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Audre Lorde Builds Collective Safety at 4th Annual Bed-Stuy Pride

(Brooklyn September 7, 2014)– On Sunday September 7, the Safe Outside the System (SOS) Collective will host the 4th Annual Bed-Stuy Pride at Herbert Von King Park. SOS is a program of the Audre Lorde Project led by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans, and gender non conforming (LGBTSTGNC) people of color devoted to challenging hate and police violence by using community based strategies rather than relying on the police. Bed-Stuy Pride is an annual festival held in the heart of central Brooklyn that cherishes the diversity of our communities and recognizes the importance of creating safer spaces for our communities.

Our communities experience greater violence because we are profiled based on our race/ethnicity and gender and/or sexuality, making us increasingly targeted for stop and frisks by police. According to the Anti Violence Project transgender people of color are 2.59 times as likely to experience police violence and 2.37 times as likely to experience discrimination. In 2013, there was a 21% increase in reports of physical hate violence against LGBT people, 89% of LGBT homicide victims were people of color and 72% were trans women. [full report here].

Bed-Stuy Pride is an opportunity to remind the residents of central Brooklyn of our historical presence and also celebrate our current visibility. Traditionally, pride marches all over the world (and especially in New York City) have been in recognition of the historic Stonewall riots. Yet contributions of transgender women of color like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major --who were central to these historical riots are forgotten or ignored completely. Bed-Stuy pride is a chance to center these stories and provide the context of resistance and justice inherent in pride. Not only do we recall this legacy of resistance, but also we gather to build alternative systems of justice, accountability, and safety.

Elle Clack, a member of Safe Outside the System Collective organizing Bed-Stuy Pride remarks, “I want to be safe outside the system because the system was never built for me.”

Join us on Sunday from 12-6PM in Herbert Von King Park for workshops, performances from local artists, Bed Stuy vendors, and more!

The Audre Lorde Project is a lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Through mobilization, education and capacity-building, we work for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. Committed to struggling across difference, we seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve our various communities.