As political and racial tension rises across the country, Black gay men are left to ask what it means to exist in our present social climate. Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI), a series of curated social events, seeks to provide an answer by uniting fearless Black queer men to organize and empower one another.

This fall, MOBI is curating a three-part development series for Black, gay and queer men in order to foster a sense of community. Events will take place in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Harlem, with the first event scheduled for Saturday, September 23.

“The concept behind MOBItalks was to create a space for our brothers to connect and have conversations about the path to success across various industries while being a Black gay or queer man,” MOBI Founder DaShawn Usher tells CASSIUS.

MOBI is creating safe queer spaces for us to empower our community—and help lift ourselves up.
 “We want our attendees to know what that journey looks like since we’ve never really had discussions about what is it like to be a professional Black gay or queer man and what are the challenges being yourself in the industries our speakers are in.”

Each talk will feature different speakers, with five central themes rounding out the series: Sexuality, Identity, Creative Expression, Self-Care, and Development. Speakers include film director Patrik-Ian Polk and Beyoncé’s longtime stylist, Ty Hunter. Activist DeRay McKesson was also recently added to the lineup.

In a time when America needs a constant reminder as to why the livelihood of Black bodies matter, MOBI fills a critical void in a nuanced and necessary way.

“I believe that it is important to come together as Black gay men to strengthen and take care of ourselves mind, body and spirit,” Native Son founder Emil Wilbekin, who’s scheduled to appear during the Brooklyn event on September 23, adds. “MOBI is creating safe queer spaces for us to empower our community—and help lift ourselves up.”

You can visit the website here and follow MOBI on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Check out the forthcoming MOBItalks events below:


Date: Saturday, September 23rd

Location: Ilan Rubin Studio

Time: 9am – 4pm

Speakers: Emil Wilbekin, Karamo Brown, Richard Brookshire, Jay Boogie


Date: Saturday, October 7th

Location: The Bronx Museum of Arts

Time: 9am – 4pm

Speakers: Rico Pruitt, Hari Ziyad, David Bridgeforth


Date: Saturday, October 21st

Location: 213 E 121st St

Time: 9am – 4pm

Speakers: DeRay McKesson, Ty Hunter, Patrik-Ian Polk

This story was updated on September 15, 2017 at 8:44 a.m. EST.