Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network

Meet the Fellow: Gia Banks Mizrahi

Based in Los Angeles, Legendary Mother Gia Mizrahi is a dancer, model, and activist who uses performance to ignite social change. She has performed for venues such as LA PRIDE, TransNation, and Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Since 2006, Gia has worked with REACH LA to link the West Coast House and Ballroom Community to both artistic platforms and HIV/AIDS-related services.

Meet the Fellow: Jennifer Barnes Balenciaga

A 28 year old revolutionary Woman of Trans Experience who has dedicated her life to working to ensure the meaningful advancement of gender equity and inclusion for all people of the trans experience. Barnes, a 7 year resident of the City of Atlanta is a originally from Hamilton, Ohio and holds numerous organizational affiliations, including as the Fem Queen runway member of the illustrious House of Balenciaga, a leading institution in the House and Ballroom Scene.

Meet the Fellow: Linda Montanez

Linda LaBeija is a multidisciplinary artist from Bronx, NY, whose work explores the complexities of living as a transgender woman of color in today’s America. With origins in both Black America and the English/Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Linda's transnational experience of living at the intersection of embodied, social, and national borders hones in on the critiques of hegemonic power. As a performing artist, musician and author, Linda's work intervenes with confidence, politicized anger, and grace into a symbolic and literal economy which would otherwise render her bound and gagged. Her work aims to create space for transgender and gender non-conforming people of color in the arts. Through workshop facilitation and communal performances, Linda uses her autobiographical work to create greater social consciousness around transgender issues. Aside from her work on the stage, she devotes her time working at the Ali Forney Center helping LGBT homeless youth. Her skills and experience have brought her to working with groups and organizations such as Afropunk, helping organize their first Trans Awareness March in 2015 and The Iconic House of LaBeija facilitating vogue and poetry workshops at schools, universities and juvenile justice centers. She has performed in various theaters and venues including The Cherrylane Theater, The National Black Theater of Harlem and El Teatro of Museo Del Barrio. She most recently completed her residency at BRIC Arts Media House playing the role of “Maybelline” in The Messiah Complex written by Nia Witherspoon and directed by Charlotte Brathwaite. She can also be seen in the feature film “Pariah” directed by Dee Rees. 

Meet the Fellow: Amazon Sen Ayané

Sen Ayané is an East Asian trans femme from Queens, New York. She was born on an island and longs to go back. Sen believes in a world ruled by femmes and knows that feminine energy is a unique power. She expresses herself through writing and is working to share her story soon. Sen hopes to connect and learn from others like herself through this fellowship and to use all the resources she has at her disposal to amplify the unheard voices within the trans and gender-nonconforming community.

Meet the Fellow: Jade Vogelsang Luna

Jade Dynasty Luna; member of the drag & pageant House of Dynasty, Mother of the Kiki Ballroom House of Luna. Is a community engagement specialist, organizer, advocate, activist, nightlife performer and producer of Indonesian descent based in Seattle, WA. Jade is an active nightlife gogo, drag artist and burlesque dancer. As well as a producer of several queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) parties and events consisting of BBQs, kikis, community dance spaces, performances, and support groups. In 2017, she was awarded a Gender Justice Celebratory Award for her work in Gender Justice and creating spaces that celebrate the trans womxn experience. In her community engagement work, Jade brings her history of struggling with homelessness and inter-sectional violence to her work in community with homeless QTPOC as a counselor/ peer support specialist. In March of 2016 Jade organized the first ever QTPOC centered homelessness forum and resource fair in King County, WA at Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets located in Capitol Hill, Seattle. The forum included 16 local LGBTQ, Homeless, and youth focused organizations as well as a panel consisting of all QTPOC youth and young adults who were currently homeless or formerly homeless. In her advocacy work, she has fought on a city and legislative level alongside organizations like the Gender Justice League, Youthcare, and the Mockingbird society against LGBTQ & Homelessness discrimination laws & policies. She continues to use her platform and voice to speak out about the unique violence trans womxn of color face as well as uplift the voices of others in her community.

Jade has thrown several balls and voguing competitions in Seattle. After having the opportunity of being introduced to Stephaun Blahnik and interviewing him on the only QTPOC centered radio show in Seattle "Lulu Nation" which sparked increased conversation about developing a ballroom community in the PNW. Starting with "En Vogue" a monthly ball competiton that ran for 2 events starting in April 2016. She continued her efforts to bring together her QTPOC community in a white/cis/het dominated city by collaborating with the DARQNESS Collective to include a few categories at they're party's within these collaborations brought out Skyshaker with QWEEN BEAT for a pride mini ball event in June 2016, "The Darqside of Pride". She followed up with a DARQNESS: Vogue competition that included a DJ set by LSDXOXO (QWEEN BEAT). In 2017 after being sponsored by the Gender Justice League to attend the 2017 "Creating Change" Conference in Philadelphia she expanded her networks and attended a few balls in Philadelphia during her time there further expanding her connections and knowledge of ball culture. In March 2017 she partnered with Diego José on developing a weekly All-House QTPOC Kiki which followed with collaborating on the Lunático Ball which ran with great success and now forming the House of Luna. She is constantly trying to expand her knowledge and experience of Ball culture so she can spread her knowledge to disproportionately impacted Trans Womxn of color. In September 2017 after joining the "Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network" Fellowship she has started a biweekly Potluck for Trans Womxn of color in an effort to bring together her community in the PNW. Her dream is to one day host a ball in the PNW that is specifically for Trans people. She looks forward to connecting more with other girls in the fellowship and continuing to learn and grow within ballroom. Her true passion IS community and family.  

Crystal LaBeija Organizing Fellowship

Fellowship opportunity for trans and gender nonconforming house and ball community members. Applications due on July 3rd! See below for more info.

To further the Black radical tradition of transgender leadership, the Crystal LaBeija Organizing Fellowship (CLOF) initiative will identify 5-10 transgender and gender non-conforming leaders in the House/Ballroom community, who will further the work of the KBCAN through social justice and ballroom-related activities.  

Fellows will work closely with KBCAN and House/Ballroom community leaders to identify, plan and implement social justice projects or build upon their existing work. Fellows will be expected to complete the fellowship requirements within 1 year.


- Must be an active member within the House/Ballroom community

- Must reside in the United States

- Have an interest in and/or currently working on social justice issues which impact the ballroom community (I.e. criminal justice, housing, gender equity, health disparities, economic empowerment, etc.)

- Completed application

Application Link: https://bit.ly/clofkbcan

For more information, please email us at KBCANetwork@gmail.com 

Vision: The Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network envisions a world where the house and ballroom community is liberated through unapologetic radical love, self-mobilization, and transformative healing




Resolve outstanding NYC summons warrants* on-site, without fear of arrest, for:

· Disorderly Conduct

· Consumption of Alcohol in Public

· Trespass (Violation)

· Littering

· Unlawful Possession of Marijuana

· Various Subway Offenses

· Urinating in Public


Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr., Office of Court Administration, Legal Aid Society, and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Bethel Gospel Assembly, Inc.

2 East 120th Street, New York, New York 10035

(between 5th and Madison Avenues)

HASA Community Town Hall Meeting

HASA Community Town Hall Meeting

Tues., June 13th at 4:30 PM

at The Center 208 W. 13th St. (Between 7th and 8th aves)

Join us for the next monthly community town hall forum led by HASA clients for HASA clientsRegister Now!

We will discuss key issue that matter to our community to make sure that we have access to housing!  We also want to learn what key issues and problems that the city should address to help support people living with HIV/AIDS. Join us for a community discussion on:

  • Housing Discrimination - "We Don't Take Programs"
  • Tips on Finding Private Market Apartments
  • and How to Better Advocate at HASA


WHAT:  HASA Community Town Hall

WHEN: Tuesday, June 13th at 4:30PM 

WHERE: The Center 208 W. 13th St. (Between 7th and 8th aves)

TRAIN:  A,C,E or the 2,3 Train to 14th Street

*Dinner and a Metro Card will be provided* 

*To confirm your attendance contact Jason Walker at 917-200-1153 or email Jason@VOCAL-NY.org*


Meet the Presenter

Meet Aubrey Moore Crawford, known by many as the Legendary Kassandra Ebony. The 26-year-old Brooklyn native's ballroom journey began at the age of 16 after graduating from Washington Irving High School. His consistent voguing, battling, and commentating state-to-state led to winning numerous Of-The-Year (OTY) Awards, over $10,000 in cash prizes within a 6-year time span, and being deemed Legendary in the ballroom scene. Kassandra’s love and passion for vogue has led to work Qween Beat Productions, Microsoft Airlift, Hood By Air, Jennifer Hudson, Bob Sinclair, Y-3, and Gypsy Sport. In his spare time, Kassandra gives back to the community by remaining active and teaching free vogue classes.


Meet the Organizer: Jonovia Chase

Jonovia Chase is an advocate and aspiring event planner within New York State. As a young community stake holder and leader within the House Ballroom and Transgender communities Jonovia continues to mobilize youth and Trans folks to raise awareness on health and wellness. More specifically, she aims to creating more voices for her community to unify and break systematic behaviors geared around stigma and the further marginalization of these communities.  Humanizing the lives of people of Trans experience is what one of her most deep heart felt values are. She remains hopeful that the work being done by many will continue to affect the change needed in the world.

Meet the Organizer: Jamal T. Lewis

Jamal T. Lewis is a multidisciplinary artist, cultural worker and writer living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Their work interrogates and explores identity formation, loneliness, ugliness, desire(ability), race, class, gender, and sexuality. Their work has been featured in The LA Times, BuzzFeed, TriBeCa, AFROPUNK, and various other distinguished media publications. They are currently in pre-production for their debut documentary film, No Fats, No Femmes; and, in their free time, Jamal enjoys sleeping, dancing, and laughing with friends.

Jamal is deeply invested in creating and archiving stories that expands and complicates Black history, specifically those of marginalized communities: trans, gender non-conforming, fat, disabled, and various other locators language cannot contain and hold. Put simply, Jamal is a Black faggot who won't hush his-her mouth.

Photo credit: Brandon Nicholas, The Each-Other Project

Meet the Organizer: Stephaun Blahnik

Stephaun E. Wallace, MS, MOL, is a thought leader, public health researcher, project manager at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and co-director of the University of Washington’s (UW) Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Community Action board (CAB), with a track record in developing, implementing, and evaluating major public health and human service programs in the areas of HIV/AIDS & STD prevention, care and treatment, in diverse, high-risk populations in the United States. Wallaces’ career highlights include Director of Programs/Deputy Director of the MOCHA Center, Inc.; Program/Training Coordinator of AID Atlanta, Inc. (where he co-founded the Evolution Center/Project); and Founding Executive Director of My Brothaz Keeper, Inc., and currently serves on several nonprofit boards, committees and coalitions, including maintaining active membership in national public health associations.

Mr. Wallace is a public health/social justice leader with more than 16 years of sexual/public health experience with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities and men who have sex with men (MSM), more than a decade of senior-level non-profit administrative and management experience, more than 20 of grassroots social justice/advocacy experience with LGBTQ/MSM communities, and a proven commitment to the illumination and eradication of HIV/AIDS and other health disparities via policy, research, education and advocacy. He has completed undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice, Masters of Science degrees in Management and Organizational Leadership, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology.

In the house and ball community (HBC), he is known as Stephaun Blahnik, Chairman/President of the House of Blahnik. Since 2000, Wallace has been an active part of the HBC, and has provided ballroom/life guidance and talent development for many ballroom superstars. Wallace has received several ballroom awards and accolades since being a part of this community; and has walked and won Best Dressed, American Runway, Face, and Sneaker vs. Sneaker in multiple regions of the country, in addition to having the honor of judging major and mini-balls around the United States. Wallace resurrected the House of Elite in 2000, and has been a part of the Houses of Revlon, Cavalli, Valentino, and now Blahnik. Wallace founded the Western New York Council of Houses, resurrected the Atlanta Ballroom Alliance, and has directly supported the Chicago, Carolinas, Kansas City, and the West Coast Ballroom Alliances over the years. Wallace also provides consultation to the federal agencies, and local and state health departments and organizations around the country on projects addressing the needs and issues of LGBT communities, especially those in the HBC. Additionally, Wallace co-lead the development of an intervention called Project VOGUE; which the 1st EVER CREATED research-based HIV prevention intervention focused on the HBC, utilizing community-based participatory research principles.  

Meet the Organizer: Timothy Tobias

Timothy Tobias, received a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Service from New York City College of Technology in 2011; shortly thereafter he attended Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College where he obtained a Master of Social Work. He didn’t’ stop there, in 2015 to further enhance his clinical skills and knowledge in social work practice, Timothy enrolled in a Doctorate of Social Work program at Capella University. Currently as a DSWc Timothy is infusing his coursework with vulnerable youth/young adults, particularly in the House Ball Community (HBC) to examine and explore innovative and appealing methods linked to engagement efforts heavily invested in overall health and wellness. Moreover, Timothy help to create the Health Outreach To Teens(HOTT) Youth/Young Adult Outreach Wellness Project at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. Currently as the project coordinator for the wellness project, Timothy’s responsibilities are aligned with coordinating and facilitating a team of staff members who offers HIV/STI screening and treatment, primary care, PEP/PrEP treatment information, risk reduction and supportive counseling services to youth/young adults in the HBC.

He is known in the HBC as TimPrincess-Lanvin, an influential long participating member and world renowned voguer. Through his outreach efforts as a project coordinator he realizes that traditional HIV prevention paradigms along may not often be fruitful in engaging youth/young adults in the HBC. In response, Tim decided to develop framework enabling a strong connection between the Youth/Young Adult Wellness Project and the youth/young adults of the HBC. Subsequently, Tim has been able to successfully use his unique approaches to effectively engage and encourage youth/young adults of the HBC to take a more overall wellness approach in accessing health care services. He also uses his ballroom affiliation as a platform by creating more culturally sensitive and affirming artistic intervention. For example, Tim along with Martez Smith combine their love for vogue, and role as social workers by developing an appealing intervention called Elements of Vogue Experience. Elements of Vogue Experience is an artistic six session-multidimensional intervention that uses the power and strength within the six elements of vogue as a therapeutic tool to help address commonly known life struggles among youth/young adults in HBC. This intervention’s ultimate goal is aimed at improving the quality of life while adding meaning to the lives of youth/young adults of ballroom.

Meet the Organizer: Jennifer Lee

Ms. Lee is dedicated to making an impact on the world by addressing health inequities, disparities and social determinants of health in disenfranchised communities that experience extreme poverty, economic inequality, limited social support and poor governance.  Through the lens of resiliency, community empowerment, advocacy/social justice movements, community-based participatory research, and a strengths-based approach, her research and work provides a pathway for individuals and communities to make changes through explicit aims at social and political change.  While addressing the social, cultural, political and economic determinants that underpin health, she also seeks to build partnerships with other sectors in finding innovative solutions.

Meet the Organizer: Jonathan Lykes

Jonathan Lykes is a Black queer artist, activist and policy analyst. He currently works at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), addressing disproportionality and disparities that affect LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth impacted by deep-end systems (child welfare, mental health, homelessness and criminal justice). He is the former artistic director of Performing Arts for Effective Civic Education (PAECE) Program at the University of Chicago, where he used interdisciplinary art and performance to help youth realize their roles as civically active members of the community who thrive toward the achievement of systemic change and social justice. Jonathan’s interdisciplinary approach to art, activism and anti-oppression work, merges policy change, artistic expression and activism. Combining these forms of social transformation—and harnessing their synergy—Jonathan works to create awareness, promote personal healing, surmount institutional barriers and generate systemic change. Jonathan’s current position as the Project Lead of the getR.E.A.L Initiative’s youth engagement plan at the CSSP, situates him to merge his multidisciplinary artistic background with public policy reform, community engagement and systems change work. Lykes is also a community organizer, currently serving as the co-chair of the DC Chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a movement of young adults using a black queer feminist lens to advocate for community and systemic change. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, where he also received his master’s degree from the School for Social Service Administration.

Meet The Organizer: Martez Smith

Martez Smith is a first year PhD student at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, he developed an interest in research and social justice work by way of the house ball community. His experiences as a member of the House of Evisu, now known as the House of Xclusive-Lanvin, led him to pursue education in social work (The Ohio State University '13, BSW; Long Island University Brooklyn '17, MSW). Currently, Martez is researching the impact of kinship on health disparities among African diaspora LGBTQ communities, and organizing for social justice with the Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network (KBCAN), which he co-founded in 2015.

Photo credit: Ajamu Ikwe-Tyehimba

The FREEDOM Ball: Keeping The Ki Alive Part 2




Just over a year ago, August 2015, we held the first ever Ballroom Symposium, entitled "Keeping The Community Alive." This year, in following tradition we are hosting an even BIGGER and BETTER event! The 2016 FREEDOM Ball is focused on raising awareness to the history and resilience of Black and Brown people all over the world. And more importantly, focusing on how we manage to survive and thrive, despite social injustices. On October 30, 2016, the Kiki Scene will show the world how we Reclaim the Narrative - how we tell OUR OWN stories... ON THE FLOOR!




School Girl and School Boy: Bring it ready to shake the room with a protest sign

Pretty Boy: Tonight we want you exude what it means to be pretty. The judges want to see you in the name of the ICON Prince's look to push the norms of gender expression.

Executive (MF vs FF): Black Wall Street

BQID: It is the year 2020 and you are the first woman of color to be elected President of the United States. Show us just how presidential you are with your attire and looks tonight.

Fem Queen: Bangy Cunt VS Neo Soul Nubian Goddess




Part I: Formation VS Rhythm Nation

Both Janet Jackson and Beyoncé have brought awareness to social injustice into the mainstream. Tonight, earn your spot to compete as a house with a tribute to Formation and/or Rhythm Nation movements. This should include unified movement in your choreography and a message of justice and liberation. Your production will be scored by the judges on a scale from 1 - 10 for each section on the score sheet (which will be released prior to the ball). The 2 houses with the highest scores will battle for grand prize.

Part II: A Family Affair

Each house will enter 7 people from their production to enter the battle zone. The 7 must have played a dancing role in the production in order to battle.




Did you know that 3 Black queer women founded the Black Lives Matter movement? Tonight, we pay homage to the Black women that have nurtured and cared for our community. In a team of three (3) bring it in one of our most popular freedom movements. The Black Panthers.


The Maasai is a tribe located in the country of Kenya. They are known for their longstanding culture and unique dress style. Show us just how beautiful Black and Brown skin really is. Serve carta in the name of the Maasai Warriors.



Show us how you’re #ReclaimingTheNarrative by giving us a Chant for Freedom



It’s a warzone in these streets and Black and Brown bodies are on the frontline. Bring it in a rogue soldier or militia inspired effect, showing your dedication to fighting oppression.



We’re taking it back to our roots tonight - before we were we colonized. Think tribal: animal pattern, furs, feathers, face/body paint, piercings, hair, embellishments!




2 trophies, 1 grand prize

Tonight is your chance to show the world what it truly means to #ReclaimTheNarrative. Africa is a huge continent with many cultures, traditions, & styles. Bring it in a look of African Royalty. And reclaim the narrative of Black Kings and Queens.


Information regarding tables will be released shortly.