Leading up to Accelerate.LGBT NYC, we are going to highlight a variety of awesome NY organizations that will be attending our event on November 2nd. Kaz Mitchell is the Director of Circle of Voices Inc. and was kind enough to let me interview her. Read on to learn about the work they’re doing to create change:
What’s the mission of Circle of Voices Inc.?
We are a non-profit Womyn of African Descent and Womyn of Color organization that produces multi-cultural events of an artistic nature as nourishment for the human spirit. We provide a creative arts environment where Womyn of all orientations can exchange information, her-stories, knowledge and skills amongst each other and the community at large through performances, workshops, music festivals and seminars that express issues that affect our environment.
What inspired you to get involved with Circle of Voices Inc.?
I was inspired after seeing the many challenges, health disparities and lack of opportunities for this group of LGBTQ and all orientation of women of African descent and women of color communities. I thought it was a good way to help this community to address so many issues through art. This particular group of people face so many biases so I wanted to help to make sure they had opportunities to culturally competent healthcare resources, preventative care, affordable health care along with some unique social experiences.
Ideally, what where do you see Circle of Voices Inc. in 5 years?
As a very success organization that serves a wide array of people and offers good paying employment opportunities. I could also see it as a service center and educational environment utilizing technology as a viable service, such as a marketing firm, social media company, graphic support or publisher.
How the climate around LGBT issues changed since gay marriage has was legalized in the US?
I think it allowed the reality of family and love blossoming among a group of people that was considered to be incapable of love to be complete. It allows people who invest in homeownership feel that they could leave a loved ones in a secure home and all the entitlements of marriage.
How has the LGBT community in NY impacted you? How would you like to impact it?
We are grateful to be in the best country and city in the world. We are fortunate to be so free unlike many others – to dare to feel the sky is the limit for a moment is awesome. However, having a reality check of working with the limitations of a small people of color organization and the many restrictions hurts our goals. If given the support and guidance we need, we can prosper to generate big business opportunities. Our minds are not small so why should we be suppressed if we are willing to attend trainings and open opportunities to the public? We should be inspired offering others hope through trainings then give back to the organizations that provide these same trainings.
Why are you excited about this event?
We are so eager to learn of the possibilities of what’s to come, how to create a new business concept among the artistry we experience, and to use many of the skills we have learned as corporate professionals, artists, writers and creative souls.
We were looking at other online events so when this opportunity came it feel like a confirmation that we were the right track.