ST. LOUIS, Mo. - St. Louis Black Pride launched its new education initiative, "The Hub: Black Pride Success Hall" on Saturday. This new program is geared to assist individuals in the community to reach their own academic goals and achievements.
"Our kids need support more than anything," said Darius Rucker, Director of Education for St. Louis Black Pride. "Statics show that LGBT youth of color are harassed based on gender expression, sexual orientation and/or race [It] negatively affects the ability of LGBT students of color to learn and achieve academic goals, putting those students at higher risk of dropping out and lacking the basic education necessary to obtain employment or pursue higher education."
GLSEN, a national non-profit whose mission is to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, has found that these students’ overall GPAs dropped as a result of harassment based on sexual orientation and/or race/ethnicity.
"The School Systems are failing the LGBTQIA people of color community due to the lack of safe spaces within our schools," says Randy Rafter, President of St. Louis Black Pride. "48% of LGBT students of color are verbally harassed in school and LGBT Students of color are twice as likely to be physically assaulted is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to education within our community."
"We wanted to provide a safe space with supportive and understanding mentors to help individuals on an academic front. Our Success Hall is open to all walks of life, of all ages," continued Rucker.
Over the past two years, St. Louis Black Pride has transition from just hosting its annual celebration, to providing programming and services to the LGBTQIA People of color community year round. From teaching financial literacy, new health initiatives, and advocacy work, organizers attest: "It's no longer about just a moment of the year, in which LGBTQIA People of color celebrate their uniqueness in society, it's geared to instilling a movement to build equity in the community."
St. Louis Black Pride is the nation's second oldest black gay pride organization. Founded in 1995, then the B-Boy Blues Festival, St. Louis Black Pride’s mission is to serve as a resource for the undeserved LGBTQIA community and be a catalyst for unity, empowerment and pride.
For more information you can visit www.blackpridestl.org or call 314.884.8730