WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — D.C. Black Pride kicked off on Friday and organizers said they were expecting hundreds of thousands of people to show up for the weekend-long festivities.

Kenya Hutton, the deputy director of the Center for Black Equity joined DC News Now on Friday to talk about the events.  He said D.C. Black Pride began in 1991 as a way for the Black queer community to get together.

“Celebrate, and exchange information, especially during a time when HIV was impacting the community,” said Hutton.

Genise Chambers-Woods, an organizer for the festival, said having it is a way to show they have each other’s back.

“We all need somewhere to go to feel inclusive in a safe space,” said Chambers-Woods.

In addition to celebrating Black LGBTQ+ men and women, Hutton said DC Black Pride is also raising awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS.

The last day of D.C. Black Pride is Monday. If you’d like to learn more about the events taking place visit dcblackpride.org.