The sixth annual State of Black Gay America Summit showed the serious side of Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride events on Saturday with the theme “Embracing Our Collective Power To Influence Change.”
Panel discussions during the brunch at the Melia Hotel included topics on HIV vaccine research, an economic outlook on jobs, women’s reproductive rights, and the use of non-violence as an organizational tool. Panelists were drawn from an array of local and national activists, artists, spiritual leaders and elected officials.
Among the crowd were lesbian Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner (top photo, left), Georgia’ first openly gay lawmaker Karla Drenner (second from left) and state Rep. Keisha Waites (right).
A special tribute honored the life and legacy of Rudolph P. Byrd, the Emory University professor of African American Studies at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference. Byrd died last year at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer.
Photos by Chase Simmons