On Friday, 28 January, when Pride in London announced its return to the streets of the capital on Saturday, 2 July 2022, we stated that we were collaborating with UK Black Pride. It’s important that we clarify our release: we have been discussing the coordination of possible actions and activities, as both organisations have historically done when organising our events during Pride Month in London. We are not in partnership with UK Black Pride but would very much like to be.
Over the past few months Christopher Joell-Deshields, our Executive Director, has talked with Lady Phyll, Executive Director of UK Black Pride, as Black leaders within the pride movement about the ongoing issues impacting the LGBT+ communities in the UK, how Pride in London repairs its relationship with UK Black Pride, what the future looks like for our organisations, and how Pride in London can support the work, activities and commitments of UK Black Pride.
We would also like to clarify what “supporting” UK Black Pride means for Pride in London, by outlining some of the actions & activities we are and have been discussing and considering:
In response to their “We Will Be Heard'' survey findings, UK Black Pride is launching their first Community Action Plan and Fund, through which funds will be distributed to organisations working to support LGBT+ Black people and people of colour across the UK. Pride in London will agree with UK Black Pride a donation to support the continued implementation of their Community Action Plan.
Each year, UK Black Pride commits funds to enable LGBT+ Black people and people of colour to travel down to UK Black Pride’s annual celebration. Pride in London will work with UK Black Pride to make a donation to this fund.
We respect and are grateful for the work UK Black Pride has done over 16 years to create inclusive and celebratory spaces for LGBT+ Black people and people of colour in the UK. Whether through their annual events, partnerships and campaigns, or their inaugural community survey, “We Will Be Heard”, they continue to demonstrate strong community leadership, drive and accountability.
Christopher Joell-Deshields, Executive Director for Pride in London, says: “As we rebuild trust with UK Black Pride and the communities they represent, it is important that our engagement is authentic. It’s personal to me as a black gay man and a member of the Black LGBT+ community that our relationship is anchored in our values of visibilty, unity and equality.
“I look forward to UK Black Pride’s announcement of their 2022 date and location – and, of course, attending UK Black Pride with my friends and family. I remain grateful to Lady Phyll and the team at UK Black Pride for their encouragement and support as my team and I chart a new, more inclusive path forward for Pride in London.”
Lady Phyll, Executive Director of UK Black Pride, says: “2022 is an important year for our communities. It not only marks 50 years since the first pride march in the UK, but offers us all an opportunity to build on the hard earned lessons of the past two years and to step into a changed world together.
“We’d like to make clear that UK Black Pride wants to see Pride in London succeed. As such, we have opened up communication between our organisations: issues have never been resolved by ignoring them.
“We look forward to seeing the impact of their new leadership and welcome their initial and tangible commitments to supporting UK Black Pride as a promising first step to a longer, more generative relationship between us.”