News • June 19, 2020

Equality NC uses Pride month to support Black Lives Matter movement

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Equality NC is getting involved by elevating the messages of the Black Lives Matter movement, like police brutality, criminal justice reform and racism--issues that also affect LGBTQ people of color.

"Our whole Pride month comes from the origins of us resisting police brutality," said Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality NC. "So there is nothing more fitting than the LGBT community standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Uprisings all over the country. It makes perfect sense and it is in many ways a return to our roots."

Those roots date back to June 28, 1969, when New York City Police Department officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. At the time, it was illegal to engage in any kind of same-sex relations--including holding hands, dancing and kissing--in public in New York City.

The chaos sparked a riot and several days of protests, led by trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, after patrons and employees were brutality arrested.

More than 50 years later, the Black Lives Matter movement, co-founded by members of the Black queer community, is leading the debate over defunding the police--a measure Johnson said Equality NC supports.

"Re-imagining how we create safer communities where we are not seeing the most marginalized communities targeted by police," Johnson said. "It is directing resources to community programs that have been eviscerated, it's putting money into schools to keep kids in schools. It's getting cops out of schools so that when kids have fights, kids are not criminalized."

Read the whole story on ABC11

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