Tai Allen: Shedding the Stigma for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse in the #MeToo Era

Photo of Tai Allen by Taylor Flash
By Sharon Pendana 

Tai Allen is a multidisciplinary creative— poet, performer, music and event producer, graphic designer, to name a few of his many hats. He is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. His recently published chapbook, No Jewels: A Biography (of sorts) Writ in Stanzas, through revelatory poetry uses his violation and ultimate healing to illuminate the staggering statistic that one in six men have experienced sexual abuse or assault and offer hope that "pain and trauma do not need to be permanent. Love and contentment are better options.”

This Black, Female-lead Organization is on a Mission to Mobilize 1 Million Black Women & Dollars by 2020!

Glynda C. Carr (center) & Kimberly Peeler-Allen in discussion with Alexis McGill Johnson (Photo courtesy of Glynda C. Carr)
By Sharon Pendana

Since 2013, Higher Heights for America has been at the forefront of mobilizing America's black, female citizenry at every level of civic engagement— local, state and national— rallying black women to not only exercise their right to vote but to seek public office and claim a seat at the table to shape policy. Founded by friends Glynda C. Carr and Kimberly Peeler-Allen, who share a passion for justice and the potential black women hold to effect positive change in the American democracy, it's growing a network of members across the country committed to building a political infrastructure and power base for black women. 

Standouts both, Carr is the former Executive Director of Education Voters of New York, where she became New York’s youngest African American woman to run a statewide advocacy organization; and Peeler-Allen, from 2003-2014 helmed Peeler-Allen Consulting, the only African American full-time fundraising consulting firm in New York State. Poised for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, co-founder Glynda Carr spoke with Curly Nikki about Higher Heights’ coffee shop genesis, lofty goals and the indomitable power of black women at the polls and in elected office. 

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Honey on the Blade: The Artivism of Liza Jessie Peterson

Liza Jessie Peterson by Yoshinori Hashimoto
By Sharon Pendana 

Liza Jessie Peterson is an "artivist," her art and her activism conjoined. With a deep sense of justice, it is her Libran calling to balance its scales. "I’m an artist, but my advocacy is channeled through my art," she says. "Everything I write about, everything I perform is through that lens." Her decades-long entrenchment in the carceral system spans from making the trek upstate from her Brooklyn home to visit her jailed former lover to teaching incarcerated youths at New York City's notorious Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

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