How a Dundee-area nonprofit is supporting LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter movements
Unable to host its annual LGBTQ pride celebration due to the coronavirus, a Dundee-area nonprofit has found new ways to spread its message of love and diversity.
Roughly 100 "Let Love Lead" yard signs have been installed in East and West Dundee, with more on the way. Rainbow flags are hanging in windows and flying outside homes. Pride merchandise is available at local shops.
This year's efforts to raise awareness are especially relevant given the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to ban LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace, said Lindsay Combs, an ally and member of Pride on the Fox. But the organization felt it was equally important to back another timely civil rights movement centered around justice and acceptance: Black Lives Matter.
Pride on the Fox has pledged to give proceeds and donations to Brave Space Alliance, a black-led, trans-led LGBTQ center in Chicago dedicated to creating culturally competent resources and programming. The group has raised about $1,300 since last week, Combs said.
"While pride is really fun to celebrate every June, the root of it is protesting and advocating for diversity," she said. "There has been no better time than this month to go back to our roots and throw our support behind the Black Lives Matter community."
Pride on the Fox was founded in 2018 by Albert Diaz, Patrik Lindstrom and David Rich, West Dundee residents who wanted to provide a safe space in the suburbs for allies and members of the LGBTQ community to celebrate love.
With an '80s theme and a drag show, the third-annual event scheduled for this month had been slated to be bigger and better than ever before the COVID-19 crisis halted the group's plans, Combs said.
Still hoping to make a splash, Pride on the Fox started handing out yard signs to its usual business sponsors, she said. That's when organization members realized their support system was stronger than ever.
The recent events surrounding both the LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter movements have "really helped take it to another level where people who might not have been so comfortable before putting a flag or a sign up are like, 'I want to show I support this,'" Combs said. "They aren't afraid anymore."
Signs and merchandise are being sold at the River Street Shoppes in East Dundee and Around the Corner Candy in West Dundee. CRAFT Donuts + Coffee also has been selling special pride doughnuts to raise money for both causes.
For more information on how to donate, visit the Pride on the Fox Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.