Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: UK Black Pride and Wiki
UK Black Pride has announced its annual in-person protest and celebration event will take place in August at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.
This is the first time UK Black Pride – Europe’s largest pride celebration for LGBTQI+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American, and Middle Eastern descent – has held an in-person gathering since 2019, due to the pandemic.
The UK’s most iconic pride celebration joins forces with one of the UK’s most iconic venues.
UK Black Pride: Power at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/alVBP0kN19— UK BLACK PRIDE (@ukblackpride) May 25, 2022
Previously, UK Black Pride was held in Haggerston Park but with the last event seeing over 10,000 people attend, the gathering has outgrown the space. Before that, the event was held at Vauxhall Park in Lambeth but it outgrew that space as well.
The move to Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a marker of the event's continued growth.
The co-founder and CEO of UK Black Pride, Dr. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (also known as Lady Phyll) says: “Each year, we consider how – through programming, protest and politics – we can create space where our identities and our cultures can be expressed safely, in partnership with councils and venues that understand how important our communities are to us.”
“We have been wholly impressed by the team at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and their enthusiasm to bring LGBTQI+ Black people and people of colour together for our annual event at such an iconic venue,” her statement continues.
10 years since the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park became the hub for London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Park has attracted 6 million visits a year and has welcomed thousands of new homes and two new business districts.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Photo: Wiki)
Every year, the UK Black Pride team pick a theme they feel speaks to the current context of LGBTQI+ Black people and people of colour in the UK.
The theme for this year's event is ‘Power’ to honour “the power our communities continue to wield to ensure that our communities are defended and supported, loved and protected,” a post on UK Black Pride's blog reads.
Lyn Garner, Chief Executive of London Legacy Development Corporation, responsible for the development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, shared that the theme of power “will resonate around the Park where huge transformation for the better is being delivered by placing inclusivity at the heart of everything we do.”
Ultimately, Opoku-Gyimah emphasises: “We continue to demonstrate a collective power – a power that UK Black Pride recognises and wants to celebrate.”
UK Black Pride 2022 will take place on 14 August at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
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