When the city of Philadelphia announced in 2017 that they'd adopted a rainbow flag that included black and brown stripes, they ignited a global debate. Many of us finally felt seen. Others felt the international symbol of pride had somehow been ruined. But the adoption of this flag is the result of what my guest today calls a 30 year conversation. Amber Hikes is the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia and she leads the team that initiated the move to a more inclusive flag. She says the eight-stripe flag is a way of demonstrating the city’s commitment to tackling inequality, discrimination and racism within the LGBTQ community. At the Mayor’s office for a city that is 44% Black, Amber fights for the most vulnerable populations within the LGBTQ community. From advocating for anti-discrimination legislation at the municipal level to the launch of a citywide LGBTQ Community Conversations initiative, she helps facilitate local and international conversations about race, discrimination and intersectionality. Amber is seriously impressive and our conversation stretches across the span of her life to understand more about what makes the woman behind the activism tick.
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