Vendors and local artists will be there and HIV testing is offered at this year’s Charlotte Black Pride (CBP) annual expo. Designed to showcase Black LBGTQ-affirming businesses, this event begins at 12 p.m. on July 17, at Midwood International Center at 1817 Central Ave., #215. Admission to the event is free.

Says Quin Williams, CBP Community Outreach Director: “This is a family friendly community event for all who are a part of the Black LGBTQIA+ community [and] also our allies.”

CBP took place virtually in 2020. This year’s expo will be one of the first in-person CBP since 2019. The presentation also includes performances by musicians and a “Kidz Corner,” which allows parents and guardians to relax and enjoy the festivities.

CBP’s Trans Community Liason, Rell Lowery, is spearheading security efforts to ensure that attendees are social distancing and abiding by mask guidelines. The Board of Directors will also be present; guaranteeing that the Expo’s vendors, performers, HIV testers and Kidz Corner caretakers are acting in accordance with the community conduct guidelines. 

“When we have Pride week, we are unveiling to the public who we are,” Gladece Knights, Director of operations, explains. “Yes, we are LGBTQ, but we are also families and business owners, community activists and politicians. We have a voice and we matter.”

The theme of the afternoon is “We The People.” This Expo will feature discussions regarding Black Lives Matter and recent anti-LGBTQ legislation. All people are welcome to participate in any capacity, as long as they remain respectful and are LGBTQ-friendly. 

Sponsorship slots remain open to purchase advertisement or vending spaces. For those wishing to do so, go to bit.ly/3vseRGT.

“This is truly a time to come together and celebrate one another and be reminded that “We The People” can push and pull through any obstacle together,” Williams adds. “I believe we collectively share these sentiments.”

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