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106Karibu House E-Newsletter Feb. 2012

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  • Amorie Robinson
    Feb 1, 2012
    Hello and greetings from the latest board of directors of Karibu House, Inc.
    New Board Cadre
    We are proud of our new cadre on the board of directors. They represent a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, professions, and generations, creating fresh ideas and renewed motivation. The board members are Dr. Kofi Adoma, Walter Washington, Pamela Alexander, Keisha Aminkia Watkins, Nkenge Browner, Aris Hoosier, Atiba Cohen, and Dawan Glover. Advisory board members remain as Dr. Fredericka Jackson, Charles Pugh, Belinda Smith, Michael Piper, Eric Hernandez, and Brandy Edwards. Together as a group, this board will keep the fires burning for a Detroit community center that LGBT's of color and their allies/families deserve to have. They have shown much dedication and promise, and they are not afraid to defend the need for such a space in the city of Detroit.
    A Revisitation Commentary by the Board President: What is Karibu House About?
    Since 1997, Karibu House has been providing a safe space in Detroit venues for healthy dialogue between LGBT’s of color across gender, gender identity, gender expression, and generation. This program is called “Co-Gender Rap.”  From these discussions come a stronger sense of fellowship, more commitment to community activism, and a richer sense of interconnectedness between LGBT’s of color in metro Detroit. The need for a community center in one of the biggest urban environments and the home of one of the first Black LGBT Pride celebrations in the country, becomes quite apparent during these powerful conversations. Space is a precious necessity for our community. We are reminded about how fierce and unique we are as LGBT’s of color and that we walk the path of our ancestors, a path they entrusted us with to make better than when they were on it. The founder of Karibu House, Clifford Weems, passed away only a few years after the Karibu House initiative was born. He died knowing that LGBT’s in Detroit will have a place where they can be themselves, enjoy quality services, express their creativity, engage in recreational activities, hold offices and meetings/conferences with their organizations, educate others about the culture and history of LGBT’s, and much more. If you believe in this dream like Cliff did, then think about getting involved in this process of building an institution that honors the historical contributions made by LGBT’s of color (Latino/a, Arab American, Middle-eastern, Filipino, Asian American, Native American, African American, Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Caribbean, Mexican American, etc.). It’s hard enough to be a racial or ethnic minority in this country without being LGB or T. There is power in our respective heritages, our roots, our ancestor spirits, and in our strength to confront oppression as a result of who we are. When we unite, it is even MORE powerful and amazing.
    The word “karibu” is Swahili for “welcome home, which is the goal of this grassroots organization to provide needed safe space for LGBT’s of color and their families and allies. This proposed community center aims to serve the entire state of Michigan and consist of comprehensive services and culturally-competent programming that empowers and affirms a greatly underserved Detroit population. It is a 501C3 organization and donations are tax deductible. Checks are made out to “Karibu House, Inc.”  To find out more details, please call the Helpline at (313) 865-2170 ext. 3. At Karibu House, we realize that everything is a process. Ours is one that depends on your help and support.
    Co-Gender Rap Discussion Sessions Begin This Month
    The announcement about the start of this year’s Co-Gender Rap is at the end of this email. We hope to see you at some of them. It’s a rare time to experience the company of like-minded brothers and sisters in an environment that is safe for us to be ourselves, and to engage in topics that we deem most important to us as an intersected minority group. Take advantage of this monthly time-limited supportive and affirming space that we can call our own. It begins Wednesday, February 29th at 6pm (see details below).
    Thank You Pariah Crew!
    The board wishes to extend thanks to those of you who were able to attend Karibu House’s attempt to bring the community together to view the film Pariah on January 22nd. The afterglow debriefing of the film was a great kickoff to the discussions we intend to have in 2012 about our selves, our identities, and our relations with others in our lives. We especially appreciated and were humbled by the sharing that occurred, and the excitement around our potential as a community doing more things together. The youth who attended from the Ruth Ellis Center were so amazed at seeing the large number of people who really cared about making their future brighter. We’ve got to do this more often! Let’s keep the dialogues going. It might inspire us to get more involved, and in learning more ways to love ourselves and others more deeply.
    The board also wanted to take this opportunity to thank the Kwanzaa Planning Committee 2011-2012 for an incredible 7 days at the Black LGBTA community Kwanzaa celebration this past holiday season. A special shout-out to those of you who attended the night that Karibu House hosted. Many of us were brought to tears as we witnessed the interactions between the children and the elders throughout the entire season, and the uniting of brothers and sisters. The celebrants vowed to make the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) a lasting practice throughout each year. Congratulations to Gina on getting her African name! Props goes out to KICK, Adodi, SPICE, Full Truth Ministries, Nkenge, Keys, and Aminika for hosting a Kwanzaa party and reminding us how much we need each other as people of color in the LGBT community. This is what community-building is about. You may contact the Karibu House Helpline if you wish to volunteer to be on the Kwanzaa Planning Committee this year, or wish to receive an African name during Kwanzaa.
    Gay Families First
    The board also wishes to extend kudos to Jay Kaplan and the ACLU staff, Equality Michigan, Affirmations, and the other organizations, allies, and supporters who stood up to the governor on January 18th. The rally attracted activists from all over the state, letting the governor know how unfair he is by banning health care coverage for domestic partners. Thank you for being there to represent our communities in this quest for equal rights for all.
    More Kudos
    Congratulations to writers T. Miller, Dr. Debraha Watson, Kai Man, and Victor Walker for their latest publications. Be sure to google their names to find out how you can get their books.
    SOGI Conference on Friday
    There is an all-day conference this Friday at Oakland University on “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues  in Education.”  You may go to their website for more information www.oakland.edu/sogi. The Ruth Ellis Center, PFLAG Family Reunion, and the Detroit Safe Schools Initiative are among a host of other groups conducting workshops directed at making educational environments safer for our LGBTQA youth.
    Ruth Ellis Center
    The Ruth Ellis Center is always in need of the community’s support. You can find out ways to help contribute to the sustaining of quality lives for our LGBTQ homeless youth by visiting the website at www.ruthelliscenter.org  Karibu House strongly urges you to consider a generous donation and to let others know about the Center’s needs. These young people are our future and your dollars will go a long way toward assuring them the safety and the other multiple needs they have in order to be successful. Thank you.
    Save the Date: 5k Walk for Ruth Ellis Center and Affirmations!
    There will be a fundraiser 5k walk that starts at Affirmations Center on Saturday, May 12th at 10:00am. More details upcoming. Meanwhile, you can go to www.getoutandlive.me
    S.P.I.C.E. Discussion Group
    SPICE’s upcoming discussion session for lesbian/bi women of color is Friday, Feb. 3rd at Affirmations, 290 W. None Mile in Ferndale, 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Food and beverages will be served. For more information call (313) 205-0594. SPICE meets every first Friday.
    Adodi Group for Black Gay Men
    The Adodi brotherhood began in 1986 and is one of the oldest national organizations for SGL men of African descent.  The Detroit chapter is very active and meets for discussions on first Saturdays of the month from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the KICK office, located at 41 Burroughs in Detroit 48202. Potlucks are held every third Sunday from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Their upcoming one-day retreat is on Saturday, March 31st. For more information call (734) 846-6545 or email adodidetroit01@....
    KICK Tea Party
    KICK-The Agency for African American Gays and Lesbians is having a tea party on Feb. 18th at the Woodward Bar and Grill in Detroit, from 3:00pm to 9:00pm. The cover is $10. For more information go to www.e-kick.org.
    Black Lesbians Fifty and Over
    The new support/discussion group for Black lesbians who are gracefully transitioning into their 50’s and beyond meet every 2nd Friday from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the private home of Fela Smith (former Karibu House board member). The meetings cover topics relevant to the aging process and include issues around self-care, family, romantic relationships, travel, retirement, eldership in the Black community, etc. and are potluck. Contact Fela for location and information at (313) 978-7918 or the Karibu House Helpline.
    PFLAG Family Reunion
    There is a support group in Detroit especially designed for the parents/families/friends of LGBT’s of color. PFLAG stands for Parents and Families/Friends of Lesbians and Gays (although this includes biattractional and transgender sons and daughters). PFLAG Reunion is a special organization in our community. Its role is to provide the support that parents often need to adjust to the fact that their son or daughter is LGBT or Questioning. Karibu House encourages you to make use of this group by referring parents and other relatives to attend, and to be present whenever you can in order to offer support and your own personal stories to the parents who attend. It meets every third Tuesday at 7:00pm to 8:30pm. The meetings are held at Fellowship Chapel, 7707 W. Outer Drive in Detroit 48235, a gay-friendly church pastured by the NAACP Detroit chapter president. For more information call (313) 286-8572 or email them at info@... and tell them Karibu House sent you. Kudos to Pamela Hilliard-Owens who is the president and one of the most diligent, passionate allies we could ever have in our corner!
    Unity Fellowship Church Bible Study
    The Detroit Unity Fellowship Church, a member of 15 LGBT-affirming churches around the country, has monthly Bible study on 3rd Sundays. You may call the Karibu House Helpline for location and more details. You may also visit the national movement website at www.unityfellowshipchurch.org
    Agape Spirit Life Ministries
    Agape Spirit Life Ministries, a predominantly African American Christian ministry, welcome you to join them on Sunday mornings at Affirmations. They are sponsoring a conference on May 18th. For more information about their worship service, classes, and other events call Rev. Darlene Franklin & Rev. Glenda Wyatt-Franklin at (248) 825-6149 or go to www.agapespiritlifeministries.org
    Whosoever Ministries
    This inclusive ministry has services on Sundays at 2930 Woodward at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary at 11:00am. For more information call (313) 259-0000 or go to the website at www.whosoeverministry.org
    Support for Middle-Eastern GLBT’s
    Contact our sister organization Al-Gamea for information about programs and events and to make referrals for adults and youth who are of Middle-Eastern descent: info@... or call (313) 427-3471. Information about women’s gatherings: women@...
    Detroit Latin@z
    Detroit Latin@z  is dedicated to serving the LGBTQ Latino/Latina population of southeast Michigan and beyond.
    First Friday House Music Parties
    Starting on March 2nd, Hotwaxx Productions, hosted by Joseph James, is having house music parties at Club La Vie (formerly Menjo’s), located at 928 W. McNichols in Detroit. For more information call (313) 909-9691.
    Nia Gathering-Retreat for Lesbians of African Descent
    The Nia Collective is proudly celebrating the Gathering’s 25th anniversary at Asilomar in California November 16-18, 2012. If you are a lesbian of African descent, you owe yourself this remarkable experience of national sisterhood. Go to www.niacollective.org right now and start saving up your pennies for this trip. If there is a Detroit contingent, perhaps plans can be made to travel together and save money.
    All-Black and Latino/a Orchestra Concert
    The annual Sphinx concert will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12th at Orchestra Hall, 2:00pm. Witness the musicianship of Black and Latino/a string, wind, and brass players, listen to classical music written and arranged by Black and Latino/a composers, and delight in the young people’s solo competitions. If you attend, you MUST get there before 2pm. Yes, they start on time (no CP time)! Tickets are only $12. Call (313) 576-5111 or go to www.sphinxmusic.org
    Karibu House continues to act as a referral for individual, family, and couples counseling for adults, teens,  and children, making sure the agency and therapists are LGBT-affirming and culturally competent. Be sure to call the Helpline number for assistance. If you are a mental health care provider who fits this description, please register yourself with Karibu House to help us make the appropriate referrals to serve the community. Any service provider needing cultural competency training relevant to LGBT’s, people of color, and/or LGBT’s of color can contact this helpline for information on where to find these trainings.
    Celebrate Black History/Herstory Month
    Yes, it’s the shortest month in the year and we’re not always happy about that fact. But go ahead and make good use of it by spreading the word that Black LGBT’s have made some of the greatest contributions to America. Attached to this email is the ongoing list that Karibu House keeps for you to use as a handout and to create discussions. As always, free to use it. It is updated periodically, so if you hear of any Black celebrities “coming out”, send it to us. We would like to start a similar list for Latino/a, Asian American, Middle-Eastern, and Native American historical figures.
    Karibu House is also trying to reach out to our Asian and Filipino LGBT brothers and sisters, as well as those in metro Detroit’s Native American communities. Please call or email us if you have any contacts in any of these communities. Thank you.
    Send in Your Announcements
    Karibu House realizes that there is much more going on in our community than what is listed here. Be included in the next e-newsletter by submitting your information to kofi48203@... by the last Friday of the month. The e-newsletter is bi-monthly. The next deadline is March 30th. Also, we wish to update our “A Resource List” directory of LGBT of color and other organizations in metro Detroit, so please respond to this email with the latest on your organizations’ information to be shared with the public. Attached is the latest one.
    A Final Thank You
    Our elders always taught us manners, to be thankful and to politely show gratitude. As people of color, we honor our elders and ancestors by demonstrating courtesy toward others. With that being said, the Karibu House Board of Directors express our thanks to you for being on our mailing list and for all the ways you show your support for our mission. We wish you a productive, loving, and peaceful 2012.
    In memory of David, Darren, and Leon. And yes, Cliff. Ache’.
    Karibu House, Inc. is a Detroit-centered, grassroots, non-profit, multi-service community center that exists to promote the positive mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being and identities of lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, and transgender persons of color.  (313) 865-2170  ext. 3
    The announcements above are a combination of information already acquired or created by Karibu House, requests to distribute information, as well as information gathered from other sources such as Facebook. Feel free to distribute. Apologies for any errors or inaccuracies made in this newsletter.
    If you wish to unsubscribe from this group, please send a separate email to kofi48203@... . Thank you.
    Karibu House’s
    Spring Season Kickoff 2012
    Providing supportive safe space for intergenerational and cross-gender discussions on topics of interest and importance to LGBT’s of color in metro Detroit since 1997.
    Wednesday, February 29th 
    ACLU Office, 6:00pm-8:00pm
    2966 Woodward Ave. (at Charlotte)  48202
    Light refreshments will be served.  Well-lit parking in rear and on side street.
    The remainder of the dates will be posted soon.
    We wish to thank those of you who attended the Pariah Movie outing on January 22nd
    For more information: Karibu House Helpline (313) 865-2170  
    Mission Statement
    Karibu House is a proposed Detroit-centered, grassroots, non-profit, multi-service community center that exists to promote the positive mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being and identities of lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, and transgender persons of color.