Community groups have praised UK Black Pride’s ‘important and uplifting’ work to empower LGBT asylum seekers and refugees at the seventh annual UK Black Pride festival which takes place on Saturday 18 August at the Ministry of Sound, London.

In a letter to the organisers of UK Black Pride, Erin Power, Executive Director of UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group –Britain’s leading charity for LGBT asylum seekers and refugees – acknowledged the large number of free tickets UK Black Pride has made available to enable the participation of this section of the LGBT community at the award-winning event.

Power said: “UKLGIG gives heartfelt thanks to UK Black Pride for the support and inclusion it offers to those refugees and asylum seekers who are often excluded from general LGBTQI community activities. The support we receive from UK Black Pride is very important and uplifting to our clients. We hope the day goes really well.”

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s European Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis, added: “UK Black Pride’s work to support LGBT asylum seekers is a critical part of the structures needed to empower some of the most vulnerable groups within the LGBTI community. The year-round contribution UK Black Pride makes to support asylum and refugee rights should be celebrated.”

UK Black Pride’s Executive Director, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, said: “As LGBT people and activists, many of us have roots in countries from where other LGBT people flee for the right to live with dignity and respect. Sadly, the journey to security and human rights is fraught with difficulties and discrimination across institutions and society. UK Black Pride is proud to continue support for LGBT asylum seeker and refugee sisters and brothers at this festival as we work to decriminalise homosexuality everywhere.”

In almost 80 countries around the world it remains a crime to be LGBT. In 10 of those nations, you can be sentenced to death or life behind bars. The UK Border Agency does not currently record separate statistics on the grounds on which individuals claim asylum.

The seventh annual UK Black Pride festival will take place on Saturday 18 August, at the Ministry of Sound, from 12:00-20:30pm. It will feature a main stage with live acts, supported by top DJs in a dance area, alongside licensed bars, world food, education welfare workshops, community stalls, prizes, VIP area and more. For the full line up of entertainment and to get your tickets visit: www.ukblackpride.org.uk

The main event will be followed by UK Black Pride’s after-party at Bootylicious, Club Colosseum, 1 Nine Elms Lane, Vauxhall, London, SW8 5NQ. For more information visit: www.bootylicious-club.co.uk

UK Black Pride is a not-for-profit community group led by dedicated LGBT volunteers. It won the Pink Paper Readers Award for Best BME Event and Stonewall’s Community Award in 2011 as well as being nominated for the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award in 2012.

UK Black Pride’s principle sponsors include: Stonewall, PCS, UNISON, TUC, NASUWT, GMB, Prospect, Proud, SERTUC and London Friend.

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