UROP Fellowship: DCERP
Research Mentor(s): Jerron Totten, Social Outreach & Legislative Advocacy Specialist and Curtis Lipscomb, Executive Director
Research Mentor Institution/Department: LGBT Detroit
Presentation Date: Thursday, July 29th
Session: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Breakout Room: DCERP Showcase
Hello, my name is Lillith Jackson, and my pronouns are they/them/theirs. I’m a Rising Junior who’s majoring in Asian Studies and International Studies.
I worked with LGBT Detroit, whose mission is to increase awareness of and support Detroit’s dynamic LGBT culture through education and advocacy with integrity and pride. LGBT Detroits provides education advocacy to organizations and communities regarding LGBT+ Culture and a safe space for black and brown expression.
My project this year was helping to put on the 26th Annual Hotter Than July Black LGBT+ Pride Event. Hotter Than July is the longest-running and second oldest Black Pride event in America. I was in charge of the Hotter Than July Testing Zones, where I led a team of volunteers partnered with 4 health organizations to provide free HIV, STD, HEP-C Covid-19 Testing, and Covid-19 Vaccines to the community.
Working with LGBT Detroit was terrific because I got to work on Hotter Than July and voter registration events and pronouns training with other outstanding members of the organization. These events put me in touch with other organizations and community members and opened my eyes to the diversity of people who inhabit Detroit. I realized that community work, especially in black queer communities, is about being on the ground and building a relationship with people. It’s making long-lasting connections that people can reach out to and lean on. And because of that, I’ve come to admire the resilience I have seen within these Detroit communities. This has been an unforgettable experience, and I will treasure the connections I made to LGBT Detroit and the immersion I got to experience in the queer community. Thank you.