Tuesday, October 18, 2011


From Coalition for Justice and Respect:

On Friday October 14, 2011 the Coalition for Justice and Respect (CJR) and the newly reorganized Coalition for Justice and Respect Foundation (CJRF) held its first Community Recognition Tribute to Warriors of civil rights and social justice diner at the Chicago Theological Seminary. The ceremony was the first of its kind in the African-American community that acknowledged the work of African-American Black Gays Lesbians Same Gender Loving people and allies.

The event recognized and honored the Reverend Willie T. Barrow the mother of the an openly Gay son who was a founding member of the Operation Bread Basket and Operation PUSH and recording artist Keith Barrow could not attend a similarly planned event last year that had to be postponed due to illness, but this year she has roared back and made it to the event as one of two she attended. At age 86 she is still setting the standard for activist.

The awards were presented by CJR’s Board President Susan Watts , Marc Loveless, Executive Director and the wonderful entertainment by Kirk Sanders (Real T Lutha of the Midwest). Entertainment was provided by Nhojj.

The Tribute was one of four events that the CJR organized for October LGBT History month and National Coming Out Day. The other events included a showcase concert held at the Woodsen Regional Library, Community forum with the RainbowPUSH Coalition, and a discussion on Faith that concluded with supporting a play that featured Openly Gay Gospel Singer and HIV prevention speaker Dewayne Woods most noted song Let Go and Let God.

The sponsors of the event were The Chicago Theological Seminary, The University of Chicago Medical Center, and the Committee to Elect Judge Joy V. Cunningham for Illinois Supreme Court.
Food was provided by Honey’s Catering.
The other honorees included:

Jamal M. Edwards, Esq. who is an Attorney and since June of 2010 has taken the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Howard Brown Health Center.
Judge Sophia H. Hall who for over 20 years has been an elected judge in Cook County.

Lakeesha Harris and Janean Watkins our the first couple to Unionized in Cook County under Illinois Civil Unions laws.
Otis Mack (Heavy Diva) for his work in providing safe spaces all over the world where African-American Black Gays, Lesbians and Transperson to express themselves and enrich the world.
Castle Kelley for her work as the Marketing Coordinator for Beta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc. Beta Gamma Chapter and the Black Gay and Lesbian Greek communities.

Cerese Depardieu for her work with MB Bank, Night Ministry and the young adult empowerment of Black LGBT youth in the Lakeview area.
Monica Haslip the Executive Director and Founder of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center for creating a safe inspiring space that brings together generations to develop their art build self-esteem and ensure community pride.

Joseph Steven McClure for his work As a young promoter that integrates of event promoting and social action in a combined effort.

Rev. Phyllis V. Pennese, M.Div is Founder and Senior Pastor of the Pillar of Love Fellowship United Church of Christ (POLFUCC). Founded in 2003 Pillar of Love is a faith community committed to the radically inclusive justice minded ministry of Jesus Christ.
Michael J. Simmons is the Policy Director for the Mayor of the City of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and is also a former elected official serving on the Local School Council of Brennemann Elementary School.

Lowry S. Taylor the founder and director of Digital Development Corporation a program of second chances. Digital Development Corporation takes donations of used computers refurbishes them and puts them back in use. As well as provide an opportunity for people that have a criminal background to transition back into society with a job and an ability to be functioning contributors to society.

1 comment:

  1. We are glad to know that Coalition for Justice and Respect is promoting human rights for gays and lesbians. We support all your actions in raising awareness for equality.

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