Who We Are
To provide a community space for and by same gender loving womyn across the African Diaspora, regardless of Language, Class or Culture; to be active participants in sustaining and growing our community; to be active in bringing awareness to, providing solutions for and shaping policy around issues that affect our community; to partner with other organizations in the community that share AALUSC mission, goals and values
AALUSC's vision is to ensure the spiritual, cultural, educational, economic and social empowerment of African Ancestral womyn and that our voice is represented in policy reform and decision making around issues that affect us.
Founded in 1974 as Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc., now known as African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change (AALUSC), AALUSC is recognized as the oldest LGBTQI+ organization in the nation providing resources and a safe space to gather to out same gender loving womyn.
The Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc Collective was a group for black women of color whom identified as lesbians. Due to internal conflict within the organization, it led to the disbanding of the Salsa Soul Sisters into two groups, Las Buenas Amigas (Good Friends) made for Latinas, and African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change made for African-diaspora lesbian.
Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc, an autonomous group of black and Latina lesbians offering its members a social and political alternative to the lesbian and gay bars, which had "historically exploited and discriminated against lesbians of color". It was born out the need for an inclusive space for lesbian women of color to discuss the problems and concerns they face due to their sex and color. Early collective member and activist Candice Boyce said that, at the time of the group's founding, "there was no other place for women of color to go and sit down and talk about what it means to be a black lesbian in America". The founders hoped to create "an organization that is helpful and inspiring to third world gay women" and to "share in the strengthening and productivity of the whole gay community."
The group was comprised equally of African-American and Latina American women and went under the name “Salsa Soul Sisters to highlight the fact. The name combines the Spanish word “salsa,” which translates to “hot,” with the black jargon “soul.” The organization met weekly under the leadership of Reverend Dolores Jackson, who operated a prison ministry for Third World Women. The group was also founded by Harriet Alston, Sonia Bailey, and Luvenia Pinson, Candice Boyce and Maua Flowers. The members ranged from about two hundred women in ages ranging from seventeen to fifty-five. The women attended to discuss ideas and topics and share experiences with women who share similar lived experiences or offered new viewpoints or perspectives. The group's activities ranged from “vocational workshops and seminars on handicrafts, art crafts and martial arts for street protection".
In 2015, AALUSC made the decision to close its doors due to the founding members and leaders wanting to move on. Understanding the herstory and importance of AALUSC, not just with black lesbians but in the LGBT community and movement as a whole, in 2017 a new generation stepped forward and tasked ourselves with keeping the AALUSC doors open.
Through this transition, we realized the need to restructure and reassess the way AALUSC engages the black lesbian community and is existing in this current society given that the need and concerns of our elders and the community in 1974 looks different from the needs of our community now and younger generations.