Black Queer Power: LGBTQ Excellance and Influence in Philadelphia

today June 25, 2024my_locationVirtual Broadcast

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Begin June 25, 2024 H 4:00 pm
End June 25, 2024 H 7:00 pm
Location Virtual Broadcast

This special program in celebration of Pride Month 2024 examines the intersection of leadership, influence, and queer community and culture. Moderated by Ernest Owens, this conversation will highlight leaders who have broken barriers and challenged norms to occupy influential roles in civic life, government, media, arts, culture and more. The perspectives of LGBTQ+ leaders and influential figures will be front and center as we explore the experiences, expectations and challenges that come with leading authentically as an out and proud Black change agent. This special program is sponsored by Comcast.

Event Timeline

  • 4-5 p.m. Black Queer Power in Arts and Media
  • 5-6 p.m. Black Queer Power in Politics and Government
  • 6-7 p.m. Black Queer Power in Corporate and Nonprofit Sectors



  • Naomi Washington-Leapheart: Rev. Washington-Leapheart is a Black queer preacher, teacher, strategist, and justice advocate. She is an adjunct professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University and recently completed a two-year term as the Government Fellow for Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School. Rev. Naomi also serves as the first-ever Strategic Partnerships Director at Political Research Associates (PRA), a social justice research and strategy center that provides strategic insights and actionable research that identifies, disrupts, and competes with movements and institutions that undermine democracy, justice, and human rights. In 2021, Rev. Naomi founded Salt | Yeast | Light, an organization that develops spaces of spiritual education, disruption, reflection, transformation, and public action. Most recently, she has joined the national leadership team of Christians for a Free Palestine.
  • Eric Cole: Cole is a native of southern Maryland, but has called Philadelphia home for almost two decades. Eric has been an avid tennis player since high school and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated since 2013.

    Earning his Master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Temple University, Eric has worked in the field of higher education for over a decade. Eric has written for The Philadelphia Citizen and New York Strategist Magazine

    Honored as a 2024 Philadelphia Legend during this year’s Philly Black Pride, Eric proudly serves as the host and producer of the Hung Up Podcast, co-Host of HungUpPodLIVE, and recently, Eric has joined the WURD family as co-Host of UnPacking.

  • Malachi Stewart: Stewart is a Philadelphia native with roots in both south and west Philadelphia, is a dynamic figure who has spent the past decade residing in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area. After attending Drexel University, Malachi relocated to the nation’s capital, where he wears many hats. He serves as a community liaison, fostering connections between the DC Department of Health and DC’s Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. Additionally, Malachi is the host of “Positive Voices,” a government-funded podcast in the DMV region.

    Returning to his Philadelphia roots, Malachi now co-hosts “UnPacking,” a radio show on Philadelphia’s WURD 96.1 FM/900 AM. The show is a platform for discussing various topics, including life, love, community, music, pop culture, and more, with a particular focus on inclusivity, especially from the queer perspective.

  • Andre Carroll: Carroll is an organizer born & raised in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. He was raised by his single grandmother, is a proud graduate of Germantown High School, and understands what it means to grow up in a neighborhood that’s been left behind for way too long.

    Andre has dedicated his life to public service and has spent the last eight years organizing on progressive campaigns as both a staffer and as a candidate. In 2019, as the Campaign Manager for Nicolas O’rourke, Andre worked on the Working Families Party’s strategy to elect Philadelphia’s first third party candidate to City Council which proved successful with Councilwoman Kendra Brooks’ win.

    In 2022, Andre ran a competitive race and primaried a long time incumbent for the State Representative seat in the 201st House District (Germantown, Logan, and West Oak Lane). Andre garnered the support of over 43% of the voters and fell short by only 1,546 votes. Most recently, Andre served as the Senior Strategist on Councilman Isaiah Thomas’s successful Primary reelection campaign for Philadelphia City Council at Large.

    Andre has served as a substitute teacher in the Philadelphia School District for both grade school and high school students. During his time in the Philadelphia City Controller’s Office, Andre fought to diversify the hedge funds that oversee the city’s pension fund so that the people in charge actually look like and share the experiences of those whose financial future they’re deciding for. He currently serves on the board of The Brothahood Foundation, an organization that mentors incarcerated youth being charged as adults. 

    In April 2024, Andre won the democratic primary for State Representative in HD 201. He will become the next state representative in the district, making history by becoming the second openly gay State Rep in Pennsylvania’s history.

  • Icon Ebony Fierce: Fierce is a Philadelphia-based performance artist that has one mission: to change people’s perception of artistic expression one subculture at a time. Icon has a background in theatre, dance, and spoken word performance. Icon has been community organizing, curating events all throughout Philadelphia since 2012. Icon also specializes in burlesque, performance art, and drag. Their content includes body positivity, political/social issues, gender equality, etc. They are also a co-curator for festivals like Philadelphia Pride Festival, Ourfest, Phreak N Queer, Hot Bits Film Festival, Snatcherella 3000 and more things always centering QTPOC people with an alternative point of view. Icon is currently a board member of the William Way Community Center and the Youth Program Manager at Galaei.




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