"The more I do work in Black LGBT space, the more compelled I feel to debunk the myth that Black people don’t give and don’t invest in their own. Community doesn’t build itself. And if we want to create and sustain the resources that are for us and by us, we have to invest in them." -Kim McLeod, Founder of Elixher Magazine
TWITTER: @ELIXHERMagazine | DONATE TO ELIXHER'S DIGITAL MAGAZINE CAMPAIGN HERE!
Who doesn't love Kimberley McLeod ? Her work is everywhere right now, like here and here. Here too. She's the phenomenal founder of Elixher Magazine (elixher.com), Communications Director for the National Black Justice Coalition, a writer with features in Ebony.com and GLAAD...and the list goes on.
More than any of that, Kim gets a super-special shout out from bklyn boihood because she's been repping us from the jump. From calendars to parties and fundraisers--she takes time to sit down and put in work to get the word out about our work.
Thank you for your ongoing support + love, Kim!
So people tell you to give.
YOU SHOULD! GIVE!
But for queer people of color--people for whom historically money has not always been as readily available--donating can feel challenging or burdensome. We asked Kim a bunch of questions about fundraising in our community and she gave us great feedback (and food for thought). Before you read any further though, watch this video from her to us (and you!) that is very amazing and lovely:
From Kimberley McLeod, Founder of ELIXHER.COM:
The more I do work in Black LGBT space, the more compelled I feel to debunk the myth that Black people don’t give and don’t invest in their own. Community doesn’t build itself. And if we want to create and sustain the resources that are for us and by us, we have to invest in them.
The community has played a critical role. I feel like we’ve built ELIXHER together—from our contributing writers to community partners that continue to signal boost our work and our cause. ELIXHER is surrounded by loyal supporters that affirm and validate our existence. I’m so humbled by it all.
Black Lesbians United has been religiously posting about the campaign to their 43,000 plus Facebook followers. Jeanette, one of their organizers, is just incredible. Her unwavering support has meant more than I can express. I recently wrote about this amazing community of black sisterfriends that surrounds me. Jeanette is one of those. Before you can finish asking for help, she moves to action.
Some friends and ELIXHER contributors have organized “giving circles” with targeted fundraising goals.
Janet Mock has been such an avid supporter. She was our first funder and has been spreading the word.
Autostraddle recently did a feature on ELIXHER and the campaign. They’ve also contributed. GLAAD will be running an ELIXHER interview for Women’s History Month. Sistah Sinema and Say I Do! Wedding Expo have both partnered with ELIXHER to donate a portion of their sales to the campaign.
The list goes on.
It truly takes a village to raise money. And I’m so grateful to my village behind me.
When LGBT folks of color proudly say they donated and invested in causes they help model giving behavior. Sure, LGBT people of color might not have the means to give at the level of their white counterparts, but most of us have the means to buy that drink at the club or that latte in the morning. I want to be a part of radically shifting how we view philanthropy and supporting our own.
It’s about values and priorities. It was difficult for me as a person of color to even ask for help, to ask for people to invest in my project. There’s this culture in the Black community where we put up this façade like we have all our shit together and don’t need help from anyone. But we do. We need each other and that’s a beautiful thing.
(What's next for ELIXHER?)
This phase of fundraising is the first of many steps to make ELIXHER self-sustainable. At the tail end of the campaign, you can expect our DC launch. There will be a big unveiling of the digital publication. We’ll also be celebrating our 2-year anniversary. Brooklyn’s very own DJ Mursi Layne will be spinning and I encourage my Brooklyn folks to come out. It’s on Saturday, March 30 at Tabaq. Check out the Facebook event for details.
You can also expect the launch of ELIXHER Magazine in April. AzMarie Livingston from America’s Next Top Model is our Spring cover girl. We’ll also be undergoing a website redesign and opening an online store for merchandise.
I’m excited for this next chapter of ELIXHER. 2013 is going to be a big year for us and for our community. -KM
We love you Kim! We got your back and know for sure that thousands of dollars are headed your way. Thank you for your hard work. <3, the bois