In a groundbreaking move, the United States’ first and only Caribbean heritage museum, Island SPACE Caribbean Museum, will host an exhibition exploring advancements made by members of the LGBTQ+ community. On Tuesday, May 10, a special opening event will launch the first in the museum’s lineup of social justice issues programming. “Queer Caribbeans: Resilience, Resistance and Reimagining,” will present a multimedia, historical retrospective showcase of the racial and cultural achievements of Caribbean LGBTQ+ rights activists. The project will focus on leaders who set the foundation for victories within the Caribbean LGBTQ+ diasporic community and their contributions to broader LGBTQ+ liberation movements in the United States.
Island SPACE has partnered with nonprofits Black LGBTQ+ Liberation, Inc. and Caribbean Equality Project to curate the project. The “Queer Caribbeans” exhibition will document the intersection of Caribbeanness and LGBTQ+ rights activism with an extensive repository of photographs, news footage, oral histories and videos featuring well-respected Caribbean LGBTQ+ rights advocates. Visitors will enjoy the works and words of personalities including beloved Trinidadian-American activist Colin Robinson, Guyanese-American founder of Caribbean Equality Project Mohamed Q. Amin, Jamaican-American co-founder of Black LGBTQ+ Liberation G. Wright, Tobagonian-American actress Dominique Jackson, and Jamaican-American writer and spoken word artist Staceyann Chin.
The public is invited to join special guests and enjoy live entertainment at the opening reception on Tuesday, May 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A virtual panel will explore issues and progress within this community in the Caribbean region on Wednesday, June 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m, during Pride Month. An in-person panel will discuss advancements made among the Caribbean LGBTQ+ diaspora on Wednesday, June 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
From May to October 2022, Island SPACE Caribbean Museum, with funding from the Community Foundation of Broward, will present an exhibition and event series highlighting social justice issues affecting Caribbean and Caribbean-American communities. The first in the six-month series addresses issues affecting LGBTQ+ people. Subsequent themes will include Emancipation and the region’s complex history with the concept of freedom, and colorism and gender roles among Latin-Americans. To learn more about “Queer Caribbeans” and the Island SPACE social justice issues series, visit islandspacefl.org/social justice.
Support for Island SPACE and the social justice series has been provided by Broward Mall, Florida Power & Light Company, Grace Foods, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts and the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Mary N. Porter Community Impact Fund, Jack Belt Memorial Fund, Ginny and Tom Miller Fund, Stearns Weaver Miller Fund for the Arts, Harold D. Franks Fund.
Island SPACE (Island Society for the Promotion of Artistic and Cultural Education) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and advancement of arts, culture, history, and educational initiatives that represent the Caribbean region in South Florida and the broader diaspora community. The organization produces events, and supports independent artists, organizations and groups who deliver high-level presentations, in various art forms. Its flagship project is Island SPACE Caribbean Museum, the first and only Caribbean heritage museum in the United States. Find more information at islandspacefl.org.
Black LGBTQ+ Liberation, Inc. (BLL) is a nonprofit global organization focused on achieving positive outcomes for BIPOC lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Their mission is to provide programming and services to eradicate homophobia, transphobia and achieve positive outcomes in the lives of marginalized LGBTQ+ people. They focus on the arts, social justice, health and wellness. Find more information at thouartwoman.com.
The Caribbean Equality Project is a community-based organization that empowers, advocates for, and represents, Black and Brown, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming and queer Caribbean immigrants in New York City. Through public education, community organizing, civic engagement, storytelling and cultural and social programming, the organization’s work focuses on advocacy for LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights, gender equity, racial justice, immigration and mental health services, and ending hate violence in the Caribbean diaspora. Find more information at caribbeanequalityproject.org.