Executive Director's Address
Welcome to Unity Through Diversity: The Power of Unity, a national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People of Color Health Conference, hosted by In Our Own Voices, Inc.
IOOV is one of a few organizations nationwide that provides comprehensive services and is the only organization in our region with a focus on the health and wellness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People of Color (LGBT POC) communities. Since 1998, IOOV has worked to ensure the health and well-being of LGBT POC communities through advocacy & education, anti-violence programs, community organizing, social events, and support groups.
In 2008, IOOV hosted its first LGBT POC Health Summit and welcomed over 150 scholars, administrators, activists, and students. The summit featured presentations, workshops, and panel discussions on the importance of meaningful involvement of LGBT POC and vulnerable subpopulations on issues such as: policy development and implementation, physical and mental health concerns, innovative and effective intervention methods, and research that addresses and educates people about the health and well-being of LGBT POC.
Today, Unity Through Diversity provides a safe space for LGBT POC communities and our allies to examine health disparities and identify future strategies that can be implemented in our individual communities. It is my hope that identified strategies will serve as the basis for future funding, therefore strengthening our communities' capacity to develop leadership, combat oppression and marginalization, and effectively communicate our perspectives within the dominant and larger LGBT movement.
Again, welcome, and I look forward to engaging with you during this year's health conference and creating positive outcomes.
Tandra R. LaGrone
Executive Director • In Our Own Voices, Inc.