As a staple of Atlanta’s annual Black Gay Pride celebration over Labor Day Weekend, the State of Black Gay America Summit ups its lineup this year by adding a youth summit and a powerful keynote speaker.
The 2011 theme, “Revitalizing Our Commitment to Leadership, Diversity, and Community,” will be bolstered by keynote speaker Earl Fowlkes (photo), president and CEO of the International Federation of Black Gay Prides. Fowlkes is known for political savvy, AIDS advocacy and coalition building, according to the event announcement.
We will also introduce an SBGA Youth Summit, which will be entirely organized by Black LGBT youth. The SBGA recognizes that the youth are our future and that we need to help them navigate the unique challenges their generation faces including, but not limited to higher unemployment as compared to previous generations; high rates of HIV infection and other STDS; and an increased rate in teen suicides.
Topics for this year’s main panel include HIV/AIDS vaccines, current economic and political realities, as well as homophobia in the entertainment industry. The panelists include a wide range of activists, artists, spiritual leaders, business owners, community organizers and elected officials. Confirmed panelists so far:
Mandy Carter, Southerns on New Ground (SONG) and National Black Justice Coalition
Pat Hussian, SONG
Dr. Earl Joyner, Business and MD, Club 91
Charles Stephens, AID Atlanta
Ga. State Rep. Simone Bell
Marcus Bolton, Emory Hope Clinic
Benjamin Harvey, Political Blogger, Harvey’s Global Politics
Christopher Dowdy, YouthPride
Je-Shawna Wholley, Afrekete at Spelman College
Phillip Boone, Traxx Atlanta
Dwight Powell, Sizzle Miami, Inc .
Demetris D Taylor AKA Big Meach, Author
Maurice Jamal, Actor, TV Producer & filmmaker of “Dirty Laundry” & “Ski Trip”
Dr. Shamni- Jeffrey Shikwambi, Macon State College
Gwen Roger, Terik Jackson, and Devin Barrington-Ward, Change Atlanta
Gregory Allen, Xtreme Entertainment and SBGA Summit Chairman
Mary Anne Adams, Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research & ZAMI NOBLA
Darian Aaron, Author and blogger of Living Out loud
Sean Lamont, Artist
Holiday Simmons, Lambda Legal
Paulina Hernandez , SONG
Moderators: Cara Page of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective and Pastor Troy Sanders of Preach2me.com and National Minister of Evangelism of The Fellowship