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.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Profile: Steven Emmanuel

I began volunteering for the fund at the end of July 2009. Larry Lyon, the co-founder of the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund, reached out to me about becoming a volunteer. I’ve heard about Rashawn’s story the year before through some friends. The night I heard about Rashawn’s story, I googled his name and began to acquaint myself with this young man. I was appalled at what I was reading. I think the most troublesome part about Rashawn’s story is that he was a young Black gay man like myself. His murder could have easily happened to me or any other young black gay man. That reason alone was enough to get me to be a part of this incredible initiative. I have always held a strong commitment to social justice and a commitment to improving the quality of life for the black gay community. When Larry Lyon reached out to me I thought, what a better way to fulfill that commitment than by working with an organization whose mission it is to end social injustice in a disadvantaged community.

One of my main contributions to the fund is maintaining the blog site. I have done a lot of work with publications and I think this is the medium I can most lend my skills to. One of my goals for the site is to expand content delivery and updating it more frequently while adding personal interviews. The blog site adds depth to the fund’s initiatives, because it keeps people in the know about stories of anti-violence that affects queer communities, particularly those of color.

Rashawn Brazell has become the poster boy for everything that is wrong in the mainstream when it comes to reporting stories across mainstream color and sexual lines. It is important that we have a strong network of support that advocates for stories like Rashawn, because if no one steps up to the plate, the legacy of these young men and women would die in vain. At the end of the day, a cycle of bigotry and ignorance is what we want to lack.

Steven Emmanuel can be reached at sm07@hampshire.edu


Post a Comment

<< Home