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By Dawn Wolfe
FARMINGTON – With the addition of ten new members with a variety of backgrounds, the board of Karibu House has grown from its original three members to a total of fourteen – seven men and seven women, according to Karibu House President Kofi Adoma.
The growth has gratified Adoma, “I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that that would happen,” she said.
Karibu House, in existence since 1997, is a proposed community center for LGBTs of color in the city of Detroit. The organization has sponsored an annual kids’ fair at the Hotter Than July gathering in July for the past 10 years. Karibu House also holds a monthly discussion series, called a “Co-gender Rap,” on the first Wednesday of each month.
The following people are joining the Karibu House board:
Calvin Dishmon, a long-time activist and co-founder with Adoma of the Detroit chapter of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, which later became the James Baldwin-Pat Parker Society; Brandy Edwards, a member of Full Truth Fellowship Church; Lillian Frazier, an elementary school teacher; Dr. Fredericka Jackson, a clinical psychologist and member of the Association of Black Psychologists; Fox 2 newscaster Charles Pugh; Ava Rodgers, a singer and this year’s winner of the Gay Idol awards as well as a recipient of the Vami for black lesbians with an outstanding record of academic achievement; Fela Belinda Smith, a co-founder of the Lesbians of Color Over Forty; Thomas DeShazor, a former BTL writer and a former Ruth Ellis Center board member; Reynaldo Magdaleno, a staff person at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation; Walter Washington, a staff member at Community Health Outreach Workers; and Crystal Witt, victim advocate with the Triangle Foundation.
The new members are joining existing board members Adoma, Vice President Michael Piper, and Treasurer Jack Clanton.
Said Adoma of the new board members’ varied backgrounds, “We have board members who aren’t on a whole bunch of [other] boards. We need that.”
Mayor, City Council member to attend fundraising brunch
New Board members aren’t the only exciting thing happening for Karibu House. During an interview about the new board members, Adoma said that she had just gotten word that both Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Detroit City Council member Alberta Tinsley-Talabi will be attending the organization’s annual pre-Kwanzaa brunch. The Karibu House brunch is a fundraising event for the organization and will be held at the Le Cafethe restaurant on Sunday, Dec. 18. Karibu House will be accepting gifts of toiletries at the brunch to give to Simon House, a residential and social service agency serving women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Detroit.
The Karibu House pre-Kwanzaa Brunch will take place from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Dec. 18. Tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for children 12 and under, and include a southern-style meal, a Kwanzaa presentation, and entertainment by local performing artists including Agape Ensemble. Call 313-865-2170, ext. 3, for tickets or more information or send your check for tickets to P.O. Box 21578, Detroit, MI, 48221.