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Scott Ellis began as volunteer just wanting to help organize the great lakes bay area LGBTQIA+ community’s pride events. Today he is the executive director of the Great Lakes Bay Pride. Great Lakes Bay Pride (formerly known as Perceptions) is the LGBTQIA+ education, advocacy, networking, and resource organization in Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Regio…
 
You don't have to go into the old record vault and listen to Margaret Whiting's song to have those "Those far away places with the strange-sounding names " call you. Just tune in here and listen to our latest conversation with The Black & Gay (BAG) Collective​ founder/CEO Mike Henderson​ and you will hear the call. From national parks to places "Fa…
 
We first met at a past Esteem Award in Chicago. Ken Mejia Beal was a guest that year. This year he is receiving the award for Chicago’s Outstanding Service - Male. Ken is a community organizer and Chair of the DuPage County Democratic Party. As a long-time resident, community activist, and a leader in the financial sector, Ken Mejia-Beal has spent …
 
May is Lupus Awareness Month and we are honored to celebrate another Lupus Warrior. Diagnosed at age 19, Christina Hayes has more than survived her diagnosis but thrived becoming an advocate not only for other Lupus Warriors but for other social justice issues as well. Now in her 30's this mother advocates for paid sick leave with the Mothering Jus…
 
It should come as no surprise that young people given life without the possibility of parole sentences have been disproportionately Black and Brown. James Windell, the author of Sentencing Youth to Life in Prison: Justice Denied is an adjunct faculty member in Criminal Justice, a court clinical psychologist, and has more than 25 years of conducting…
 
Born and raised in New Orleans, LA Dr, Enchante Franklin is a Forensic Social Work Consultant, Community Advocate, and Author. She is dedicated to the art of prose, storytelling, and poetry through the lens of resilience. ´She served five years as a New Orleans Police Officer during and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. She earned a Bache…
 
At the tender age of ten, Mike Henderson first felt the urge to explore. Charting excursions on a city map each weekend got on the bus and explored another section of Los Angeles. On family vacations, he would hike and camp while dreaming of faraway places. Henderson has traveled to many places nationally and internationally but considers Yosemite …
 
Attending the annual Creating Change Conference has been a rite of passage for LGBTQ activists for over 30 years, We would come together, share ideas, make new friends, catch up with old friends and even find love. What’s happened to Creating Change in the time of COVID??? Pivoting to a virtual format in 2021, activists, organizers, and newbies wer…
 
“Alabama Grandson began as a series of letters Rev, Cedrick Bridgeforth wrote to his maternal grandmother. Although she died in 1989, Bridgeforth has fond and profound memories of her presence, the aromas in her kitchen, and the life lessons that rolled effortlessly from her tongue. This story intersperses the lessons taught by his grandmother but …
 
Emme Zanotti moved from Michigan’s city on the bay, Bay City, to southeast Michigan stepping out and stepping up as a DE&I specialist, community advocate, and political activist. After reaching out to Stand For Trans as a resource and to connect with others in the Transgender community she went on to serve as the board treasurer for many years. She…
 
Roland Leggett is smart, strategic, politically savvy, and a nationally recognized movement leader He’s worked as an organizer with the Obama for America campaign, with the Detroit Branch of the ACLU, Equality Michigan, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and former director of mobility initiatives at MoGo Detroit. He was a regional political…
 
Tracee McDaniel’s personal motto is “Show up and participate for equality.” She was the first trans person to deliver the keynote speech at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration march and rally. Tracee marched in Washington, DC, and lobbied in support of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and increased HIV/AIDS ho…
 
Originally from New Jersey Peirrce “Peach” McCoy now calls Delaware home. She is the LGBTQ Chair for the Central Delaware NAACP. She not only has a seat at the table, but she wrote the “menu” personally writing and delivering to the organization guidelines for the committee. I Am Me is more than the name of her non-profit organization. For Peirrce …
 
Bayard Rustin was an African American leader in social justice movements for civil rights, nonviolence, and gay rights. He worked with on the March on Washington in 1941, to press for an end to racial discrimination in employment. He later organized Freedom Rides, and helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Bayard Rustin wa…
 
Steph Turner identifies as a trans-spirit individual who is grounded in her own Native American heritage. After coming out in 1993 as transgender, she learned firsthand about needs when she was falsely accused and incarcerated for a crime she did not commit. No consideration was given for her gender identity and she was placed in an all-male facili…
 
Kim Ford is one of those people who always has something to say that is informative, inspirational, and transformative changes. She co-founded Kitchen Table Giving Circle. The non-profit provided philanthropic support to Black/African Descent Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer women-led projects and organizations working to improve the lives…
 
As we celebrate and thank our veterans for their service this Veterans Day it is so appropriate that we catch up with past guest and US Air Force Veteran Vanessa Sheridan. So much has happened since we last spoke with our guest Vanessa Sheridan. She has relocated back to her home in Minneapolis after leaving Chicago’s Center on Halstead where she s…
 
Nina Kennedy is one of those people that the more you know about her, the more you want to know. Our interview about her book “Practicing For Love: A Memoir” opened the door and today we delve deeper. Nina is intersectionality – a child of the South raised in the shadow of the legendary Fisk Jubilee choir, an African American prodigy in a white wor…
 
As the season changes from summer to fall, and we transition into the year-end season of giving here’s a playlist of interviews curated from past guests of organizations worthy of your consideration for support with a donation or even as a volunteer. They can all be found on SoundCloud or Blog Talk Radio on the Collections by Michelle Brown station…
 
What would it mean to codify Roe vs Wade? Is it time we stop this fight for reproductive rights and pass a law that would affirm a pregnant person’s right to an abortion without undue interference? In May, one of nation’s strictest abortion measures, banning procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy was signed into law in Texas and opened th…
 
How do you go from a casual deck conversation to building an organization that brings support and visibility to the LGBTQIA+ community? How do you plan during a pandemic and host the first-ever PRIDE celebration not in June but in October? Chris Kipp is a member of Macomb County Pride's board. He takes us on the journey from that conversation on Bo…
 
Pamela E. Alexander is no stranger to Collections by Michelle Brown-Blog Radio. Being of service to community is just who she is and something she instills in all everyone she meets. This Gold Star Mother, honors the life of her son SSGT Vincent J. Bell, supporting other military families and working with her daughter London Bell as part of the Bel…
 
What happens to a PRIDE celebration deferred? Deferred by a pandemic that has cancelled or made most of our community interactions virtual? June was eerily quiet without our celebrations, but our PRIDE didn’t diminish, dry up or go away. We just held on to our rainbow flags, marching shoes and even a little glitter to come roaring back for Ferndale…
 
Her name is Jackie Jones and let her tell you about her experience. Most recently, she was a Junior Account Executive at Van Dyke Horn, a Detroit-based public relations firm. At VDH, she worked on local and state-wide initiatives such as Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency, Marathon Petroleum Company, and the City of Detroit's Strategic Neighb…
 
CritterKin is a children's media property that uses stories and project-based learning programs to teach kids social-emotional and core communication skills. It is the brainchild of multimedia storyteller Jena Ball who has 25 years of professional writing and editing experience, 15 years of designing and teaching online courses, 13 years working on…
 
Mary Anne Adams journey began in Mississippi, passed through Michigan but she found her home in Atlanta. She is Federal Housing Commissioner Chair at the East Point housing Authority and President/CEO at The Adams Research Group. But most importantly she is the Founder and Executive Director of Zami NOBLA – The National Organization of Black Lesbia…
 
The Legacy Project was inspired the first time the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was shown at the National March on Washington for LGBTQ Civil Rights in 1987 to answer the question “Who would remember those who came before us when we were gone?” Some 34 years later The Legacy Project under the leadership of Executive Director Victor Salvo conti…
 
Linda Brincat is the co-founder of Get Out and Live and Get Out Bike, which goes on biking trips around the area. She is also the moderator of the group Artistic Women’s Entertainment. Her passion however is singing. She has been singing since her youth. She had a 6th-grade teacher who loved choral music and taught her students to sing in rounds an…
 
Robert Zurenko is a professional artist currently living/working in the Metro-Detroit area. He has multiple degrees in art and has spent his entire career in the creative field, making art, educating people, and trying to make art experiences more accessible for everyone. His passion for nature and harmony drives his work, and he loves connecting t…
 
Growing up on Detroit’s northwest side C. Imani Williams loved learning about Black culture. Books, cheerleading, softball, and was involved in other community-based activities. While living in Detroit Imani was the first full-time employee of the Ruth Ellis Center. She was a founder of PFLAG Family Reunion — Detroit Chapter and served on the board…
 
Connecticut is home for Edson where he not only lives but makes a difference in his community as Executive Director of the Triangle Community Center. Edson was born in El Salvador but has lived most of his life in Connecticut. Norwalk, He started with the Center as a volunteer serving on various committees and in different board positions until he …
 
Jennifer Miracle-Best has a passion for helping people to understand the intricacies of sexual and gender identity. Although some of her knowledge came from her studies at Central Michigan University and her experience as a member of CMU’s Office of Gay & Lesbian Programs speakers bureau and the Director of the LGBT Resource Center at The Universit…
 
A life-long resident of Wilmington, Delaware, DeShanna Neal is the founder of Intersections of Pride Foundation. ​ They are the co-organizer and creator of New Castle County's first ever LGBTQ Youth Pride Festival, as well as Delaware's first Drag Queen Story Hour. But first and foremost, she is a is a Black queer, mother. Her work into advocacy an…
 
Jena Ball​ has traveled the world telling, sharing, and collecting stories along the way. It was clear to her that people are hungry for connection. They need places to meet to comfort, console and encourage one another and tools that allow them to communicate and share ideas effectively. This has driven her endeavors and led to her most recent pro…
 
Its hard to believe that it’s been eight years since Kevin Terrell Heard founded the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce. In those eight years, he has grown, stumbled but mostly learned. In 2017, Kevin was honored as one of Crain’s Detroit Twenty in their 20’s for his work with the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce. In 2021 the Detroi…
 
Ryan O'Donnell is an activist who cares deeply about social and environmental justice. This Chicago native attended Howard University and is an endless well of talent. His wide array of skills makes him tend to enhance anything that he is involved in as he fights for justice including organizing to help refugees and connecting with animal rights an…
 
Originally from Detroit, Marlon Brown heard the call to “Go West Young Man” and that’s exactly what he did! Brown and his husband Dani Tirrell left Detroit and settled in Seattle. Marlon began Bessie’s Cakes named in tribute to his grandmother who was known in her family for making delicious signature cakes, pies, and cobblers. After years of conti…
 
You may know Debbie David as a visible member of metro-Detroit’s transgender community. You may know her from her days at the aahCapella Theater in the NoHo arts district in North Hollywood California. And if you are a Star Trek fan, you know her for her recurring role as Ensign Russell on both The Next Generation and Voyager series. Her career inc…
 
This daughter of Indian immigrants, desi diasporic, queer non-binary femme traces her roots across homelands that stretch from Manhattan skylines to New Jersey suburbs and mango trees that grow in India. Marie comes from a long lineage of storytellers and her creative writing explores the contours of immigrant family life, queer invisibility grief …
 
No victims here - A bond of love between father and daughter despite Lupus! Toya Oglesby has had a life saturated with love and support. She saw the effect Lupus can have on individuals and their families as a child. Her father had Lupus and passed away when Toya was twelve. Her sharing her life as a Lupus Warrior is not only a testimony to her per…
 
Instead of trying to say it all in one day, leaders from Michigan’s Transgender community and allies decided to host a six-day free online conference. The hosts of TRANSGENDER DAYS OF EMPOWERMENT will focus on understanding the journey Monday through Friday and on Saturday celebrate a Day of Decision, Declaration, & Doing by taking ownership of our…
 
Markita Moore believes in getting to the heart of the matter with music informed by life so it is no surprise that her spiritual path through music led her to a study of and work with Singing Bowls. She is also an accomplished musician. With her band “Elemental Meanings” she provided vocals and played guitar, trumpet, and tuba. Singing bowls are bo…
 
She's an internationally renowned concert pianist, an orchestral conductor, a spoken word artist, award-winning filmmaker, and talk show host and now Nina Gamble Kennedy can add author - Lambda Literary Award-winning author to her list of accomplishments with the publication of her memoir "Practicing for Love: a Memoir." Born in Nashville, TN, Nina…
 
Eddie S. Pierce Jr. received his Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree from Chicago State University, home of the world-renowned Gwendolyn Brooks Writing Center. Ten years ago he began Rainbow Room Publishing LLC, not just to provide an outlet for his own books, but to provide a voice for the diverse Black literary community. In addition…
 
Erica Monique Evans is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but now calls Dallas Texas home. Throughout her career, Monique has obtained industry experience in various financial lines of business She is an Advisor on the Gender Identity and Expression Advisory Committee, which is part of the PRIDE Enterprise Leadership Team at Wells Fargo. Monique is a…
 
Biodun Abudu was born in Rhode Island but comes from a Nigerian background. This entrepreneur, artist, designer, and author currently calls Manhattan home after spending several years in Chicago. His paintings feature his love of fashion, world culture, music, and his personal influences. Many of his designs reflect his love of Africa as well as ot…
 
Dr. Remolia Simpson has a passion for the welfare of veterans and travel. Both came as a result of her time in the military. She channels her concern for the welfare of veterans through her nonprofit organization – My Brothers House. My Brother's House is dedicated to providing safe, supportive housing and counseling services for veterans of the si…
 
Even before formally joining the staff of Miracle of Love as outreach coordinator, Mulan Montrese Williams was working with Orlando’s Transgender community. She opened her home as a safe-haven to trans sex workers, offering them condoms, bottled water, clothes, and emotional support. She also provided HIV testing after hours for those who could not…
 
Whether it is through the non-profit "The Gentlemen's Foundation", their restaurant "Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar" or visibility in the community Juan Smalls with his husband Gee are on a mission to give back to their community. Originally from California in 2007 he drove 32 hours straight and moved to Atlanta. He found an apartment after one mont…
 
Annamaria Salley had a vision in which she saw herself massaging someone in her backyard underneath a cabana with flowing white sheets. The massage table was covered in white sheets. She was wearing all white. She woke up and thought what was that all about. She got up and went to work going about her regular routine. But the dream haunted her. She…
 
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