For immediate release
Caribbean Equality Project
This weekend in Queens, Caribbean love will take center stage – with equal portions of callaloo and liberation served on the side.
Queens-based Caribbean Equality Project will host the event L.O.V.E. (Living Our Values Equally) on Saturday, February 22 at the Jamaica Center for the Arts (161-04 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica). The event will celebrate queer and trans Caribbean persons in New York City, centering love in the face of stigma and the rifts of diaspora.
Jamaican-born poet and activist Staceyann Chin is among the headliners of storytellers and performers to be present at the celebration. Chin has lived in the United States since 1998, where she has performed poetry and expressive arts reflecting on her experience as a lesbian immigrant from Jamaica. Four-time OUTMusic award winner Nhojj, originally from Guyana, will also give a keynote address. The event will feature performances by international dancers Sundari Indian-Goddess and Rajeev Singh, both originally from Guyana, as well as Afro-Caribbean drag performers Detoxx Bústi-ae and Jahlisa A. Ross. Finally, a roundtable of panelists will provide representation of love in Caribbean diasporas from Guyana, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and other facets of queer and trans Caribbean life in New York City. A buffet dinner will follow.
Caribbean Equality Project was founded in 2015 by Far Rockaway-based organizer Mohamed Q. Amin, originally born in Guyana. Speaking on the timeliness of the event for Valentine’s Day and Black History Month, Amin says:
“When we talk about the month of love, we talk about also Black history. This event is also for us – as we’re celebrating love, we’re also celebrating Black history at the same time. There is also a large Afro-Caribbean population of folks that are queer, and we’re celebrating their love, plus their heritage and their race at the same time.”
In its five years of operation, CEP has provided space for the emergent and growing LGBTQ+ faction of the Caribbean diaspora of New York City. In addition to providing cultural spaces such as L.O.V.E., CEP also provides sexual wellness services under the banner of its Knowing Matters program. Its work is premier among organizations in New York City which serve Caribbean and West Indian immigrants, specifically who identify as LGBTQ+. The organization’s overall goals are to be instrumental in creating a more equitable, thriving and economically empowered Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrant community in NYC.
Tickets for the event can be purchased on Eventbrite for $25. The event is a fundraiser for Caribbean Equality Project, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please visit the Eventbrite and Facebook pages for ticket sales information.
For more information, contact Mohamed at info@CaribbeanEqualityProject.org or call (347) 709-3179.