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 LBGTQIA+ 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
The Foundation has grown to include two branches: the Black Queer caucus, which represent a cross-section of identities within the Chicagoland Black LGBTQ+ community and the Coalition of Allies for Racial Equity (CARE), the direct-action organizing arm.
The Black Queer Caucus and CARE work together to hold power brokers and entities that serve the Black LGBTQ+ community accountable, launch businesses, and provide programming that welcomes all people.
The Black Queer Caucus represents a cross-section of communities and interest areas within the Black LGBTQ+ community: Black trans folx, Black LGBTQ+ entertainers, Black lesbian and bisexual women, Black gay and bisexual men, Black non-binary and gender non-conforming folx, and anyone else whose identity is within the Black LGBTQ+ spectrum.
CARE requires all faith communities and nonprofits that join our organization to codify a statement of affirmation to the LGBTQ+ community and to extend the same rights and privileges to the LGBTQ+ members as those extended to the other members. It is impossible to challenge folks in the public square when one has not first done their work at home