Collective Statement

For immediate release. March 4th, 2024

The LGBTQ+ organizations and the organizations that serve LGBTQ+ individuals signing below stand in solidarity with Celena Morrison-McLean and Darius McLean, who are our valued employees, Board members, and community stakeholders.

First, we want to update our communities that Celena Morrison-McLean and Darius McLean have returned home safely following Saturday's arrest on the Vine Street Expressway in Center City Philadelphia. We will now be turning our attention towards supporting them following the terrible abuse they suffered. We are grateful to the many community members and leaders who stepped into action to ensure that Darius and Celena were able to get home as quickly as possible and that their families were kept up to date.

While we await further investigation, we want to be clear: We believe that actions by State Police from the Belmont Barracks this weekend can be seen as yet another example in the long institutional history of over-policing and disproportional outcomes against Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ people, particularly Black trans people.

Our organizational leadership will be following up with both Governor Shapiro and Mayor Parker to ensure that our voices are heard and that Celena Morrison-McLean, Darius McLean, and our communities receive proper transparency and accountability regarding this traumatic traffic stop and arrest in the heart of our own city.

In solidarity,

Chris Bartlett
Executive Director
William Way LGBT Community Center
Marquita Bolden
Executive Director
Therapy Center of Philadelphia
Tyrell Brown
Executive Director
Ashley L. Coleman
Executive Director
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
Andre H. Ford, PhD
Executive Administrator
The COLOURS Organization
Michael Grosberg
Board President
John Jarboe
Founder and Artistic Director
Bearded Ladies Cabaret
Jasper Liem
Executive Director
The Attic Youth Center
Sultan Shakir
President and Executive Officer
Mazzoni Center
Le Thomas
Philadelphia Black Pride
Evelyn Torres
Executive Director
Action Wellness
Zach Wilcha
Chief Executive Officer
Independence Business Alliance