The Colours Organization’s mission is to impact, improve, and empower the lives of LGBTQ+ communities of color, especially those of the African diaspora, within the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.
With an intentional focus on holistic wellness and safety, intersectionality, and community mobilization, we strive to support and uplift the experiences of those too often left in the margins.
While Colours has been a staple support organization for Philly’s BIPOC and LGTBQ+ communities for years, we were originally founded in 1991 as a magazine. No matter what media we have used, all of our efforts have always been focused on helping the Philly community live better lives. We noticed huge disparities in healthcare, education, and emotional support within the community, so we became an official nonprofit resource organization in 1994. Since then, we’ve been educating our fellow community members about targeted issues like HIV/AIDS prevention, sexual health issues, and mental health issues.
We only took off from there; with funding from the city and the state, we have been sponsoring HIV/AIDS prevention workshops and events like our well-known “House Parties”. Made possible with funding from the CDC, another exciting innovation we spearheaded was the “Hot Tracks” HIV prevention hotline made available for LGBTQ+ people of color. As long as our community has needed us, we have continued to expand our services. We’ve founded many support organizations that tackle pressing topics like HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, sexuality, family relationships, discrimination, and other concerns that our fellow community members face. We’ve implemented case management services for those struggling with HIV/AIDS, and we have a number of youth targeting workshops and support groups. We’ve come a long, long way from our magazine roots!
But we didn’t stop there; we’ve made a name for ourselves and the Philly BIPOC community by participating in a ton of national community aid networks, such as Sexual Minority Health Coalition, The National Minority AIDS Coalition, The Sexual Minority Youth Center, Greater Philadelphia Adolescent HIV Outreach Prevention/Education, The Philadelphia EMA HIV Commission, The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, and the Philadelphia HIV Community Planning Group. Basically, we know what we’re doing, and we’re proud of the work we do. On top of all that, our staff members routinely focus on other community-based services, such as the LGBT Homeless Initiative, the Human Relations Commission Special Task Force for LGBT Issues, and the Police Liaison Committee. We always have and always will work day and night to meet the needs of our beautiful community.
Our Future Vision
Since the beginning, we’ve been helpers. We’ve been a consistent, solid resource for LGBTQ+ people of color throughout Philly for years. But it’s time to expand — others within our city need our aid. We are constantly seeking ways to open our doors and expand to the entire Philadelphia BIPOC community; we want to continue to be a pillar of the community and make more people feel supported, comforted, and loved each day. Colours has always been a place of support, but we also want to be a place of entertainment where community members can gather, socialize, and have a good time! No one should have to navigate through life alone, so we strive to aid our fellow Philadelphians as best as we can.