvement,” explained Smith. “Atlanta Black Gay Pride weekend now brings more than 10,000 people to the city, and plays a major part in the annual $65 million economic impact on Atlanta’s economy during Labor Day weekend.”


Thursday, September 1st

8:30am – TOWN HALL – “A More Perfect Union – The Need for Comprehensive Civil Rights”
The town hall examines ways in which recent events have altered the narrative of the LGBTQ community; Marriage Equality, Religious Exemption legislation, the Pulse Night Club tragedy, Justice Department directives and the changing political climate factoring in the changing landscape of LGBTQ communities. The panel of civic and civil rights advocates, faith and community leaders, public officials and others will discuss intersectional and specific issues impacting on LGBTQ communities.

Moderator Leah Ward Sears – Former Ga Supreme Court Justice

10:00am – THRIVING WITH HIV – “Overcoming the Stigma that Prevents Us from Ending the Epidemic”
Panelists will engage attendees in a discussion about the multiple ways that HIV stigma manifests in LGBTQ communities of color and the importance of centering the experience of People Living with HIV in the discussion.

10:00am – ORLANDO – “Lessons Learned”
This discussion examines the impact of the Pulse Night Club massacre and what changes have occurred since. Have community relations improved between LGBTQIA communities, allies and non-allies, or was candle light vigils as far as the moment went? The panel will suggest changes necessary as society evolves.

12:00pm – Women’s Empowerment Purple Ribbon Luncheon — LGBTQIA Anti-Bullying Campaign
Celebrating Audre Lorde and her contribution to women as a feminist and activist.

This event educates and enlightens the minds of women who represent the Lesbian community, such so that we may be able to empower them through this program. It will bring about awareness to everyday issues that directly affect our community as a whole and impact the individual lives of those in attendance. Discussions from a political, social, economic and spiritual point of views will be addressed.

This workshop celebrates Queer Courage through sharing true stories and times of Queer folk and allies. Activities include:
a. Answering questions like Why Be Bold? And Why Share Stories of Courage?
b. Discussing the importance of Victories in the Struggles for Queer Equality
c. Dramatic Readings
d. Open Mic & Rainbow Rewards

2:15pm – Domestic Violence Workshop – “Love shouldn’t hurt like this”:
We will explore the different points of Domestic Violence and why we ignore the red flags that appear early on in relationships and what to do when you find yourself “in too deep”. Although there are different levels to DV, we will focus mainly on dv as it occurs in the LGBT community. Facilitated by author Dr. Dani Lee Harris, Hosted by Yvette and TI Mason, also known as LIA (Ladies in Atlanta Travel Club LLC.)

Friday, September 2nd

This discussion will focus on how LGBTQ communities of color are often a vulnerable population, yet a key and robust contributor to the fabric of families and the nation. It also examines the best manner to affect structural change for addressing urgent needs. The panel will propose how best to commit to prioritizing these concerns.

This panel will examine how to best confront institutional barriers determined to bar LGBTQ communities and allies equality — be it religious exemption discrimination, access to employment, housing, education, and healthcare or basic human rights. Panelist will discuss which strategies have been effective in past legislative, regulatory, and political battles for these rights, and which techniques need improvement.

This discussion examines depictions of LGBTQ people in television, films, social and print media and other cultural products; and how such portrayals either marginalize or enhance what is controversially consider defined as queer media, and its commercial demands. Panelist from various media mediums weigh in on the changing dynamics.

10:00am – THE EQUALITY MOVEMENT – Politics, Law & Race
This workshop explore the ways in which race, politics and law influence the transforming landscape of historical and cultural changes of the LGBTQ narrative. Panelist will discuss the needs of the LGBTQ communities of color which also face hurdles with respect to racial and income disparity, and how to address those needs.

This session will discuss the necessity for LGBTQIA-affirming faith communities in a changing social-political landscape. It will examine how ignorance, bigotry and lies can do more harm than good. It will further discuss the best methods and tools for connecting with like-minded, allied faith organizations to bring constructive civil discourse on issues such as Religious Exemptions legislation, faith-lead social-political engagement, marriage equality and more.

This session will explain aspects of Title IX focusing on the transgender lens. The presentation also includes pertinent information on how to navigate the legislative process with effective lobbying, ensuring the equitable treatment of all individuals remains an issue of primary concern.

2:00pm – CAMPUS EQUALITY – Living & Learning
This session examines the importance for developing a strategic plan and taking action in addressing LGBTQ issues at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as predominantly white institutions. It will focus on responding to concerns voiced at every institutional level for necessary changes in culture shifts, hiring practices and campus safety. The panel of faculty, students and administrators will examine past successes but focus on building a campus climate that is more hospitable for LGBTQ people and scholarship.

3:30pm – HIV INCLUSION – In It Together
In It Together: The National Health Literacy Project for Black MSM offers a 60-minute health literacy training session that can help your organization improve its capacity to deliver health literate HIV services, with particular focus on health services provided to Black/African American MSM. The training is designed for all health care professionals. All people must have the ability “to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” in order to lead healthy, productive lives. This ability is known as ‘Health Literacy’. To be health literate, our HIV clients must use or develop reading, writing, verbal and numeracy skills to successfully manage their health. Yet a national survey shows that 88% of U.S. adults do not have the health literacy skills needed to manage all the demands of the current health care system.

This discussion examines the sports community as a key advocate in the campaign for LGBTQ equality in areas where the movement has seen less traction. The panel will focus on the ways in which advocates can utilize the sports community in advancing LGBTQ equality at the state and local levels, and learn about the about effective strategies, advantages, and challenges of integrating the sports community into their advocacy work, state and local levels, and learn about the about effective strategies, advantages, and challenges of integrating the sports community into their advocacy work.

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