October 17, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Black Pride group changes name, expands mission
Earl Fowlkes Jr., Black Pride, Washington Blade, gay news

“Our focus is on the people participating in the Pride events,” Center for Black Equity President Earl Fowlkes, Jr. said. “There is plenty of work for all of us to do.” (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C.-based International Federation of Black Prides announced on Oct. 11 that it has changed its name to the Center for Black Equity.

At a news briefing at the D.C. headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, officials said the organization’s board of directors approved the name change in July to better reflect its role in advocating for LGBT people of African descent in addition to assisting groups that organize black LGBT Pride festivals in the U.S. and abroad.

“The new name, Center for Black Equity (CBE), 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,” according to a statement on the group’s website, centerforblackequity.org.

Earl D. Fowlkes Jr., who founded the International Federation of Black Prides in D.C. in 1999, will continue to serve as the organization’s president and CEO under the new name.

Fowlkes told the Blade that as of this year, the Center for Black Equity has among its members more than 30 black LGBT pride organizations in cities across the U.S. as well as in Toronto, London and South Africa. He said the group has a staff of four full-time employees.

He said the expanded programs and projects involving health, economic, and social issues related to black LGBT people will not duplicate or intrude on the work of the National Black Justice Coalition, a D.C.-based LGBT political organization that lobbies Congress and advocates for the civil rights of black LGBT people.

“Our focus is on the people participating in the Pride events,” Fowlkes said. “There is plenty of work for all of us to do.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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