Kysheif DeGraffenreid

Kysheif "Scooda" DeGraffenreid

Douglas Says

There’s an impressive résumé attached to the name Douglas Says, which includes working with a list of celebrity photographers such as; Mike Ruiz, Fadil Berisha, Alex Chatelain, Ghillian Lewin,  Marc Baptiste, Dah Len, Keith Majors, Anthony Barboza, Joe Grant, Ernest Collins, Martha Camarillo and Jerry Jack. It is often said by stylist, that Douglas Says… is one of the most important, yet under exposed designers around. Douglas is one of the undergrounds, best kept secrets! He’s a classically trained designer, with knowledge of fashions historical pass, yet firmly looking forward into tomorrow...

Jerri Mitchell-Lee

Reverend Jerri Mitchell-Lee is a native of Brooklyn, New York. As the daughter of a Career Army Officer she has lived all across the United States and has been a long time resident of New Jersey. Reverend Lee has a passion for serving and continues to do so as a health educator, mental health counselor, and workshop trainer within and outside of Unity Fellowship Church Movement. She received her education at Sterling College, University of Kansas, Rutgers, University of Medicine and Dentistry, Newark, N.J., Howard School of Theology (Sat. Program) and Newark School of Theology. Reverend Lee...

Rodney Gilbert

Rodney Gilbert (July 27, 1967 - November 8, 2017) was the founder and CEO of Yendor Productions, a Newark-based firm that consults, develops, and produces arts education programming and events. Yendor Productions was founded in 2003 to meet the challenges for the under served artists and communities. Mr. Gilbert has worked in professional theatre for over thirty years. He was a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he earned a BFA.  He served the arts community through acting instruction for various institutions and organization as one of the leading teaching artists...

Louie Crew Clay

Louie Crew Clay is a pioneering activist who founded the gay Episcopal group Integrity USA in 1974 and co-founded the LGBT caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1975, among numerous other achievements. In this interview, we focus on his life in Newark, where he moved in 1989 to teach English at Rutgers University-Newark. You can read more about his life and work in his most recent book, Letters from Samaria (2015), and his Wikipedia page, from which we take the following biography. See also Louie’s richly-documented website, as well as his online photo album, with an...

June Dowell-Burton

June Dowell-Burton is the founder and an executive board member of Newark Gay Pride, Inc., a LGBT community-based, volunteer run organization that works to enhance LGBTQ life by producing an annual Gay Pride Week and facilitating programming in Newark, New Jersey. The organization was recognized by the White House in 2012 and recently celebrated its Decennial anniversary in 2015. June became an Essex County LGBTQ advisor in 2011, working primarily on identifying issues, providing recommendations and guiding strategy for the County Executive. In 2010, June was vetted and hired as 1 of 23...

Peter Savastano

Peter Savastano was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey where he lived and worked for most of his adult life. He holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Society from Drew University. An anthropologist of religion, consciousness, sexuality and gender, Dr. Savastano is academically and personally interested in the role that religion and/or spirituality plays both for better and for worse in the formation of queer identity, subjectivity and practice. He is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Seton Hall University.

Both photos taken at Rutgers-Newark, 1971...

Arnie Kantrowitz

Arnold (Arnie) Kantrowitz, a 1961 B.A. alum of Rutgers University-Newark, was a pioneering activist for LGBT equality in the United States. He served as vice president of New York City's influential Gay Activists Alliance, founded in 1970 in the wake of the Stonewall uprising, and in 1985 co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in response to antigay coverage of the AIDS crisis by New York City tabloids. GLAAD, still today the leading advocate for fair and accurate representation of LGBT people in the media, counts among its early successes an effort to persuade New York...

James Credle

James Credle is the former assistant dean of students at Rutgers University-Newark, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, and a longtime LGBTQ activist. He has been founded and/or played leadership roles in many organizations, including the Newark Pride Alliance and Black and White Men Together.

Photo credit: Tamara Fleming

Yvonne Hernandez

Native born. Yvonne Hernandez is an actress, director and writer. Her plays have been produced and performed at The Manhattan Repertory Theatre and The Elektra Theatre in Times Square. She has written a book titled, Queer Monologues & Short Plays. The monologues and plays from her book made its debut at Alchemical Studio in the Upper Village in New York City. She is now working on her first novel. She performs at the annual Shakespeare's Sonnet Slam at The Namburg Bandshell in Central Park and she has a passion for ballroom dancing. Tango anyone?