A nationwide economic empowerment “Many Faces, One Dream” tour for LGBT communities of color stopped in Oakland this week, sponsored by the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s leading Black LGBT civil rights organization, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The goal of the national tour is to highlight the economic power, innovation, and creativity of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) communities of color in the small business sector.
“We want to give our community control of their own destiny through entrepreneurial tools,” said Darryl Moore, board chair of the National Black Justice Coalition and a Berkeley City Councilmember, speaking at the event.
“Opening the doors of the SBA to the LBGT community, this tour will address some of the unique stumbling blocks to success that are faced in starting small businesses, and accessing capital and resources needed to be productive in owning a business,” he said.
In welcoming the tour to the city, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said, “We are a city that has a passion for the equal rights of all our residents and guests including for our LGBTQ community members.”
The two-day event, held on April 21 and April 22, included workshops that focused on both start-ups and existing businesses.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equity Caucus, said, “The National Black Justice Coalition’s work enables the creation of sustainable economic opportunities in the communities of LGBT and of color across the nation.”
“These are exciting times for the LGBT community at the intersection of equality and equity, and the ‘Many Faces, One Dream’tour navigates that course of action,” said Eugene Cornelius Jr., deputy associate administrator, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Small Business Administration.
Oakland was the fourth stop of the tour, which is scheduled to visit 13 major cities with a significant LGBT presence in communities of color.