Black Gay Pride summit tackles issues [photos]

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VIEW MORE PHOTOS | 2011 State of Black Gay America Summit

imageThe 2011 State of Black Gay America Summit drew a crowd on Saturday, starting with a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Earl Fowlkes and continuing with multiple panels delving into tough topics.

Fowlkes (top photo, center), president and CEO of the International Federation of Black Gay Prides, is known for political savvy, AIDS advocacy and coalition building. During the luncheon at the Melia Hotel, he spoke directly to this year’s summit theme of “Revitalizing Our Commitment to Leadership, Diversity, and Community.”

imageThe luncheon also attracted Georgia Equality’s Jeff Graham, AID Atlanta’s Craig Washington (third photo, left), Saint Mark United Methodist Church Rev. Josh Noblitt (right), and even lesbian state Reps. Simone Bell and Karla Drenner, to name just a few.

The afternoon sessions featured more than 20 panelists from spiritual and business leaders to activists and community leaders. Big issues on the table during the summit included an African-American perspective on HIV/AIDS vaccines, dealing with the current economic imageclimate and homophobia in the entertainment industry.

Organizers took the summit a step further this year by hosting a separate event specifically to confront head on issues unique to black gay youth. The Youth Summit took place Wednesday, covering topics like increased rates of unemployment, HIV infections and teen suicides.

Photos by Brent Corcoran, RNZ Photography


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