The Center is proud to congratulate Kaz Mitchell, Community Outreach Program Promotions Intern with the Lesbian Cancer Initiative (LCI), for receiving the Mabel Hampton Award at the NYC Black Pride Heritage Awards on Wednesday, August 15, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Kaz, a comedian, dancer and community activist, was honored for her work with LCI, as well as for serving as Director of Circle of Voices, Inc., which works to deliver positive messages through art, performance, seminars and workshops given by women of African descent and women of color. Kaz is a natural fit for the award, named after Mabel Hampton, an American lesbian activist, dancer during the Harlem Renaissance and philanthropist for both black and lesbian/gay organizations.
“It is so wonderful being honored by the community you serve,” Kaz said. “It is my duty to help make the change I want to see in one of the most diversified groups of people. When I was given the opportunity to speak up about the disparities and the many challenges of the LGBTQ community, outreach was my way of showing the love I have for all people!”
“We are thrilled to see Kaz recognized with the Mabel Hampton Humanitarian award,” said Carrie Davis, the Center’s Director of Community Services. “She personifies the spirit of the award through her work as an artist and activist, striving every day to meet the needs of the black, lesbian community. We salute her.”
Kaz and her partner, Jean Wimberly, were featured in GO Magazine’s 2012 Pride Issue article “100 Women We Love”, along with Wanda Sykes, Rachel Maddow and Gloria Bigelow. She was also honored in 2010 by the Lesbian AIDS Project (LAP) for making a difference. Kaz has opened for comedienne Mimi Gonzalez during Women’s Week and performed with Blak Out in Provincetown. In addition to previously serving on the Board of Directors for NYC Black Pride, Brooklyn Pride and the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Kaz was Co-Chair of Economic Development for former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Field’s LGBT Advisory Committee.
About NYC Black Pride
Started in 1997, NYC Black Pride is a five day multicultural event targeting the Black and Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. This year, Black Pride was held August 15-19, and featured an Art Culture Expo at the Center on Saturday, August 18. NYC Black Pride strives to support and raise awareness of local organizations addressing HIV/AIDS, heart disease and breast cancer. Proceeds from NYC Black Pride are redistributed into the people of color/LGBT community in the NYC area through Gay Men of African Descent, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. For more information, please visit www.nycblackpride.com.