Last year was an incredibly productive period for the Center for Culture, Sexuality and Spirituality (CCSS).
- Our webjournal reached tens of thousands of people in 113 countries, territories, and nations around the world with articles by activists, thought leaders, artists and healers such as Andrea Jenkins (poet, oral historian, and trans activist) and J Christopher Neal (visual artist, bi+ activist, and first bisexual grand marshal of the NYC LGBT Pride march).
- The Association of Black Sexologist and Clinicians (ABSC) named Dr. Herukhuti a “2015 Thought Leader” in recognition of his contributions to the field. He wrote a series of articles ABSC throughout the year and presented his work at its inaugural conference.
- Dr. Herukhuti worked with doctors and researchers at the University of Chicago on the Your Voice! Your Health! Project to address the interpersonal factors contributing to health inequities LGBTQ people of color experience by fostering more collaborative interactions between LGBTQ patients of color and medical providers through shared decision-making strategies.
- The Bisexual Writer’s Association named Dr. Herukhuti and his co-editor, Robyn Ochs, “Writers of the Year” to honor their anthology, Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men. Recognize also won awards in non-fiction and anthology categories as well as garnered an award for its publisher, Bisexual Resource Center. The historic anthology was also a finalist at the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Lammy Awards. CCSS organized book events for the anthology in Berkeley, CA, Los Angeles, CA and Philadelphia, PA.
- We organized a panel discussion at the International Conference on Masculinities with Steven G. Fullwood, co-editor of Black Gay Genius, and Dr. Herukhuti to discuss the nature of identity development, health, sexual assault, violence, living as male, family and liberatory struggle for social justice from the locations of marginality in a society of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist heteropatriarchy.
- Dr. Herukhuti presented a workshop on sexual health at a Men’s Health Fair and Conference at Harlem Hospital in Harlem, New York.
- Dr. Herukhuti represented CCSS at a LGBT Leaders of Color Summit in Washington DC.
- Lambda Literary Foundation named Dr. Herukhuti a 2015 playwriting fellow. He attended a week-long playwrights workshop facilitated by Cherrie Moraga at its Emerging Voices LGBT Writers Retreat.
- Campus Pride invited Dr. Herukhuti to be an educator-in-residence its annual Camp Pride where he worked with LGBT student activists, leaders and organizers as well as college personnel committed to LGBT campus justice issues.
- We held an emotionally moving, intellectually engaging staged reading of Dr. Herukhuti’s new play My Brother’s a Keeper (MyBaK) with actors DeShaun Gordon-King, Marc Anthony McDonnough, Kendra Holloway, Charles Curtis, and Atika Greene (stage directions read by Gabriele Montalvan Rosado) to a standing room only audience at New York University. The reading was co-sponsored by BiNet USA, FluidBiDesign, S.I.S.T.A.H., Bi Writers Association, BiRequest, LivingBi, In The Life Archive at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, BiUsTV, NYU LGBTQ Student Center, and Lambda Literary Foundation.
- We organized a panel discussion at Fire and Ink 2015 on thought leadership with panelist Andrea Jenkins, Nathan James, and Linda Villarosa to explore the practice, impact and ethics of thought leadership as writers.
- Dr. Herukhuti helped organize a bisexual public policy convening at the White House during Bisexual Awareness Week and contributed to the development of policy briefs in eight key areas of regulatory and subregulatory federal policy: data collection; education; employment and entrepreneurship; HIV prevention, treatment and care; immigration; mental health and suicide prevention; physical health; and violence.
- Dr. Herukhuti wrote “Absent Presence, Presenting Absence: A Review of Bisexuality: Making the Invisible Visible in Faith Communities” published in the Journal of Bisexuality.
- Dr. Herukhuti appeared on Huffington Post Live to talk about Black bisexual masculinities and bisexual history.
- We also signed onto several important appeals, petitions, and activist statements in support of sexual. cultural, and spiritual health, justice and equity.
- Dr. Herukhuti performed his poem “Dixie. Is We Somebody?,” a work of poetic response commissioned by multi-media artist, John Sims, at the NYC listening party for Sims’ album AfroDixieRemixes (see below).
And 2016 is shaping up to be a promising continuation of our momentum.
We are pleased to announce a new fellowship program at CCSS as well as our inaugural Creative Praxis fellow, Jordan L. Rogers. Jordan worked as a production assistant for the MyBaK reading at New York University. As a Creative Praxis fellow, he will continue to support the development of My Brother’s a Keeper through its next stages. Learn more about Jordan here.
Our fellowship program will offer opportunities to learn, work, and grow with us in the areas of culture, sexuality and spirituality. If you are interested in learning more about our fellowship programs, fill out the form below.
DR. HERUKHUTI NAMED TO ABSC BOARD
The Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians named Dr. Herukhuti to the editorial board of its journal, Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships. The editorial board also serves as the governing board of ABSC during its period of infancy. Dr. Herukhuti helped develop the focus of ABSC’s upcoming Pan African Summit on Sexual Wellness, Decolonization, and Indigenous Knowledge in Kigali, Rwanda. ABSC is currently accepting proposals for the summit. For more information, go to http://www.theabsc.com/rwanda-and-you/.
SACRED SEXUALITY PRACTITIONERS OF COLOR NETWORK LAUNCHED
In response to the need we’ve seen for sacred sexuality practitioners of color to build community, support each other and collaborative to grow the field, we launched the Sacred Sexuality Practitioners of Color Network. If you would like to join the network or are seeking to practitioners of color in the field of sacred sexuality, you can visit https://sacredsexualities.org/sspoc-network/ for more information.
CCSS STORE LAUNCH – JUST IN TIME FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH
We’re launching a new store CCSS Store for everyone who wants to funk up their swag with memes, quotes, and messages inspired through our work.
UPCOMING EVENTS – JUST A FEW HIGHLIGHTS
- PFLAG Queens will honor Dr. Herukhuti with the Brenda Howard Memorial Award at their annual awards luncheon on February 7th.
- Dr. Herukhuti will be a keynote speaker at the 2016 BECAUSE Conference in Minneapolis, MN April 8th-10th.
- We are planning a sexual empowerment retreat this year. Stay tuned for more details.
- For a complete list of events (updated regularly), please go to our events page at https://sacredsexualities.org/events/.
To stay connected to us and the work we’re doing, go to our website https://sacredsexualities.org/ and click the SUBSCRIBE button and receive articles from our webjournal and CCSS information as it is published.