FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE	             			  

July 28, 2000        

Ad Hoc Committee for Racial Justice

Contact:  Asha Leong, Communications Representative
Cell Phone 404-663-2742
Voice Mail/Fax (404) 978-1265 x2175

The Ad Hoc Committee for Racial Justice is a coalition 
of local Atlanta activist’s and organizations committed 
to challenging racism within the gay, lesbian, bisexual, 
transgender (GLBT) community.  The Ad Hoc Committee for 
Racial Justice formed as a direct response to the Hotlanta 
River Expo’s (HRE) cultural insensitivity regarding this 
year’s event.  The Committee wrote a letter detailing 
concerns about the theme and advertising for this year’s 
expo.  This letter was circulated locally in Atlanta as 
well as through the internet.  Less than two days after 
it’s release 19 organizations and 108 individuals had 
signed in support of the letter.  The Committee’s letter 
was written and distributed before actually having the 
opportunity to sit down and talk with HRE’s Board of 

On Wednesday July 26th, 2000 six representatives from 
the Ad Hoc Committee for Racial Justice met with the 
Board of Directors from Hotlanta River Expo.  The purpose 
of this meeting was to discuss the insensitivity of HRE 
2000’s theme “Year of the Dragon” and move into a 
constructive and collaborative action plan.  At the 
meeting the Committee made three requests of HRE:  

a) abandon the theme “Year of the Dragon” and its sub-themes;  
b) pull its full-page color advertising; and  
c) replace the advertising with public apologies for 
HRE’s racial and cultural insensitivity.  

We are pleased to report that the Ad Hoc Committee 
for Racial Justice and Hotlanta River Expo were able 
to reach a satisfying compromise.  Asha Leong Ad Hoc 
Committee member said, “I was pleased that the HRE 
board of directors were willing to discuss the issues 
and honor our requests. I honestly feel that both the 
Ad Hoc Committee for Racial Justice and
Hotlanta River Expo were able to both leave the table 

Since this year’s HRE is less than three weeks away 
the Committee conceded that it would be difficult to 
completely drop the theme.  Instead, the Committee 
and HRE will collaborate on the creation of an 
information sheet documenting the cultural insensitivity 
for distribution to all HRE 2000 participants.  HRE 
agreed to try their best to pull the last advertisements 
in local Atlanta publications (Southern Voice, David, Etc.).  
For those advertisements distributed nationally and those 
that could not be pulled, HRE agreed to try their best 
to add an advisory warning on the bottom of each 
advertisement.  This advisory warning, similar to those 
required for tobacco advertising will state “This 
advertisement could be considered offensive due to 
cultural insensitivity”.  In addition,
Stan Neil President of the Board of Directors of 
HRE agreed to writea letter of apology, which will 
be printed as a letter to the editor
in every media outlet used to advertise the event.   

The Ad Hoc Committee for Racial Justice are pleased 
with the resultsof last night’s meeting, and look 
forward to a continued collaborative
relationship with the organizers of Hotlanta River 


ad hoc committee  for racial justice - email
(404) 978-1265 x2175 - voicemail/fax