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Brooklyn, NY- April 16th 2011 -- Amidst a plague of recent hate violence in New York City, one neighborhood based organization has said enough is enough. On Saturday, April 16th the Audre Lorde Project’s Safe OUTside the System Collective will host the 3rd Annual Safe Neighborhood Summit- a one day conference to address hate violence in the Bed-Stuy community and create concrete ways to address it. There are over 100 community members, local business owners, and organizations expected to attend.
The media has reported on a recent trend of anti LGBT hate violence in New York City and around the country, but Bed-Stuy residents know that hate violence is much more than a trend. Of the myriad of victims of hate violence in Central Brooklyn: Rashawn Brazell, Roberto “Pancho” Duncanson, and Tiffany Jimenez are a few.
Collette Carter, Co Executive Director of the Audre Lorde Project states, “As Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color, violence against are communities is rampant, and what’s worse is that its normalized.”

The Safe OUTside the System Collective (SOS) began in 2005 as a response to these attacks, but unlike many other organized efforts to end hate violence SOS has taken a non-traditional approach by working with community members, businesses, and community institututions to prevent and intervene in violence through community based responses rather than relying on the police. One SOS member explains the risks in calling the police:

“In my area the cops don’t show up for hours if they do come at all. When they finally get there if the victim’s gay the police might say slurs or laugh at them, they might leave and not even take down what happened, or even arrest them instead of the attacker.”

Following the past two Safe Neighborhood Summits this year's Summit will focus on individual and community safety systems for Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Two-Spirit, and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color, including how to be an effective witness, how to prevent and intervene in violence as a small business, and how to interact with the police.

The Safe Neighborhood Summit has over 20 endorsers including: New York American Civil Liberties Union, The Center for Constitutional Rights, Malcom X Grassroots Movement New York Chapter, Kevin Powell, and more.

About the S.O.S. Collective: The Safe OUTside the System (SOS) Collective is an anti-violence program led by and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, and Gender Non Conforming (LGBTSTGNC) people of color. We are devoted to challenging hate and police violence by using community based strategies rather than relying on the police. SOS is a project of the Audre Lorde Project.

About the Audre Lorde Project: The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color community organizing center, focusing on the New York City area.