Organizers of Pride events in New York City have announced new policies to address the presence of law-enforcement and police personnel at Pride events in a bid to create safer spaces for LGBTQIA+ as well as BIPOC community members.

In a statement released, NYC Pride said, “Effective immediately, NYC Pride will ban corrections and law enforcement exhibitors at NYC Pride events until 2025. At that time their participation will be reviewed by the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, as well as the Executive Board. In the meantime, NYC Pride will transition to providing increased community-based security and first responders, while simultaneously taking steps to reduce NYPD presence at events.”

The statement further explained, “NYPD is not required to lead first response and security at NYC Pride events. All aspects of first response and security that can be reallocated to trained private security, community leaders, and volunteers will be reviewed.” Explaining exactly how a cop-free Pride will be conducted, NYC Pride explained, “An increased budget for security and first response will allow NYC Pride to independently build a first response emergency plan using private security and provide safety volunteers with de-escalation training for first response when necessary. NYPD will provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials. In these instances, NYC Pride will review foreseeable NYPD involvement and, in partnership with surrounding venue precincts, take steps to keep police officers at least one city block away from event perimeter areas where possible.”

“This announcement follows many months of conversation and discussion with key stakeholders in the community,” said NYC Pride Co-Chair André Thomas. “We would like to extend our thanks to the Anti-Violence Project which provided invaluable advice and counsel to help us take these important steps. We are also grateful for the contributions of David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, Anita Dolce Vita, Owner, Creative Director, and Editor-in-Chief of DapperQ, Shijuade Kadree, Principal and Founder, Compass Strategies Consulting, LLC, and Devin Norelle, model, advocate, and writer for their guidance in helping to inform these changes,” he added.

NYC Pride also reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring greater representation for people of color saying, “The dedicated QPOC contingent of the NYC Pride March will be prominently featured this year and in future years thereafter. NYC Pride will also commit to increasing Black-led, Black-centered partnerships and establishing long-term vendor relationships with minority-owned businesses in an effort to uplift queer and BIPOC-centered organizations.”

Meanwhile this year USD 100,000 is being given as a part of the Pride Gives Back Grant to 18 organizations. According to NYC Pride, “40% of Pride Gives Back Grants in the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year are going towards trans and nonbinary-owned, womxn-owned, and BIPOC nonprofits and initiatives. Over the next 5 years, NYC Pride will focus its efforts on giving to Trans, 2-spirit, gender non-conforming/non-binary, womxn owned, and BIPOC nonprofits and initiatives and award no less than 30% of its Pride Gives Back Grants to these groups.”

The complete press release including list of recipients of the Pride Gives Back Grant may be viewed here.

This year over 50 Pride events are planned from June 14 to June 28. For more information please visit: *Feature image: File picture of New York City Pride Parade 2018, Manhattan and Greenwich Village, just outside Stonewall Inn. By Fulbert via Wikimedia Commons.