Non-profit

Black and Pink

Website:

www.blackandpink.org

Location:

Omaha, NE

Tax ID:

27-3930676

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $459,895
Expenses: $377,991
Assets: $151,846

Formation:

2005, tax exempt 2016 as a 501(c)(3)

Type:

Far-left-of-center activism group for LGBT people with HIV

President/CEO:

Dominique Morgan

Black and Pink is a radical intersectional anarchist group demanding that the criminal justice system be fundamentally transformed by abolishing incarceration and criminal courts. The group “began as an explicitly anarchist project” according to its founder, Unitarian Universalist minister Jason Lydon. [1] Lydon also has written that the name Black and Pink “was chosen to represent the black flag of anarchism and the power of queer politics and experience.” [2]

Lydon founded Black and Pink in 2005 after serving six-months in federal prison for trespassing at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2003.  Black and Pink’s stated mission is to abolish the criminal justice system in the US and to free a group it calls the “LGBTQIA2S+” (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgendered, Intersexual, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited, Plus/HIV positive). The group does hold some more conventional left-of-center ideas on changes to the criminal justice system in the US including ending all pre-trial confinement, not arresting anyone under the age of 18 for any crimes, ending mandatory minimum sentences, abolishing life sentences, and ending use of the death penalty. [3]

Radical Views

The group has expressed support for “the abolition of prisons”[4] and for “clos[ing] the criminal court system,”[5] replacing courts with ill-defined “community‐based solutions to harm and violence.” [6] The group holds additional controversial views about reforming the prison system in the near-term, such as a desire to “Permit consensual sex between prisoners”[7] and to allow all prisoners to vote during their time behind bars and to retain their franchise from prison to release. [8]

Black and Pink policy recommendations are that law enforcement cease all stings designed to arrest those “selling sex,”[9] de-criminalizing prostitution, and ending indefinite commitments “for people convicted of sex offenses.” [10]

Founding and History

Black and Pink was created in 2005 by Jason Lydon and “began as an explicitly anarchist project, so the name – Black & Pink – was chosen to represent the black flag of anarchism and the power of queer politics and experience.” [11] Lydon is a Unitarian Universalist minister[12] who founded Black and Pink after serving six-months in federal prison for trespassing at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2003. [13]

Black and Pink’s stated mission is to abolish the criminal justice system in the US and to free a group it calls the LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgendered, Intersexual, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited, Plus/ HIV positive). The group’s website displays the text “WE FIGHT TO ABOLISH PRISONS” on the top of its homepage. [14]

Black and Pink has expanded since its founding in 2005 with small chapters in Albuquerque, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Providence, San Francisco, and Omaha. The group became a 501(c)(3) in 2016 receiving $176,565 in contributions and $455,641 in 2017. [15]

Notable funders of Black and Pink include the Tides Foundation, the Diller-Von Furstenberg Family Foundation, and the Astraea Foundation. [16]

“Coming Out of Concrete Closets”

“Coming out of Concrete Closets” is an 86-page report Black and Pink staff authored as an interpretation of a survey the group conducted. The 133‐question survey received 1,118 responses of the 3,700 prisoners elicited throughout the US, with the survey methodology mainly relying on written responses. The report focuses on LGBT prisoners who are HIV positive, and the writers of the report attempted to determine what factors caused the incarceration of the respondents. The report states that “we remain committed to the abolition of prisons” and desires to “Permit consensual sex between prisoners.” [17]  Black and Pink recommends ending Stop, Question, and Search policing, the prosecution of “Quality of Life” crimes, all stings designed to arrest those “selling sex,” and all “three-strike” punishment laws in the short term. [18]

Black and Pink’s report stated its intermediate goals as ending all pre-trial confinement, de-criminalizing prostitution, not arresting anyone under the age of 18 for any crimes, ending mandatory minimum sentences, abolishing life sentences and the death penalty. More controversial is the group’s recommendation to “End indefinite commitments for people convicted of sex offenses,” and to allow all prisoners to vote during their time behind bars and to retain their franchise from prison to release. [19]

The group’s long-term recommendations include abolishing police. Additionally, the report recommends to “Close the criminal court system,” the closure of all prisons and jails, and replacing courts with “community‐based solutions to harm and violence,”[20] which it does not define.

Projects

“Pen-Pals”

Black and Pink’s “Pen-pal” program has been in operation since 2005 and matches LGBT inmates with activists to communicate and receive support. [21] Black and Pink claims the program “help[s] prisoners deal with the stress of being incarcerated and feel accepted in their gender and sexuality, and the provision of resource lists as well as prisoner advocacy.” [22] It also aims to inform the public and legislators “about what prison conditions are actually like for LGBTQ prisoners.” [23]

Marsha P. Johnson Youth Leadership Institute

Marsha Johnson is said to be one of the founders of LGBT activism. Black & Pink’s program named in Johnson’s honor is focused on “youth age 14 – 19” to learn various information about the history of LGBT people, obtain leadership training, and receive “comprehensive sex ed programs and training” because they “don’t have the support of a parent or trusted adults to access to sex ed and Sexual Transmitted Infection (STI)/HIV prevention.” [24]

TRANSitions

This program works with Black & Pink’s Re-Entry Assistance Program (REAP) to provide formerly incarcerated LGBT people with housing. [25]

The R.E.A.P Program

This program helps formerly incarcerated people with housing, medical care, employment, and self-development training in the state of Nebraska. [26]

The Working Group

This Working Group claims to support changes to the criminal justice system by advocating solely for “all criminalized LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV (PLWH).” The group’s “shared goal of criminal justice reform through decarceration” is to be addressed through its advocacy of significant changes to the US’s justice system, immigration, juvenile justice, attitudes towards sex work, sex offense policy, and policy issues dealing with people’s post-incarceration. [27] This working group helped create, analyze, compile, and write the “Coming out of Concrete Closets” report and survey.

Leadership

Dominique Morgan is the national executive director of Black and Pink who claims to be an artist, conducts sex education, and youth development. [28] He served eight years in prison for multiple counts of car theft, writing bad checks, and other offenses. [29]

References

  1. “Our Story.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/our-story. ^
  2. “Our Story.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/our-story. ^
  3. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 8-11, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  4. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 6, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  5. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 8, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  6. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 7, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  7.   Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 10, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  8. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 10, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  9. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 6, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  10. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 8-11, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  11. “Our Story.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/our-story. ^
  12. “Greetings!” Rev. Jason M. Lydon, Unitarian Universalist Minister. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://revjasonlydon.com/about-me/. ^
  13. “Living the Faith.” UU World: Protests lead to arrest and jail for young UUs, by Donald E. Skinner. Accessed January 14, 2020. http://archive.uuworld.org/2003/03/living.html. ^
  14. “Black & Pink.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/. ^
  15. Form: 990 BLACK & PINK INC, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, 2017, Part 1: Summary, 8 Contributions and grants, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/273930676/12_2018_prefixes_27-30%2F273930676_201712_990_2018120715982238. ^
  16. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted January 17, 2020. ^
  17.   Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg 3, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  18. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg 3-11, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  19. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg 3-11, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  20. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg 3-11, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  21. “Penpal & Newsletter: Black and Pink.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/penpal-newsletter. ^
  22. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 58, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  23. Lydon, Jason, Carrington, Kamaria, Low, Hana, Miller, Reed,and Yazdy, Mahsa. “Coming Out of Concrete Closets: A Report on Black & Pink’s National Lgbtq Prisoner Survey.”, 2014, pg. 58, https://5a981385-bd18-4786-bbf6-4014ea5589c5.filesusr.com/ugd/857027_fcd066f0c450418b95a18ab34647bd15.pdf. ^
  24. “Marsha P Johnson Youth Leadership Institute.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/marsha-johnson-youth-institute. ^
  25. “TRANSitions.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/transitions. ^
  26. “REAP.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/reap. ^
  27. “The Working Group.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/working-group. ^
  28. “Team.” Black & Pink. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.blackandpink.org/the-team. ^
  29. Coffey, Kevin. “’Omaha Is Lucky to Have Him’ – After Homelessness and Prison, R&B Singer Became an Advocate for Others.” Omaha.com, November 7, 2016. https://www.omaha.com/lifestyles/omaha-is-lucky-to-have-him-after-homelessness-and-prison/article_d34851bf-e416-57c5-babf-0e438d50698b.html. ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2016

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $459,895 $377,991 $151,846 $24,055 N $455,641 $0 $0 $31,752 PDF

    Black and Pink

    6223 Maple St #4600
    Omaha, NE 68104