Who are we?
The Black Gay Men’s Network grew out of an Annual Retreat born from a discussion in 2002 between Phill Wilson, BAI's founder & CEO, Keith Boykin and Emil Wilbekin who wanted to get professional Black Gay Men engaged in the fight to stop HIV/AIDS and is now a program of BAI. "The Network" as it is today was created by and is now lead by a team of volunteers - we are pursuing the need to build the individual and collective power of Black gay men as resources to ensure the survival of the Black community. The Network is committed to promoting the active participation of self-actualized Black Gay Men in all aspects of community life. To accomplish this, the Network is made up of brothers supporting brothers coming together to create opportunities for career development, social connection, loving relationships, and educational outreach. The Network provides skills-building in leadership development, financial wealth, physical and mental health, and spiritual wellness.
How will we accomplish this?
Each man in The Network comes to self-acceptance and empowerment in his own way and in his own time. But each of us is invested in ensuring that the next generation of black gay men has the benefit of our wisdom, experiences and judgment to use for their benefit. The Network creates social, business and educational environments for Black gay men that engender pride and wellness instead of reinforcing clichés of objectification and dysfunction. The Network seeks to bridge relationships between private industry, public and private philanthropy and our black, grassroots, not-for-profit, community-based organizations committed to enhancing our civil rights, social justice, physical, social, and professional well-being. Accordingly, members are expected to add to the synergy of The Network by offering their unique perspectives, personal talents and professional skills in creating our new paradigm: gay black men supporting gay black men.