What is Arawakan Inc?

The Arawak Peoples

Ararawak cave art

If you have donated to BCLA through our PayPal page or written us a donation check, then you encountered the official name of our New Jersey 501(c)(3) organization, which is Arawakan, Inc. The Arawak are a group of indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and northern South America and were the first to encounter Chrstopher Columbus on the island of Hispaniola, home to modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Why use the Arawak in our 501(c)(3) name?

The BCLA founders chose the Arawak as a cautionary reminder of what the world at large can do to minority communities who are not aware of or ready to navigate and fight back against powerful forces that would oppress and marginalize them. The Arawak were a peace-loving people with a rich culture who were largely exterminated by a Western colonialism that had no interest in the inherent value of their community - neither their people nor their way of life. The Arawak community is a lesson from history and a strong reminder to us today to make sure that the same things don't happen to the LGBTQ+ community.

Modern Arawak hut

You can read more about the Arawak peoples and their history, here at Wikipedia and at the online Encyclopedia Britannica.