Unapologetically Black, Queer, Fat, Cisgender and Femme Collette Carter, born in St. Louis MO and raised in Jamaica ,New York, developed her community building principles while studying Theatre Arts at Hillcrest High School. She further refined her studies to African American drama and nonprofit management at Spelman College c96. After completing a Managing Director Internship at Actor’s Express in Atlanta GA, Collette moved to Oakland CA then returned to New York City in 1998. Where she joined the board of African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change (AALUSC) formerly Salsa Souls Sisters Third World Wimmin Inc, the nation's oldest lesbian of color organizations founded in 1974. While at AALUSC Carter worked in community to build infrastructure and re-engaged critical conversations on gender, gender identity and gender expression as ever evolving and how to celebrate these differences. In 2001 Carter joined the staff of the Audre Lorde Project, a community organizing center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people of color. In addition to having coordinated the Leaders Roundtable formerly The People of Color Steering Committee. She has served on the board of Southerners on New Ground, been general member of The Disability Justice Collective and co-author with Syd London, Janice Kroposky and The Diversity Council of Kean University Carter of a LGBTQ Curriculum Guide to ignite students and educators to become agents of change in their school communities. Currently she is the Director of BreakOUT!
Homegrown poet and outsider to both academic and spoken word orbits, blkcowrie ❀ is exploring Northern New Jersey and New York City’s vibrant creative communities to pick her path. This re*belle poet in bloom seeks the fertile to foment beauty, cultivate collective empathy, and conjure anew who we/i&i are. Nicole Oxendine, founder of RiverShe Collective Arts, approached blkcowrie ❀ about publishing her first book of poetry after reviewing her work online. blkcowrie ❀ is quirky, Black, queer, womanist, femme, disabled, poor and of size; as well as an intuitive butterfly mermaid scribe still wet from the chrysalis. From soaring cosmic contemplations to engaging frontlines of revolutionary community struggles to navigating permeability, love, pain, and healing of the self, blkcowrie ❀ and her pen move to the music of water and flowers as she wanders and wonders at the soul’s journey. Published twice in ESSENCE magazine’s back pages as a young teen and later becoming one of the featured poets for Poets & Writers’ 10th Annual Cross Cultural Reading, blkcowrie ❀ is honored to have attended 3 consecutive periods of the Cave Canem Foundation’s highly acclaimed workshop series for emerging Black poets from 2018 to 2019. Her poem "pushin' daisies" is published in issue 2 of Spoken Black Girl Magazine. Her poem "thots" is published in issue 15 of the literary gem cipher Apogee Journal. blkcowrie ❀ is also creatress of the #UbuntuPoetryPortal ("i am because we are") grassroots poetry marketing challenge initiated in 2021 for low resourced, conscious, emerging poets of color