Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Friday, April 28, 2006

We Need You!

Why a Campaign for Black Gay Men’s Lives?

To Respond Differently to HIV!

As early as 1988 research studies have found high rates of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among African American/Black men who have sex with men (MSM).
Now, in 2006 NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED! As you read this, the HIV epidemic is largely situated in communities of African American/Black MSM. The response to such devastating and heart wrenching news from Black gay & non-gay communities, and mainstream America is nominal, if it is there at all! The Campaign for Black Gay Men’s Lives is about challenging the belief that our lives do not matter and are not worth a saving. It exposes and confronts homophobia, which in this instance, rears it head in the form of inaction and silence concerning the lives of Black gay men. The Campaign seeks to interrupt that silence with voices stentorian: Black Gay Men’s Lives Matter!

To Value Black Gay Life in Black Communities

In 2005 Black Gay New York saw our lives devalued in our own communities. There were several reported shooting and stabbings of Black gay men in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. 24 year old Dwan Prince was severely beaten in front of his home in Brownsville. And there were at least four reported murders of Black gay men in NYC – Marvin Paige, Jamal James, Kenmoore Thomas, and most notably, 19 year old Rashawn Brazell. The Campaign for Black Gay Men’s Lives seeks to mobilize Black gay men and our allies in the community to end homophobia and the violence it spreads.


During the remainder of 2006, a Campaign for Black Gay Men’s Lives, led by the *NYS Black Gay Network, will roll out an intensive series of activities to respond to black Men who have sex with Men’s high rates of HIV infection and to impact the social value and the health and wellness of black Men who have sex with Men. The Campaign will employ structural interventions; social marketing and anti-homophobia community events; convene key community leaders; and work to increase the sustainability of HIV prevention efforts within black gay communities.
WE NEED YOU!! It is vital that as many Black gay men and our allies join this effort. Even if all you can give is one hour, your efforts will matter in the efforts to counter the messages, explicit and covert that our lives do not matter.

Join the Campaign! The workgroups will be short term and are starting very soon!

Email us at ourlivesmatter@yahoo.com or call us at 212.828.9393 x 137

*This campaign is being launched by the New York State Black Gay Network, its members, and ally organizations that have an expressed commitment to Black men who practice same-sex desire.*


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