There is a way that linking the voices of lesbians of color and their allies in a way that builds, empowers, and sustains vibrancy and community is overlooked and nearly invisible. Were it not for the powerful presence of Circle of Voices and its commitment to "dig up the roots" of the historical voices and the change making work of lesbians of color, our work, our sacrifices, our pain, our triumphs, our successes and our joys would go un-herald. Circle of Voices stands strong, steadfast, and committed that in their visionary work, lesbians of color do not fade into the ashes.
Each year Circle of Voices uplifts and honors the work of a lesbian and/or their allies through their "Diggin' Up The Sista' Roots" annual program. It is one of the most powerful events that exists in the community of women. It is a time and place where we gather as a body to bear witness to a comrade, a friend, a partner, and a fellow traveler on the journey receive recognition for their contribution to our community. I am one of the recipients of their citations and I can only say with great humility how deeply touched I was to be chosen. I am a practitioner of Eastern Medicine. Circle of Voices made me visible in the community of women and expanded my reach. Healing is the gateway to vitality and a huge need in our community. Circle of Voices opened that gateway and I am ever grateful. So often we are transformers in our communities because the needs are great and we answer the call to do the work. Although we are not working for recognition, that we are, builds character and strengthens our commitment. I thank Circle of Voices for all they continue to do to be the movers and shakers as they weave through the many challenges to keep "US ALIVE and HEARD." Thank you for creating space and holding space for us. We need you and cannot live without you!!!!!
Circle of Voices lives up to its mission of utilizing "ART" as a means of expression for a variety of community concerns from HIV/AIDS and Cancer Awareness to Renewable Energy and Social Justice. For years, COV has provided opportunities to foster a collaborative and supportive environment where all sorts of womyn artists and allies are affirmed and validated in the mainstream. This includes our multicultural multidisciplinary event, My True Colors Festival. In addition to serving as a point of resources, COV helped spread the word about My True Colors Festival, which included appearing on BRIC Live TV and moderating an artist talkback. COV is supportive of our mission in helping storytellers to be able to use their art form whether it film, music, stage plays, dance, visual arts, or spoken word to convey important issues of survival for LGBTQIA+ and diverse underserved communities. What’s more, My True Colors Festival's organizers bestowed its inaugural Pride Vanguard Award to COV Executive Director and Founder Jean Wimberly, who is considered a living icon in the LGBTQIA+ movement.