In order to host our monthly speaker series, we created a Patreon where our readers can contribute to our Speaker support fund. We also publish all our donations and payments in a public spreadsheet. We believe in full transparency. If our goal is ultimately to protect, uplift, and prioritize the joy of Black and brown folks, the way we spend our resources should reflect that goal, specifically.

We hope that by being fully transparent about our meager funds (for which, THANK YOU to all of you who have filled those funds), we can expect accountability and transparency from larger, wealthier organizations as well.


Lyric Swinton

Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, Lyric Swinton is a proud 2020 first-generation college graduate of the University of South Carolina.

During her time at the University of South Carolina, she was the only undergraduate speaker at the inaugural TEDxUofSC and her leadership and innovation throughout her college career resulted in being honored as a 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar, UofSC MLK Social Justice Award winner, and a 2020 Caroliniana Award recipient. Currently, she serves as an Associate at CityBright, LLC, a South Carolina-based political and public affairs consulting firm as well as being the Co-Founder and Director of Engagement for Secure the Ballot, a nonprofit voter registration organization dedicated to registering and educating young voters in the South.

Sophonie Pierre-Michel

In her own words,

“My name is Sophie Michel and I am a climate activist and political organizer. Born and raised in New York, I am a recent graduate of the University at Buffalo and started organizing in 2019. I organize with a newly formed team called Strategy for Black Lives (SFBL). SFBL seeks to organize, educate, and engage communities to raise awareness of America’s history in the mistreatment of marginalized populations. Aside from organizing and leading protests across New York City and New York State with my team and other black/POC organizers, I work to bring in new members into the team and uplift team morale. Being apart of this movement means lifting liberated black voices and I am excited to be a part of the process! 

Deion Hawkins, PhD

Dr. Hawkins is an Assistant Professor of Argumentation & Advocacy and the Director of Debate at Emerson College. Deion is an expert in social marketing and Critical Race Theory (CRT); his current research focuses on (1) police brutality and (2) increasing authentic white Allyship. As a staunch social justice advocate, Dr. Hawkins is committed to using his educational privilege to uplift our most systemically disenfranchised populations. Thus, he has studied a myriad of topics including: HIV in the Black gay community, environmental racism in Flint, Michigan and advanced care directives for elderly Black populations. In addition to his research, Dr. Hawkins is a nationally award winning debate coach. Lastly, he currently serves as the Coalition Manager for HIV Racial Justice Now (HRJN) and is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) officer for Boston Health Care For the Homeless.

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