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It has been a persistent challenge for LGBT people and LGBT people of color (POC) to create a truly inclusive and diverse community. This has been especially true with respect to African-American LGBT people, whose full inclusion in the LGBT community has rarely been more than an aspiration.
In that spirit, and in recognition of the imperative to invest in developing leadership and organizational resources in the African-American and other LGBT POC communities, Horizons Foundation partnered with And Castro For All to establish the Rickey Williams Fellowships. These fellowships recognize and support outstanding LGBT leaders from communities of color, while also supporting LGBT organizations that focus on communities of color. The awardees work directly with other professionals on a specific project that benefits the organization and provides measurable leadership skills for the fellow.
Beginning in 2009, the fellowships were awarded as part of the POCIBLE grant program.
2006 Rickey Williams Fellowships
T. Kebo Drew - Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project
For helping create an exhibition and panel of black lesbian filmmakers and collaboratively developing new fundraising models
Ryan Fuimaono - A&PI Wellness Center
For collecting oral histories of Pacific Islanders to be used for outreach, higher visibility, and better cultural competency
Zwazzi Sowo - Northern California Coalition/Black Freedom Fighters
For helping develop the new organization and create ongoing dialogue among black LGBT leaders
Vicky Valentine - Health Initiatives for Youth
For assessing HIFY's need for a policy/advocacy component, and identifying resources and strategies to be part of the organization's strategic plan