PFLAG Portland Black Chapter (PBC) promotes the health and well-being of Black gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons, their families and friends through support, education, organizing and advocacy.
PFLAG Portland Black Chapter was founded in 2009 as the first African American chapter of PFLAG in the nation. There is a long history of anti-LGBTQ organizing in Oregon, with state and local ballot measure fights being the most visible form of that. What is not highlighted in that history is the long history of organizing in the Black community here in support of LGBTQ equality. In the 1990s, there was a very repressive Oregon state ballot measure, Measure 9, that would have placed being LGBTQ in the same category with pedophilia and bestiality. An organization called African Americans Against Measure 9 formed to hold discussions within the Black community, in our churches, in our community centers, in our homes. Antoinette Edwards was one of the founders of African Americans Against Measure 9, and also became one of the founders of PFLAG PBC, along with Kerry Johnson. These two folks embody what is so powerful and unique about the work of PFLAG PBC.
PFLAG Portland Black Chapter was formed to address the need to have culturally specific work in the Black community around LGBTQ equality. We address the multiple layers of discrimination that LGBTQ Black people and their families and loved ones face, and offer opportunities to transform our community.
We are able to carry out our mission by strategically prioritizing our work through five program areas: Youth Outreach, Faith Outreach, Member Support, Portland Black Pride, and our Policy and Advocacy Program.
PFLAG Portland Black Chapter is a proud member of the Fair Shot Coalition working to bring economic justice and fairness to all Oregonians. We know that Black LGBTQ Oregonians too often face startling disparities as was lifted up in our 2012 Lift Every Voice Report that brought visibility to the experiences of Black LGBTQ Oregonians.
Working with the Fair Shot Coalition we have seen much success improving the lives of thousands across the state through the passage of important legislation that increases employment opportunities, provides workers with paid sick leave, ands bans profiling by law enforcement to name a few.
We have had success in advancing social, racial, and LGBTQ justice in our state, but we know have much more to do. We look forward to our partnership with the Fair Shot Coalition working to bring equity to Oregon.