‘Pride Strong’: GLAAD Launches Inaugural Black Queer Creative Summit For LGBTQ+ Creatives

‘Pride Strong’: GLAAD Launches Inaugural Black Queer Creative Summit For LGBTQ+ Creatives

GLAAD has created a new summit for the Black queer and LGBTQ+ community to express their creativity.

The first-ever Black Queer Creative Summit is an in-person event created to “educate, empower, and train emerging Black LGBTQ+ creatives across five sectors of the entertainment industry.”

Creatives that fall under the categories of executives, creators, behind-the-scenes, on-screen talent and music supervision are encouraged to apply for the summit happening September 14-17 2023 in Los Angeles.

Created by cultural curator DaShawn Usher and actor Julian Walker, the summit will spotlight, celebrate, and curate professional growth opportunities for Black LGBTQ+ creative leaders with keynote addresses, fireside chats, workshops, and mentorship opportunities.

Usher and Walker describe the event as an effort to interrupt the discriminatory legislation set across the country to erase LGBTQIA identity and African-American history. “As a creator, what’s so important is having spaces for us that are created by us, first and upfront,” Walker, who also serves as the associate director for Communities of Color at GLAAD, told Forbes.

The nonprofit will provide a “scholarship” for 150 creatives that cover registration costs, room and board, and transportation.

With more LGBTQIA representation seen on TV shows such as Starz’s P-Valley and Peacock’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters, Usher, GLAAD’s director of Communities of Color and Media, said the summit couldn’t have come at a better time.

“According to our recent report, while we are seeing more Black queer characters on television, we must now focus on whether that representation is equitability, and the answer is no,” Usher said.

Successful candidates should have specific qualifications: unsung heroes, Black LGBTQ+ storyline contributors, and emerging professionals looking for a network. According to Gaye Magazine, applicants will receive notification of admission no later than July 2023. Applications are now open until June 12, 2023.

“The Black Queer Creative Summit was a goal of mine that I wanted to bring to life once I started at GLAAD in 2019,” Usher told the outlet. “I knew before I could have a successful summit, I needed to have certain things in place, funding, resources, a team, and to do more work with gaining trust and visibility in the Black entertainment industry.”