Sakia Gunn

Elizabeth Kaeton

The Reverend Dr. Elizabeth Kaeton first came to Newark in 1991 as Vicar of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and Executive Director of St. Barnabas AIDS Resource Center. She also worked for Bishop Jack Spong as Canon Missioner to The Oasis, a ministry of the Diocese of Newark with LGBTQ people and their families. In 2008 she moved to Delaware but the City of Newark at her people will always hold a special place in her heart.


William Courson

Bill Courson was born and raised at the Jersey shore (his hometown is Avon by the Sea) and relocated to and has lived in Montclair, NJ since from 1978.

A student at Brookdale and Monmouth Colleges in the the early 1970’s, he feels fortunate to have lived through and participated in a period of political activism and social and cultural ferment that witnessed the birth of the contemporary movement for LGBT equality.  Along with a handful of other lesbians and gay male students, he co-founded the Gay Student Union, the first LGBTQ group at both colleges. 

In 1986 he...

Amina Baraka

Born Sylvia Robinson, born 1942, in Charlotte, North Carolina – multi-talented artist (dancer, actress, singer/poet, and political activist).
Parents Ruth (garment worker) and James C Robinson were divorced when she was five. She was sent to her grandparents, Leona (domestic worker) and Patrick Bacote (construction worker). Sylvia grew up in Newark, New Jersey. She attended Arts High School where she majored in Art.
Sylvia early in life developed a love and respect for the working class and the labor union movement.
In 1960, Sylvia married Walter...

Kevin E. Taylor

Kevin E. Taylor is working on his greatness while he inspires you to walk in yours! He’s a noted author (JADED, UNCLUTTER, BECAUSE HE LIVES, IT’S TIME FOR SOME ACTION, ENVY: the darkest shade of green, GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING and MEET THE HENDERSONS). He’s a pastor (Senior Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church NewArk now and Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick for 12 years). He’s a writer and producer for television (22 years in television and more than 20 years running TaylorMadeMultiMedia (TM3), his own video production company. He is a lecturer/empowerment speaker, who has...

Janyce Jackson Jones

Reverend Janyce Jackson Jones, a prominent and respected leader in the community retired after 21 years of dedicated service to her church and to social justice in the city of Newark.
Janyce L. Jackson Jones served as Co-Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church located in Newark, NJ.  UFC Newark, is a member of the non-denominational Unity Fellowship Church Movement, a Social Justice Ministry that seeks to minister to all people, regardless of race, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
Prior to Co-Pastoring at UFC Newark, Reverend Jackson served...

Patreese Johnson

Patreese Johnson is a femme-identified poet. She is the youngest of four brothers and one sister, and she grew up as the youngest on the block in her tight-knit community in Newark, New Jersey. She is fiercely empathetic with a big heart. While incarcerated after fighting off a street harasser in New York City (a story told in the documentary Out in the Night), she received her GED and ran a support group for women who were survivors of domestic violence. Since her release, she has enrolled at Essex County Community College, studying for Associates degree in Liberal Arts. She has been touring...

Alicia Heath-Toby

C. Alicia Heath-Toby resides in Newark, NJ with her wife, Saundra ‘Honei’. She is the current board president of the Newark LGBTQ Community Center Board of Directors. In 1984 she received her Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross. After leaving college, she was given the opportunity to work with a team of black doctors and community activists on addressing the HIV and AIDS crisis for Black Americans; this organization became known as the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. In 1997, she joined Liberation In Truth Unity Fellowship Church (LITUFC) in Newark, NJ; a local church of...

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...

Darnell L. Moore

Because Darnell has written of his earlier life experiences elsewhere, this interview focuses primarily on his time in Newark. For powerful autobiographical reflections on growing up in Camden, NJ, see his two-part essay "Reflections of a Black Queer Suicide Survivor": Part I | Part II

Darnell L. Moore is a Senior Correspondent at MicNews, Co-Managing/Editor at The Feminist Wire and writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University.  Along with NFL player Wade Davis II, he co-founded YOU Belong, a social...

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...