Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, In Our Own Voices will be hosting its 11th annual Jazz in July fundraiser on July 22, 2018. The evening will be filled with live jazz entertainment and will consist of a VIP reception, live and silent auctions, refreshments and an awards ceremony in honor of leaders within the Capital District who have been committed to assisting with positive changes in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people of color communities.
Tandra LaGrone is the Executive Director of In Our Own Voices, which she calls, "a national nonprofit working to ensure the physical, mental, spiritual, political, cultural and economic survival and growth of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people of color communities."
LaGrone considers herself an activist, organizer and cultural critic. LaGrone previously was director of Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region, one of the country’s largest organizations for girl’s rights. She is a longtime advocate for HIV treatment in the African-American community, especially for women and young black men. The Albany native has worked as a domestic violence, youth, and LGBT advocate for over 30 years.
According to Lagrone, "In Our Voices' mission is to work for and ensure the physical, mental, spiritual, political, cultural and economic survival and growth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of color communities which includes HIV testing and prevention and services."
In addition, "In Our Voices seeks to develop and strengthen the leadership of LGBT POC in order to communicate our perspectives within the larger community effectively and increase their capacity for combating oppression and marginalization," says Lagrone.
In Our Own Voices grew from the efforts of three social action groups: The Feminist Action Network (FAN), Sisters and Brothers in the Life (SABIL), and the Gay Men of Color Alliance (GMOCA). Later, they were joined by the Social Justice Center. These organizations came together initially to encourage other human and civil rights groups to broaden their agendas to include the issues that affect LGBT people of color. Today, In Our Own Voices is an autonomous organization dedicated to addressing the many needs of the LGBT community.
For more information about In Our Own Voices or information pertaining to sponsorships, donations, or tickets for their upcoming Jazz in July event reach out to Dee Snape, Special Events Coordinator at [email protected] or Tandra LaGrone, Executive Director at [email protected]