KIN FOLKZ

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Lauded by the Huffington Post, and co-featured in the 2020 GLAAD award-winning documentary “State of Pride” Kin Folkz is a celebrated educator, human rights artivist, author, community organizer, and member of The Mills Performing Arts Advisory Council.

As the co-founder of The East Bay’s very 1st LGBTQIA+ Healing Arts Center, Digital Archive + Gallery, Kin and their collaborative of Oakland, California based QTBIPOC + Ally interdisciplinary artists and health practitioners – work with multiple communities and agencies to offer the global community creative opportunities for holistic wellness through culturally competent, accessible workshops, interdisciplinary art programs, innovative community-building events, and human rights advocacy.

During the pandemic, the Queer Healing Arts Center continues to offer financial support to marginalized community members, to distribute over 250 meals a week, to maintain a food pantry, to lead wellness circles, to support community members with housing, to offer skills-building + business workshops, to curate online art experiences, and to create public art-in-action installations – including the Bay Area’s longest street mural seen around the globe that proudly proclaims “All Black + Trans + Queer + NonBinary + Woman + Disabled + Imprisoned Lives Matter”.

As the founder of Spectrum Queer Media (sQm) – an internationally recognized Oakland based LGBTQIA rights, media, and creative arts advocacy organization formed in 2009, Kin promotes social justice, visibility, and voice for all marginalized LGBTQIA people and allies in the areas of intersectional justice, racial equity, immigrant rights, and holistic wellness via town hall conversations, art, performance, exhibits, screenings, workshops, and community actions.

sQm’s programming includes Kin’s Racism Under the Rainbow workshop series, which uses art as a conduit to bring both the conversation and practice of equity to the forefront in the LGBTQIA+ community. sQm also offers the Oakland Queer +Trans Open Mic – an internationally recognized weekly collective self-care healing arts circle. 

As a 54v y/o, GNC, Black Indigenous, autistic, activist, and parent with Lupus, Kin is a sought after diversity, inclusion, and equity workshop leader and panelist. Kin’s engagements include: Square’s Neurodiversity Week series keynote speaker; AfroTech’s QueerAfrofuturistik keynote speaker; UC Berkeley Intergeneration400 panelist; The Museum of the African Diaspora’s Queer, Black. Here panelist, WorkDay’s Pride Re-Imagined: Pride Community and Solidarity panelist; Walmart’s Trans Day of Remembrance keynote speaker; OpenDoor featured speaker; and NASA’s Black Heritage keynote speaker.

Kin, co-directs Omni: The Bi/Pan/Trans Women and Transmen of Color Network and is on the Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project leadership team. Kin, an Oakland Pride founding board member, created the Annual People’s Oakland Pride Creative Arts & Film Fest, the Oakland Pride Run, Ball, and Wellness Expo (celebrating its 5th year), and the Queer Art Crawl to celebrate LGBTQIA+ creatives. 

In 2018, Kin was awarded the Hear Me Roar Humanitarian Award, selected as the 2018 SF Pride Grand Marshal by an international community vote, and the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco issued a proclamation extending their highest commendation to honor Kin’s committed role as a valued community catalyst for evolved thought and action through the arts. On Sept. 4th, 2019, Mayor Libby Schaaf declared it Kin Folkz Day in recognition of Kin’s contributions to the healing arts and Kin’s role in upholding Oakland’s reputation as an art lover’s international destination city.

In Kin’s downtime, they read works by and about indigenous healers, expand their practice of their Choctaw and Fulani traditions, lead a house devoted to the genius of James Baldwin and Octavia Butler, compose music, and play West African drums.

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