Supporting a dozen (actually more) non-profits!

My major philanthropic work in the Kimer-Kamba Center in Kenya

I am a solopreneur diversity and career development consultant and trainer, and 2021 has been my best year ever. I truly believe that when a business succeeds, even a small micro-business like mine, I should give back to the community.

When I went back and looked at my financials, I saw that I contributed to over a dozen various and diverse nonprofits throughout 2021 in addition to continuing to give 5% of my gross billings to my community development work in Mtito Andei, Kenya.

So below is a quick summary of the various non profits I was proud to support in 2021 with links to the organization or a past blog I have published about them. Please do explore the links!

GROUP 1 – LGBTQ+ Diversity. Naturally since one of my core areas of expertise with my training and consulting is LGBTQ+ diversity, several organizations are in this arena
• The advocacy organization EqualityNC which helps assure equity and equality for all LGBTQ+ people in North Carolina
• Gay Sons and Mothers. I have recently been elected to the board of directors of this organization with the mission to collect, curate, celebrate, and preserve narratives that educate, inspire, and bring hope to audiences about the significance of this emotional bond. Earlier this year I published an interview I had with their founder Rick Miller.
Qnotes, which is the bi-weekly LGBTQ+ printed and online newspaper for the LGBTQ community in North an South Carolina.
• The Trans Justice Funding Project, which I highlight in my 2021 blog about taking action on the Transgender Day of Visibility.
• Naturally the LGBTQIA Center at Georgia Tech, of which I am a proud graduate. FYI I was Georgia Tech’s LGBTQIA alumni of the year in 2018.
• And locally, the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

The North Carolina Councils of Churches brings people to faith to together to address societal wrongs like racism, islamophobia and homophobia

GROUP 2 – Organizations with a focus on racial justice equity
• I continue to provide financial support both personally and through my business to the North Carolina Council of Churches. I have served on their board for two decades and am currently on their racial equity committee
• As a long time figure skating fan and now adult skater myself, the FSDIA – Figure Skating Diversity and Inclusion Alliance.

I applaud and support US Figure Skating’s fund to support figure skaters of color.

• In addition, I have supported US Figure Skating’s Mabel Fairbanks Skatingly Yours Fund, which financially assists and supports the training and development of promising Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) figure skaters with the goal of helping them realize and achieve their maximum athletic potential.
• The Justice Theater Project, (link to my most recent blog about them) whose mission is to produce compelling theater experiences that create community dialogue and give voice to social concerns.

Bridge II Sports provides many opportunities for people of all ages and disabilities to participate in sports

GROUP 3 – Serving people with disabilities
Bridge II Sports, a wonderful local NC organization that provides adapted sports programs for people with physical disabilities, both youth and adults.
Theater Breaking Through Barriers, a New York City based theater which produces shows featuring actors with a wide range of disabilities.

GROUP 4 – General philanthropic work. Since I do have clients in the state of Texas, I made donations to emergency food organizations in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas following their February deep freeze and power crisis.

Perhaps you can join me in supporting one or more of these worthy organizations in 2022!

Opening Up Communications Channels Through the Performing Arts

A poster depicting the JTP’s 2019 – 2020 season.

In the past, I have published a number of blogs about how the performing arts can help transport people from their daily lives to gain a better understanding of social issues and diversity. One of the organizations leading this work in my community is The Justice Theater Project (link to my introductory blog about the JTP.)

I am pleased to share that my business, Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer is supporting the Justice Theater Project by placing a full page ad in the 2019 – 2020 season program book. In addition, I serve on the JTP’s Community Engagement Committee which helps line up educational speakers and schedule area non-profits to present their organizations at the shows.

This season’s 2019 – 2020 theme is “From Monologue to Dialogue – Open Communication Opening Minds.” This theme was chosen as we head into our next Presidential election cycle at a time when the USA is facing unprecedented division along the lines of political parties, race, gender and socioeconomic status. This year’s productions demonstrate how characters falter when their minds are closed and how they rise when they approach difficult topics with open dialogue.

The season’s first production runs on the weekends from September 13 – 29, “Inherit the Wind.” This play is a dramatization of the true “Trial of the Century” when a schoolteacher is thrown into jail for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Revisiting this trial is quite timely in today’s world when an increasing number of people are proclaiming science (such as global warming, human pollution and impact on the environment, etc.) as “fake news.” Link to the full list of 2019 – 2020 productions.

Vanessa Woods, Author of Bonobo Handshake, will be our pre-show speaker on September 28th.

At the September 28th show, I will be introducing that night’s educational speaker, Vanessa Woods speaking on “Survival of the Friendliest: Evolution and What it Means Today.” Vanessa Woods, NYT Bestselling Author of The Genius of Dogs and Bonobo Handshake, is a most fascinating speaker and often shares about her research with the Bonobo apes of the Congo. At the September 29th afternoon show, I will spotlighting Other Sheep, a non profit of which I am the board chair, that provides resources to religious leaders in third world countries to promote acceptance of LGBTQ people.

Later in the season, I plan to deliver a short educational workshop prior to one of the shows on the complexities of effective communications in an increasing complex diverse world.

Please consider ways you or your business can support the work of the Justice Theater Project. Become a season subscriber or a sponsor. Details on the JTP website. And if you are one of my blog readers from outside the area, perhaps see if there is a similar theater company in your community, or perhaps consider starting one!