On Saturday, May 24, Ambiente del Paseo held a BBQ fundraiser to launch its new campaign, “Más Color, Más Poder.” Ambiente is a newly formed collective recently launched by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center as one of Humboldt Park’s first LGBTQ organizations. The “Más Color, Más Poder” campaign seeks to raise awareness about and combat homophobia and transphobia in the Humboldt Park community. The May 24 Fundraiser, held at La Casita de Don Pedro and dedicated to the memory of Eric Rice, was a huge success.
Nearly 100 attendees of all ages enjoyed the food, music, performances by contestants in the 2008 Cacica Pageant, raffles, and statements by prominent community members and other officials. José E. Lopez, Executive Director of the Juan Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center, explained the historic nature of this event to the audience. While the Puerto Rican Cultural Center has a long history of supporting LGBTQ issues, homophobia and transphobia are continuing problems in the Humboldt Park community. The fact that this event was held outdoors at La Casita and attended by people of all ages, including many families, demonstrates the community support that Ambiente enjoys.
In her comments to the audience, Lourdes Lugo, Principal of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, spoke about the negative effects of homophobia and transphobia on the young people with whom she works. LGBTQ students are oftentimes the most likely to be rejected by their families and thus highly susceptible to dropping out. Rick Garcia, Political Director of Equality Illinois, celebrated the event’s success and reminded the audience of the passing of the non-discrimination bill in 2005, which prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations in the state of Illinois. The “Más Color, Más Poder” campaign will continue throughout 2008.
For more information about Ambiente del Paseo, contact Janeida Rivera at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center: Phone: 773.342.8023 Email: email@example.com.