Sankofa Way Ministries presented the forum 'Black Sexuality in the 21st Century: Change,' Nov. 10 at Center on Halsted. With Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington moderating, six people on a panel gave an assesment of how oppressive cultural, political and economic forces can be transformed.
Counselor and author Dr. Terri Pease said, 'Trauma happens in the space between aspiration and deflation of the spirit.' She discussed how emotional trauma, sexual assault and domestic violence too often are neither acknowledged nor reported to agencies that could initiate interventions and healing processes.
Rev. Rowland Jide Macaulay, pastor of House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church in Lagos, Nigeria, made an impassioned appeal to Americans to be responsive to the severe limitations on basic human rights of the LGBT community in Nigeria and other nations recovering from colonialism.
In addition, Equality Illinois Director of Public Policy and longtime human-rights activist Rick Garcia reviewed how building coalitions led to the passage of Illinois' anti-discrimination law in 2005—a measure that includes transgender persons. All Hispanic and Black state lawmakers voted for the law, except State Sen. and Rev. James Meeks.
Rev. Deborah Lake, director of Sankofa Way, said, 'What gets in the way of our loving, sharing and talking with each other is race, culture and society's laws.' She encouraged all people to move beyond those causes of prejudice and to consider Matthew 11:5—Jesus' language of love, caring and inclusion.