Lighthouse Foundation (LF) was founded in 2019 and grew out of a community need observed by members of Lighthouse Church of Chicago UCC, a predominantly Black and Queer LGBTQ+ affirming faith community. At that time, there were a number of racist incidents involving Boystown businesses, and they all came to light in relatively quick succession. This hit some major intersections for the church, and the members started organizing in response. However, listening also played a large role. Two things became clear. One was the sheer depth of macro- and microaggressions, threats to safety, and deep unwelcome experienced by Black Queer Chicagoans in Boystown and beyond. The other was the overwhelming support from those outside of the church community and their desire to join us in this movement. This led to the creation of the Lighthouse Foundation.
CARE & THE BLACK QUEER CAUCUS (BQC)
Lighthouse invests in Black LGBTQ+ liberation internally by developing BQC Leaders, a five-person cohort that builds community, sets goals, and creates public programming for Black Queer people. We will also focus on leadership development, capacity building, and economic sustainability to build Black power through institutional longevity.
We work for Black LGBTQ+ liberation externally by pursuing community organizing campaigns that challenge institutions to invest in Black communities, address Black needs, and follow Black leadership. Our CARE Leaders are a multiracial cohort of six Queer leaders who direct the broader Coalition of Accomplices for Racial Equity (CARE), where non-Black supporters follow our lead by donating, showing up for protests, demonstrations, press conferences, and other direct actions. BQC Leaders identify targets of our racial justice campaigns. CARE Leaders will move targets through the following stages - development/assessment, training, initial actions, escalation, deeper actions, and evaluation with input from BQC.
Since launching in July 2020, Lighthouse Foundation has hosted 22 events reaching more than 7,000 people. CARE ousted an abusive off duty police officer from the largest LGBTQ Center in Chicago, and replaced them with a Black-owned security firm trained in de-escalation!
Click our team's headshots to read their bios.