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.
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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
GRANDPRIZE: PERFORMANCE AS A HOUSE
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.
MINI GRANDPRIZE: FF TEAM FACE
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.
BUTCH QUEEN FACE
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.
COMMENTATOR VS COMMENTATOR:
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!
GRANDPRIZE: BUTCH QUEEN VS FEM QUEEN PERFECT 10s
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.