Stonewall’s network of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff presented a celebration of talent from people of colour (POC) within LGBT communities on Thursday 6 September. The event was kindly hosted by Amazon’s Black Employee Network UK.
The Diaspora Showcase brought together a diverse range of BAME/POC individuals to share in discussions and performances about the experiences of marginalisation within society. As the event was created by and made for BAME/POC people, tickets were specifically reserved for members of the community.
Guests were treated to inspiring speeches and powerful performances that explored what it means to be in the BAME/POC LGBT community. This included work from artist and performer, Travis Alabanza, writer, KUCHENGA, and burlesque troupe, the Cocoa Butter Club.
Research by Stonewall demonstrates why safe spaces like The Diaspora Showcase are needed. Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain – Home and Communities report found that half of BAME LGBT people (51 per cent) face discrimination within the LGBT community.
The Diaspora Showcase was the first event put together by Stonewall’s BAME and POC staff network. The event is part of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to becoming a more BAME inclusive organisation. In the past year, the charity has extended its support for UK Black Pride and run free community role model programmes for BAME/POC LGBT people.
Sanjay Sood-Smith, Director of Empowerment Programmes, Stonewall said: ‘I’m incredibly proud of the work our BAME and POC staff network put in to bring The Diaspora Showcase to life. We know from our research that BAME LGBT people can feel unwelcome and excluded from both the BAME and LGBT communities, which is why events like this are so important.
‘Part of building a more inclusive culture is creating spaces where BAME LGBT people can come together and celebrate who they are, free from discrimination and abuse.
‘As an organisation, we ourselves are on a journey and are dedicated to educating ourselves and continually improving our work – both internally within Stonewall and externally. To truly work with and for all LGBT communities, we have to be an active part of the solution.’