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As a way to recognize and honor queer, trans people of color (QTPOC) during Black History Month, The Center on Colfax will be paying tribute to black queer and trans culture through a celebration titled “Lift Ev’ry Voice.”

To be held at The Center on Colfax on Saturday, February 15 from 1 p.m.to 5 p.m., the Denver LGBTQ resource center invites the community to gather and celebrate, reflect, and acknowledge black-identified members of the queer community. With thought-provoking speakers, a community open mic, and affinity group discussions, the event is intended to bring forward narratives of suffrage, strength, and hope of those who have been the most marginalized in our community.

Black History Month has been recognized in the United States since 1976 as a way to honor the central role that Black people have played in U.S. history. According to history.com, every year, there is a theme for Black History Month, and 2020’s theme is “African Americans and the vote in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) granting women’s suffrage and the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving black men the right to vote.”

The Center acknowledges that enormous sacrifices have been made by black, LGBTQ leaders who have carved a path for generations to follow, creating space and carving freedoms towards greater equality. While great strides have been made for and with QTPOC community, there are still ever-present barriers that continue to exist and must be addressed.

“Black, LGBTQ people were key leaders in the civil rights movement, and black leaders have been at the forefront of the struggle for LGBTQ equality from the very start,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “At this juncture in our ongoing struggle to realize America’s promise of equality and justice for all, we know that our work is not complete until the most marginalized within our LGBTQ community have achieved equality. This Black History Month and beyond, let us celebrate our progress; let us be inspired by our history, and let us recommit to the work ahead.”

With “Life Ev’ry Voice,” The Center on Colfax hopes to encourage folks to show up and celebrate the significance of black, queer, and trans folks in the greater LGBTQ community. The open-mic portion is an opportunity for community members to share their experiences, a space for QTPOC to converse over intersecting identities and to discuss where support is still needed. Additionally, the space is open for allies to reflect upon their identity, experience with race, and ways to be better allies. A local food truck will be on site all afternoon, and a local photographer will provide head shots free of charge.