KBCAN

Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network

Filtering by Tag: Vogue

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: 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: 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