Posted by: impactcincinnati | April 7, 2009


There is clear evidence presented before the Council and the people of Cincinnati that inequities exist in the awarding of city contracts. As members of a minority community, we share the concerns of the NAACP about this major issue. The healthy development of any urban area depends upon a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise in its active creation. Any potential discrimination to silence those views must be considered seriously and thoroughly by officials elected to represent the spectrum of our greater community.

With this in mind, IMPACT Cincinnati applauds and endorses Council members Laketa Cole and Cecil Thomas for their seriousness in grappling with this contentious debate and proposing the creation of a Minority Business Task Force. We encourage dialogue that approaches the problem from all views, whether they are around race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity. Further, IMPACT Cincinnati views the appointment of Rea N. Waldon, Ph.D. of the Urban League to lead the OPEN Cincinnati MBE/SBE Taskforce as a positive step in the creation of truly comprehensive protection for all potential minority contractors in the Greater Cincinnati area.

We will maintain a close watch on the study and results of this committee and will actively promote the enforcement of its guidelines to create a fairer and more transparent Cincinnati. In the words of our own city creed, we are strengthened in our unity. In a gesture of acknowledgement to that fact, we further recognize the major stumbling block that racism is in the LGBTQ community. No minority group can expect equality for itself while perpetuating the oppression of another. In the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Whether we are black or white, gay or straight or any mixture of the thousands of spectrums that make us all unique humans, we must support one another in our quest to be fully accepted as ourselves. We therefore are encouraging all members of the LGBTQ community in Cincinnati to join the NAACP on April 8th at 12:30 pm at the Cincinnati City Council meeting to promote awareness of the injustice perpetuated upon another minority group and so that the entire range of discrimination can be fully recognized.

In so doing we ask the local NAACP, as leaders of the African American community, to take a meaningful look at the issue of homophobia and the detrimental effects it has on members of their own community who identify as LGBTQ and respectfully challenge both the African American and LGBTQ communities in Cincinnati to find a way to engage in a meaningful dialogue around the issues that hinder our own mutual acceptance. It is not merely enough for us to acknowledge racism in our own backyard. For true acceptance, both sides must grasp the problems that stand between them and work with good faith to overcome them. Therefore, we are proposing a series of forums to discuss the intersection of racism and homophobia. Only through honest and forthright discussion can we come to a point of acknowledging what we can do to move beyond wounds that have festered for too long.

IMPACT Cincinnati, as a collection of individual grassroots activists from wide-ranging backgrounds, has been founded on the idea, and continues to believe, that the arc of history bends towards justice … but occasionally needs a little nudge. Therefore, we hope and expect that our fellow members of the social justice movement will join us in this comprehensive endeavor to create a greater Cincinnati.



  1. You wrote “There is clear evidence.”

    Can you please be a little more specific?

  2. Does it occur to you to post this comment and respond? Or do you realize you honestly have nothing to contribute to the issue other than some uninformed emotionalism?

  3. Stonewall–
    IMPACT Cincinnati is a firm believer in the importance of coalition building in order to further the cause of all oppressed and marginalized populations. While, as we stated, we did not appreciate the way in which Christopher Smitherman brought the issue of racism in the queer community to public attention, we nevertheless recognize that racism is something that our community must undoubtedly with if we wish to move forward. Likewise, we recognize the homophobia inherent in many sectors of the black community and hope to spark a dialogue in which both communities can begin to move forward collectively in an attempt to overcome both racism and homophobia/transphobia.

    And while it would be easy to merely criticize Smitherman’s statement without proactively looking forward to the future, we feel as though making strides towards building a strong relationship between all oppressed minority communities is the best and most beneficial course of action. We hope to work with Smitherman and the local NAACP chapter to directly address the ways in which racism and homophobia affect our communities and our place in society as a whole.

  4. You wrote “there is clear evidence.”

    Present it.

  5. Come on, Cameron: what is the evidence you say is “clear”?

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