Windy City Black Pride (WCBP) hosted a series of weekend events at the Chicago South Loop Hotel, despite the cancellation of its July 1 festival.
Volunteers and organization members were honored at "Night of Serenity" June 29.
The social event had food, gift bags for attendees and karaoke later in the evening.
Nicole Scarver, co-treasurer of WCBP, explained that the event was to "pump [the guests] up" for the July 1 event in the park.
"We give them informational packets, gift bags to show them we are promoting safe sex, understanding, everything that is going on," she said.
She emphasized that the Night of Serenity was a "thank you" to all those who worked throughout the year for the weekend. According to event organizer and promoter DJ Craig Cannonball, many of the volunteers and attendees travel from outside the Chicago area, and the event was held to welcome them.
Lorraine Sade Baskerville was in attendance, promoting her book One Trans Woman's Spiritual Journey: Transcending into Womanhood in Phuket, Thailand. Baskerville also facilitated workshops June 30 as part of WCBP events.
Scarver noted that the weekend's events are open to everyone and suggested that Black Pride allows for more "hands-on" activities than perhaps other gay pride events in June.
"Every year when we do this it stands, to me, for unity, faith, trust, understanding and belief," said Scarver.