Home Nonprofit organization Brothers of the Desert Shows the Power of Community and Wins $1,000 Grant

Brothers of the Desert Shows the Power of Community and Wins $1,000 Grant


“As black gay men, we are powerful when we work together.”

“Seeing black men come together in social and educational settings sends a strong message and positive image to the community as a whole.”

“The power of brotherhood and the ability of black men to ‘get things done’ – we must continue to support our community and each other.”

These are powerful and moving testimonies from locals responding to a need that has existed in our desert community for decades. Gay black men have long been looking for an opportunity to meet, bond and help each other. It became a call to action and was later answered by the creation of an organization calling itself Desert Brothers.

The group’s seeds were planted in 2017 among a group of black gay men from the Coachella Valley — both desert pioneers and desert newcomers — who felt disconnected and isolated.

In 2018, they set out to seriously develop an organization to support the black gay community, and in 2020 Brothers of the Desert was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

“Our vision is to have a vibrant, vibrant and socially just community in the Coachella Valley where black gay men and our allies can thrive,” a board member said. Andre Carthen.

Rue Rob and Aignier

The non-profit organization provides many opportunities for black gay men to meet, network and reach out to each other to improve their lives in our valley. It is thriving, thanks to the many successful events the organization sponsors.

“We encourage and support through education, advocacy, social media, volunteerism, philanthropy and mentorship,” says board chair Tim Vincent. “Our goal is to change the dynamics that produce isolation, disconnection, and inequality among black gay men.”

Support and education are the characteristic principles of the involvement of the Desert Brothers in our valley. They host many events throughout the year, including one of their biggest outreach efforts – their annual Wellness Summit. This year, they will host their fourth summit, which will be held on November 12 at the Margaritaville Resort in Palm Springs.

“We call it “Our Pace, Our Power: Living Our Best Black Gay Lives”,“says Vincent. “We will be offering a series of interactive workshops and inspiring presentations. There will be opportunities to connect and meet new people while attending the workshops. Topics will include relationship considerations, mental health support, aging considerations, examining race dynamics, emerging health issues, creative expression, sexual health, spirituality and planning financial.

All are important and relevant topics and conversations to share. Vincent says they are also very committed to serving our desert youth.

Will Dean and Jase Nagaia walked the red carpet on the Brothers of the Desert's A Spring Affair on April 16, 2022.

“Since our organization, we have dedicated over $10,000 in scholarships to LGBTQ+ students and Black students in the Coachella Valley.”

It is for this crucial and powerful outreach and mission that the new nonprofit provides to our community that we award Brothers of the Desert our $1,000 grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Power of Community Family Foundation so that they can continue their passionate commitment to our valley.

Carthen says, “We need each other more than ever as gay African American brothers through support, love, communication, intimacy, and spirituality.

“All members of the community are welcome to attend all of our events, including our New Year’s Eve gala and fundraiser,” says Vincent. “We organize many entertaining and educational activities throughout the year. Please join us.”

Witnessing this inspiring awareness through such awe-inspiring advocacy and care exemplifies what the power of community is. This is what makes our valley so special.

Congratulations Desert Brothers – you have definitely answered that call first heard so many decades ago. And you “do” it beautifully.

Sandie Newton is an award-winning journalist who began her career in Los Angeles as the co-host of the nationally syndicated show “PM Magazine.” She went on to host numerous local and national shows like “Hollywood Insider” before becoming one of the original anchors of E! and a regular on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” In 2017, she moved to the wilderness full-time, creating and hosting NBCares for over six years, profiling over 300 Valley nonprofits. She is currently the host of “Desert Chat,” a new half-hour lifestyle show highlighting all the good people, events and news in the Coachella Valley, which will debut in September on KESQ and Fox 11.