PCHR Issues Report on Racism in the LGBTQ Community

Earlier today the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations held a press conference to announce the release of their report on racism and discrimination in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community. 
We would like to thank the members of the PCHR for all of their work in putting this report together.  We also thank the many individuals who came forward to share their stories and experiences, which was surely not an easy thing to do.  
This report came in the aftermath of the October 25, 2016 public hearing in response to reports of racial tension and discrimination within Philadelphia’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. While some reports stemmed from recent incidents, many members of the community have attested that racism is a long-standing issue within the ‘gayborhood’ and other LGBTQ community spaces.  
It is extremely important that we as an organization hear about these experiences, so that we can fully understand and participate in the ongoing conversations about racism in the LGBTQ community, and so that we can continue the work we are doing to improve our own culture and create an environment where everyone – staff, patients, and anyone else who interacts with us – feels safe and respected.
Among the recommendations of the report was that all board members and staff of Mazzoni Center receive training on the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance as well as a separate training on implicit bias. With regard to the Fair Practices Ordinance, we will make arranges with PCHR to receive the appropriate FPO training as soon as possible.
On the second point, Mazzoni Center initiated conversations last fall with the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), a Connecticut-based social justice organization that provides trainings with the goal of fighting bias, bigotry and racism in all its forms, and working toward building strong and inclusive communities. We have contracted with NCCJ to provide a series of trainings for all members of our staff, beginning on January 30.  Each member of our staff will attend two full days of interactive workshops and discussions around issues of racism and discrimination, implicit bias, LGBTQ cultural competence, and other topics as they relate to our work and our communities.  
This is one step in an ongoing process, and we are committed to continuing this vitally important work, to strengthening our relationships and the trust of the people we work with and serve, and to reaffirming our core values so that each and every person who interacts with Mazzoni Center in any capacity is treated with compassion, dignity, and respect.
We will keep posting about this issue, the conversations we are having and the work that we are doing in response, here on our blog.
To view the full report on the PCHR website: https://pchrlgbt.org/