The organizations known as Sankofa Way Spiritual Services, Inc. and Chicago Black Gays and Lesbians have released statements regarding the shootings. An edited version of the releases is below:
On the day that we remember the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King in the ongoing fight for equality, members of Black LGBT & Allies For Equality joined together with members of Affinity, the Coalition of Black Gays and Lesbians, and GLN in direct response to the shooting of six young men on the South Side of Chicago.
Our goal is to stand: stand for justice, stand for equality and stand for safety. We began by organizing a stand in front of Sweet Holy Spirit Church during their Sunday service, and have continued to stand for justice in front of places that have a history of overt homophobia in Black communities.
Our method is to be: be visible, be non-violent, be inspirational and be informative. At each stand, members give flyers with facts about the effects of anti-gay rhetoric on the lives of Black people.
I am glad to see Black LGBT, same-gender-loving people come together to Stand for our rights. We can no longer afford to remain separated in our individual groups. We can no longer afford to be invisible to 'mainstream' America. We are here, we are together, and we will not stop until we have equal rights and safety.
Rev. Deborah Elandus Lake, Executive Director
Sankofa Way Spiritual Services, Inc.
The Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus stands with the many organizations and individuals who have expressed outrage at the Dec. 31 home invasion and shooting of six young men at a party on the city's South Side.
While debates exist as to whether or not this violent assault was technically a hate crime, the fact of masked gunmen breaking into one's home and randomly firing semiautomatic weapons has sent shockwaves throughout the community and has sparked a collective call for answers and action.
The Caucus' mission speaks of mobilizing and empowering Black gay men and their allies to prevent new HIV infections by addressing the well-being of BGM. In that spirit of support, counseling services for all those affected by the shooting are being arranged by Tommy Avant Garde of Project VIDA, who also serves as the caucus' youth committee chair.
The Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus