CSW/LA Pride Board Apologizes for Missteps Taken and Says it is Collaborating with Black Groups to Reevaluate Solidarity March, June 14

LA Pride Parade 2016 - Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

Christopher Street West, the organization that produces the LA Pride parade and festival in the City of West Hollywood, posted a statement this evening via LA Pride’s social media outlets to apologize for missteps taken in their haste to create the June 14th Solidarity March.

The CSW Board of Directors acknowledged they did not collaborate with enough key leaders and activists in the Black community despite their well-intentioned efforts. It seems they are determined to get it right and are reevaluating how to proceed and are continuing to meet with Black leaders and organizations that share their desire for social justice for the Black community.

The statement does not mention Jeff Conselitti’s recent withdrawal as a planner of the event, which he announced today via his own social media.

The entire statement is below:

On behalf of the Christopher Street West Board of Directors, we would like to reemphasize our support for the Black community. Additionally, we would like to apologize for missteps in our rush to create the June 14th solidarity march meant to rally against the systemic social injustice the Black community faces every day. In that truly well-intentioned effort, we realized that we did not first collaborate with enough key leaders and activists in the Black community that have been fighting on the frontlines. For that we offer our sincerest apologies.

Furthermore, as we quickly mobilized this protest, we proceeded to approach the permitting as we would normally do with organizing the annual LA Pride Parade and directed Jeff Consoletti and JJLA to file the First Amendment permit on our behalf. In that haste, we overlooked the direct police involvement that permitting involves. We understand that clearly goes against the demands for systemic police reform. This police reform is central to the mission of ending police brutality for which so many of you are out in the streets fighting today and every day.

In this, we recognize the organization’s relationship with the marginalized groups within our own community has been problematic. We are committed to listening to the Black community more closely and to truly be a better ally and collaborator in the fight to end systemic racism and oppression. As an organization, Christopher Street West is putting plans in motion to better educate ourselves to ensure our actions reflect our intentions in all future programming.

Our board is continuing to meet today and in the days ahead to collaborate with Black leaders and organizations that share our desire for social justice for the Black community. The previously announced solidarity march scheduled for June 14 is currently being reevaluated through these discussions with more updates to be shared shortly. We pledge that the LGBTQ+ community will continue to speak up and speak out against racism and stand in solidarity with you on the long march to freedom and equality.

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