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UK Partners in Discussion on the African-American LGBTQ* Experience

By Whitney Hale

(Sept. 17, 2015) — In recent months, there has been much discussion of both the LGBTQ* and African-American experience in the nation. However, very little discussion to date looks at the experience of African-American members of the LGBTQ* community.

A new panel discussion, "WE ARE HERE!," hopes to bring that conversation to light in the Bluegrass from 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Lexington Public Library's Farish Theater, located in downtown Lexington. The event is free and open to the public. 

"WE ARE HERE!" will explore the range of different life experiences and well-being, as well as the importance of keeping those memories alive and preserved. It will also look at the LGBTQ* space within the world of African-American studies. Panelists for this discussion are:

· Chamara Jewel Kwakye, assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the African American and Africana Studies Program at UK College of Arts and Sciences; 

· Keenen S. McMillin, a 2015 UK graduate and a co-founder and first president of the UK student organization Shades of Pride;

· Charles E. Crutcher, a nursing care technician with UK HealthCare and an initial member, organizer and active supporter of Bluegrass Black Pride;

· Carol A. Taylor-Shim, a social justice educator with the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center at UK and former social worker in child welfare for 20 years;

· Thomas Tolliver, a community advocate, Lexington East End activist, historian,  former journalist, and an initial member and organizer of Bluegrass Black Pride; and

· Stacie Williams, an archivist and learning lab manager at UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center, instructor in the UK School of Information Science and former journalist.

The panel discussion "WE ARE HERE!" is being presented by UK Special Collections Research Center, Bluegrass Black Pride, UK African American and Africana Studies Program and JustFundKY.