DCVC & Black History Month

black history month and blm protest pictures

As we are in the midst of Black History month, we at Diversity Collective Ventura County(DCVC) honor those Black Americans whose accomplishments and contributions have changed our lives in so many ways.  Black LGBTQ individuals have largely been ignored during this month as major contributors to the advancement of our society, but we must all come to a reckoning.  Not just for the month of February, but for the entire year, every year.
Racism combined with the forces of phobia, discrimination, and bias associated with gender and sexuality stand as erasures of the contributions of members of the Black LGBTQ community.  It is time to tear down those barriers.
Though the Black LGBTQ community is large and diverse, and no one person could represent the entire group, we have come to remember some people who are iconic in the work of bringing inclusion and awareness to the forefront of our fight.
Bayard Rustin, Storme DeLarrerie, James Baldwin, Alvin Ailey, Audre Lorde, and Marsha P Johnson spent the better part of their lives forging the path that we now walk.
And we stand beside so many today:  Lori Lightfoot, Barbara Smith, Ron Oden, Phill Wilson, Andrea Jenkins, and Willi Ninja, to name only a few.
We honor those in our local community who have made great contributions to our local Ventura County LGBTQ Community: Lucy Hicks, Dennis Mitchell, Unique Dowtin, Oxnard LGBTQ’s Tati Pena, DCVC’s own Ken Barrow and local Drag Queens such as Cooper, Sheba, and Miss 2020 VC Pride Regina St. James who give of their time and slayage to support our work. 
These are but a handful of people in the vast community that we honor.
“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity in him.”
-Bayard Rustin
May we center Black stories and leadership in our work. May we continue to listen to Black voices, even in uncomfortable conversations. May we celebrate Black excellence. May we work to end violence against Black Transwomen. May we remember that Black History Month is every month.  Please join us by lifting your own voice in solidarity with our Black LGBTQ community.
With Gratitude,
Genevieve Flores-Haro                                           Tess Allen
Board President                                                       Executive Director

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