HBGC & PFLAG to Host Empowerment Conference for LGBTQ Youth of Color
BOSTON, MA - The Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) and Greater Boston Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will host its first annual Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Youth Empowerment Conference on Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 9am to 6pm at Epiphany School in Dorchester, MA.
The conference, which is designed for LGBTQ youth and allies of color under 21, will offer a series of free workshops focused on self-empowerment and leadership development. Though the conference is hosted by HBGC and Greater Boston PFLAG, the event has garnered the support of many other agencies that serve youth of color in Massachusetts including the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (BAGLY), Boston Gay Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), Fenway Health and the Latino Health Institute.
"With this conference, we aim to build community among LGBTQ youth of color while providing the tools to advance a population that can face complex obstacles. From the conference, we hope youth will be inspired to serve as leaders and advocates within their ethnic and LGBTQ communities," said Corey Yarbrough, Executive Director of the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition.
"Greater Boston PFLAG is honored to collaborate with the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition to offer LGBTQ youth of color the opportunity to meet LGBTQ professionals, learn and network with other youth. This conference furthers Greater Boston PFLAG’s mission of support and education for all youth and their families," added Pam Garramone, Executive Director of Greater Boston PFLAG.
The conference will feature a keynote address from Dr. Ravi K. Perry, President of the Worcester (MA) Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP). Perry, an assistant professor of political science at Clark University, grabbed national headlines earlier this year when he was elected President of the Worcester branch in the historic civil rights organization at the age of 28 and as an openly gay Black man.
A member of the growing group of young professional leaders in the NAACP, Perry says, "While not the first gay branch President, to my knowledge I am the only openly gay Branch president of color in the country. Whether or not I am, I view it my honor, given the privilege afforded me, to use the platform to empower and educate the public on our collective responsibility to seek the equality of rights of all persons. Given the ongoing social and political battles concerning the equality of rights of members and allies of the LGBTQQ communities, there is no time like the present to take action and make our voices heard. To not do so would be to devalue our very selves."
Conference workshops will focus in on the following tracks: advocacy tips and tools, leadership development, college prep and success, and health and wellness. Selected workshops plan to tackle healthy relationships, political advocacy, resume building, and surviving in higher education, among other things.
Local organizations, such as the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, Let’s Get Ready, and The Theater Offensive will serve as facilitators of the workshops.
In addition to the workshops, the conference will also include a resource fair, entertainment from LGBTQ artists, food and prizes.
Individuals 21 and under who are interested in attending can learn more and register by visiting www.hbgc-boston.org
The Hispanic Black Gay Coalition works to inspire and empower Black and Hispanic/Latino LGBTQ individuals to improve their livelihood through activism, education, outreach, and counseling.
Learn more at www.hbgc-boston.org