WILTON MANORS (July 16, 2020) – Our Fund Foundation, Equality Florida and The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth announced they are collaborating to take collective action combatting racial inequity, discrimination, and anti-Blackness in the LGBTQ community.
Fed up with all talk and no action while racial and social injustice flourish, the agencies partnered to create a powerful Anti-Racism Learning Series. The four-part, educational series which Our Fund is sponsoring will be led by Lutze Segu, MSW, a respected Black queer social justice educator.
This intensive series is designed to educate South Florida’s LGBTQ non-profit agency leaders as to how they can work toward creating systemic change and embed anti-racist practices into the core values, policies, and practices of their respective agencies. To date, 75 participants from 38 organizations have committed to taking part in the Anti-Racism Learning Series, which will be held online.
“I’ve watched the LGBTQ community dance around race issues for years,” said Robin Schwartz, Miami Donor Relations and Programs Manager for Equality Florida. “We have talked the talk and at times took action, but we never did enough. Not even close. We can wait no longer.” The program will be raw and invites participants to partake in an overdue, frank and critical conversation about where we’ve been, where we’re at and what and who we can be.”
Organizers acknowledge this is not a quick fix and believe the practiced-based curriculum can also provide a constructive forum for participants to listen, learn, empower, and hold one another accountable for working together to build antiracist organizations.
“Our Fund wanted to provide actionable steps in our response to the devastating impact of racism,” said David Jobin, president & CEO of Our Fund Foundation. “These online sessions are an early effort to focus on how South Florida’s LGBTQ leaders can embody the active practice of anti-racism as more effective allies. We want to become better ambassadors and advocates to the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movements.”
The concept for the initiative came to Schwartz after learning about a revolting racist comment made to a Black woman who works at a local LGBTQ organization. She decided it would be important to initiate an honest dialogue about race and inequality with the leaders of all of the LGBTQ organizations in South Florida. Schwartz contacted Pauline Green from the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth who agreed that in this moment of social uprising in support of Black lives, action more than reflection was required. Our Fund Foundation immediately agreed to underwrite the learning series and Lutze Segu signed on to facilitate the training.
“This anti-racism learning series is only a first, small step in the work of naming and challenging white supremacy and anti-Blackness in the LGBTQ community,” said Pauline Green executive director, The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth. “Together, we want to not only engage our fellow LGBTQ leaders in difficult conversations on race and discrimination; we want to lay the foundation for long-term, collective change and hold our community accountable to operationalizing anti-racism as a practice.”
“Our Fund Foundation acknowledges that LGBTQ people’s struggle for equality inextricably links us to other disenfranchised communities,” said David Jobin president & CEO of Our Fund Foundation. “We also understand that as a predominantly white-led and white-participant organization, we are not able to grasp or fully understand the devastating impact that racism has on Black and Brown people.”