The following information concerning state-wide and area news, events, and activities is updated at the beginning of each calendar month. Please check with the originating organization to check on possible cancellations or changes that might have occurred since they were originally posted here. See Local News for non-CCSJ events and activities organized and/or occurring in the Morgantown area. See WVU News for Social and Environmental Justice related activties and events organized or occurring at West Virginia University.
The West Virginia Citizen Action Group and other groups sponsored a webinar on Monday, August 28th, the sixtieth anniversary of the March on Washington. Al Anderson of Osage was one of the four panelists who attended the march and shared their memories and the impact it made on their lives. Al even got to sing “This Little Light of Mine,” one of his signature songs, at the end. You can watch the webinar here.
WVNOW members are committed to fostering a unified intersectional, multigenerational feminist future for West Virginia.
The ACLU will be at the CCSJ Social and Environmental Justice Fair on September 17th
Follow Fairness West Virginia on Facebook..
“Our annual gala is quickly approaching. In just 47 days, we hope to see you in Charleston to celebrate the Roaring 20s as we recommit ourselves to fighting for a fairer future. I want to take a minute to tell you a little more about the theme of this year’s event.
Buy tickets now here.
“LGBTQ nightlife in the 1920s emerged as a vibrant and clandestine subculture, finding refuge in the shadows of prohibition-era speakeasies and underground clubs. Amidst a backdrop of social repression and conservative norms, members of the LGBTQ community sought spaces where they could express themselves freely and authentically.
“As we reflect on this history, it becomes crucial to acknowledge and honor the resilience of the trailblazers who paved the way. Countless LGBTQ people who came before us faced immense challenges and often risked their safety and livelihoods to create these spaces where acceptance and freedom flourished. Trailblazers like William Dorsey Swann, a man who defined what it means to fight for queer rights decades before the Stonewall riots.
“Swann was a black man born into slavery, and he’s the first recorded person in history to adopt the title of ‘queen of drag.’ He and other former slaves would dress up in satin ball gowns and dance the night away at massive drag balls organized in the nation’s capitol – just blocks away from the White House.
“They were fearless.
“As you might imagine, the establishment didn’t like that. A committee of prohibition activists decried Swann’s drag balls as a scene filled with “male perverts” in expensive frocks and wigs.
“The hatred we’re facing now stems from the same homophobia, transphobia and racism that Swann fought against at the turn of the 20th century. This hatred ebbs and flows, and right now we find ourselves in a time of unprecedented legislative attacks on our community. More than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in state legislatures across the country.
“In the decades following the Roaring 20s, LGBTQ nightlife faced a devastating setback as social conservatism gained momentum, driven by discriminatory laws and societal norms. We saw increased policing of queer spaces, crackdowns on LGBTQ gatherings, and the stifling of LGBTQ expression, forcing much of our community's vibrant nightlife back into the closet, hidden from public view.
“This is why our organization is so important. We’re experiencing the same thing that our ancestors faced, and we must fight harder. We will not be erased, and we will not go back into the closet.
“Like our ancestors, we will be fearless in the face of hatred.
“So thank you to all of our amazing sponsors who’ve lined up to make this Roaring 20s gala a huge success. [The list of sponsors is available here]. Now, more than ever, we must stand united against hate. We must continue to organize, educate and uplift the most marginalized members of our community.
“With your help, I know we’ll win.
P.S. — These sponsors share in our vision for a better West Virginia, and we're proud to have their support. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor, email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our supporters are welcome to enjoy a discounted night's stay ($134) at Embassy Suites, the location of our event. To enjoy this discount, book your room by Sept. 2.
“Book Online: Visit Embassy Suite's website. and book your room like normal. Set the date of your stay, select ‘special rates,’ and enter the code ‘90U, that's nine zero ‘u.’
“Book by Phone — Call 304-347-8700 and select ‘reservations’ from the menu. Give the reservationist the code ‘90U,’ that's nine zero ‘u.’
You can also bid online for silent auction items here. Bidding is open now and ends at 9:30 p.m. PST on September 9th.
“The West Virginia Transgender Coalition is a grassroots organization that works to ensure the wellbeing, safety and lived equity of all trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive community members within the state of West Virginia.”
For more information, please go their Facebook page.
This group organized in December 2021 in Charleston “to illuminate the experiences of LGBTQ+ people of color in West Virginia and provide them with a safe space of fellowship,” according to a story in the Juneteenth edition of Black By God: The West Virginian. For more information, email WVBPfoundation@outlook.com or Kasha@wvpfoundation.com.
According to its website, “We are an emerging news and storytelling organization centering Black voices from the Mountain State. We provide a more nuanced portrayal of the Black experience in the Appalachian region.” Crystal Good is the editor/publisher/founder of Black By God.
There is a weekly online edition and a quarterly print edition.
To contact Black by God, email Info@Blackbygod.org or call 3O4-207-0352. The mailing address is 2156 University Ave. Suite 400, Morgantown, WV, 26505. To make a tax-deductible donation, go to blackbygod.org/donate.