Washington, D.C. — Washington, D.C.-based International Federation of Black Prides (IFBP), an international organization committed to achieving equality and social justice for the Black GLBT community announced today that it has changed its name to the Center for Black Equity (CBE).

IFBP has been in existence since 1999. The announcement of the name change was made yesterday by CBE President/CEO Earl Fowlkes and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

“Providing a voice for the Black LGBT community is the highest priority of CBE and our members, and our new name compliments our focus: to promote policies that improve the social and economic vitality of the Black LGBT community and to provide resources to help enhance that community through individual and collective work, responsibility and self-determination,” Fowlkes said.

“The name, Center for Black Equity, refocuses and elevates the deep commitment to our mission of achieving equality and justice for Black LGBT communities through expansive platforms focused on Health Equity, Economic Equity and Social Equity. This branding shift also fosters a much needed sense of urgency to increase the public’s understanding of the myriad challenges LGBT communities face on a daily basis,” Fowlkes said. “We believe that our new identity and expanded platform will facilitate the erosion of misconceptions and prejudices against our members and revitalize the public’s commitment to advocate collaboratively for immediate institutional changes in laws, policies, programs and resource availabilities that allow everyone, including Black LGBT people, to compete effectively in the marketplace.”

Congresswoman Holmes Norton said, “Many Black LGBTs in this country and worldwide suffer daily ostracism and discrimination, often in isolation, within their own black community and in society at large. Today’s political climate provides opportunities to reinforce the importance of universal human rights that draws no artificial or discriminatory lines. The CBE, for example, must not be alone in responding to some pastors urging people to stay home in response to President Obama’s support of gay marriage.”

To that end, the CBE promotes a global network of GLBT individuals, allies, and community-based organizations dedicated to achieving equality and social justice for Black GLBT communities through the following programs:

  • Health Equity - HIV/AIDS Prevention, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Transgender Health, Environmental, Youth Health
  • Economic Equity – Career Development, Wealth Creation, Sustainable Communities, Entrepreneurship, Economic Literacy, Livable Wage
  • Social Equity - Technical Assistance, Advocacy/Public Policy, Coalition Building, Community Organizing, Voter Education, Leadership Development, Cultural Arts, International Efforts, Faith/Spirituality Efforts,
  • Black Prides - International Federation of Black Pride
  • Research Institute - Public Policy and Research

“We are inspired to continue this work and bring an even larger message of equality that we can realize together,” Fowlkes said. “Education, availability of resources, and meaningful access to those services are the touchstones of change to foster a unified and prosperous community for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. We look forward to growing the worldwide movement of our supporters at all levels, from local community leaders to political leaders who will continue their work to ensure all LGBT people of their basic equal rights.”

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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