Officials with Dallas Southern Pride announced this week that they have cancelled Black Pride Weekend events traditionally scheduled each year at the end of September/first of October due to concern over increasing monkeypox infections in Dallas County.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of the wider community, as the transmission rate of monkeypox continues to rise, the Dallas Southern Pride Black Pride Weekend 2022 event planning committee, including Abounding Prosperity Inc., a health service organization, has decided to postpone its Black Pride weekend activities scheduled to take place Sept. 29-Oct. 1,” officials said in a written statement. “Dallas Southern Pride plans to reconvene by hosting a holiday themed weekend of events beginning Dec. 17.

“For 25 years, people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, especially those in the Black LGBTQ community, have trusted Dallas Southern Pride to provide safe and exciting Pride experiences. In the spirit of unity within the Black Pride community, Dallas Southern Pride still plans to support other clubs and promoter’s events happening in the city during its Black Pride weekend and encourages the community to celebrate safely by getting the monkeypox and COVID-19 vaccines before attending other activities during Black Pride Weekend in Dallas.”

Officials said Dallas Southern Pride leaders will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and other public health officials to “monitor monkeypox cases in Dallas County and nationally in consideration of its public events.”

Dallas Southern Pride is also working with Abounding Prosperity Inc. to ensure access to the monkeypox vaccine in an effort to “improve vaccine uptake among those who frequent Dallas Southern Pride events, especially those communities at the highest risk.”

Abounding Prosperity Inc. offers the monkeypox vaccines to eligible individuals at the HOPE Health and Wellness Center, 1619 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  Vaccine clinic hours are Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and each first and third Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., while supplies last.

Abounding Prosperity, again partnering with Dallas Southern Pride and HOPE Health and Wellness Clinic, recently launched the Monkeypox Relief Assistance Fund, with a goal of raising $50,000 to provide immediate short-term financial and supportive relief for people recovering from monkeypox, particularly those in the Black and Hispanic LGBTQ community in Dallas County. To donate, go here.

— Tammye Nash