allgo Celebrates 33 Years
The grassroots organization continues to serve QTPOC Texans
By Beth Sullivan,
1:25PM, Wed. Oct. 10, 2018
In 1985, a group of Latinx LGBTQ activists – tired of mainstream nonintersectional gay activism, but also turned off by mainstream Latinx activism that ignored LGBTQ issues – founded the grassroots orgranization ALLGO.
This weekend, more than three decades and a name rebranding later, allgo is celebrating 33 years providing invaluable resources to queer and trans people of color communities across the state.
In the beginning, ALLGO stood for Austin Latina/Latino Lesbian and Gay Organization and focused mainly on HIV/AIDS services within those communities. As demands changed over the years, though, the nonprofit evolved to include a more diverse spectrum of services. “We were able to move away from being primarily recognized as an HIV/AIDS organization and to focus on being a more holistic organization doing social justice, cultural arts, and health and wellness programming,” explains allgo Executive Director Priscilla Hale over email. With those changes came a shift in the org’s community demographics as well, signaled by dropping the acronym in 2005 for the more inclusive allgo. Hale adds, “It allowed us to be fully known as a queer people of color organization.”
allgo’s health and wellness program in particular has been a key focus of the organization (see “How Austin’s Queer Community Supports Its Own”), which Hale says has helped provide health and wellness activities to over 150 individuals and trained over 80 providers on working with queer and trans people of color since its 2016 inception.
In fact, allgo’s emphasis on promoting the physical and mental well-being of QTPOC communities was just one of the many reasons the nonprofit agreed to partner with the Austin Transportation Department for it’s anniversary celebration, in which the Yellow Bike Project and ATD representatives will be be on-hand with biking accessories and advice. As Hale notes, many community members rely on their bikes as a primary source of transportation while others bike for recreation and fitness – both uses fall under allgo’s approach to health and wellness. “It is an innovative way to bring our communities together in a way that we haven’t in the past.”
For Hale, allgo’s most significant landmark of the last 33 years lies in its survival alone. Hale explains, “Our biggest milestone has been that as an autonomous grassroots queer people of color organization that we have been able to continue to exist and thrive.” It’s a sentiment that translates well into allgo’s future goals, which includes expanding their board of directors and securing greater community involvement. Hale says allgo hopes to be around for “generations to come – therefore we want our programming and our capacity to deliver programs to grow so that we can continue to be a critical and vital space for queer people of color.”
Celebrate allgo’s anniversary Saturday, Oct. 13, 10am-1pm, with noms, biking advice, and bike accessories at allgo’s office, 701 Tillery.