Minister Antionettea “Dreadie” Etienne has been in the fight against HIV/AIDS for over twenty years. She is currently a health educator for several programs at Iris House, Inc. Dreadie has represented her various communities (lesbian, incarcerated, faith-based, and Afro-Caribe-Latinx women community), and has been a chair/co-chair, board member, member, and advocate for Rikers Island Advisory Board, Rikers Island Consortium, New York State and New York City Prevention Planning Group. She was the chair for the New York City Prevention Planning Council and the chair for former inmates with AIDS at Latino Commission on AIDS. Her church affiliations are Unity Fellowship Church of Christ movement, Love Alive International, Convent Avenue Baptist Church, New Testament Church, and Metropolitan Baptist Church. Dreadie assisted in the development and implantation of HIV/AIDS and Prison Ministries.
Luna Luis Ortiz was born in New York City 1972. In 1986, he contracted HIV at the age of fourteen.
In the late 1980s, Ortiz was a part of the New York ballroom voguing scene; it was here where his creativity for the arts flourished. In 1988, he started as an HIV awareness spokesperson for youth living with HIV at the Hetrick-Martin Institute where he attended the Harvey Milk School. He has appeared on MTV, VH1, PBS, Telemundo, NY1, MSNBC, ABC, Time Out with Magic Johnson, Arsenio Hall, and Living in the Age of AIDS with Peter Jennings.
His public speaking engagements include New York University, Cornell University, Penn State University, Yale University, Jersey City Museum, the Whitney Museum for American Art, the Queens Museum, Museum of the City of New York, and the American Folk Art Museum
He has shown his work at the Boston Center of the Arts, the Whitney Museum for American Art, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the New Museum, Eternal Gallery in Paris, France, the LGBT Center/Bureau of General Services Queer Division, and the Annual Global Pride Art Exhibition at Clifford Chance.
In 2007, Ortiz worked on the Gay Men’s Health Crisis’ GLAAD award-winning I Love My Boo campaign, as well as youth workshops, Kiki balls, conferences, and health fairs. He plans a committee of house and ball members for the annual Latex Ball. He is the father of the House of Khan, for which he guides and supports young people from the LGBTQIA+ experience with love, compassion, and care.
Pamela Sneed is a New York-based poet, writer, performer, and visual artist, author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery, KONG and Other Works, Sweet Dreams, two chaplets, Gift by Belladonna and Black Panther; Funeral Diva (City Lights, 2020), winner of the 2021 Lambda Lesbian Poetry Award; and the chapbook If the Capitol Rioters Had Been Black (F magazine and Motherbox Gallery, 2021). She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Hyperallergic, and on the cover of New York Magazine. She is online faculty in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) low-res MFA program teaching Human Rights and Writing Art and has been a visiting artist at SAIC in the program for five years. She also teaches new genres at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
She has performed at the Whitney Museum for American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Poetry Project, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the High Line, the New Museum, MoMA, the Broad Museum, the Toronto Biennale, and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art. She delivered the closing keynote for the Artists/Designers/Citizens Conference, a North American component of the Venice Biennale at SAIC. She appeared in Nikki Giovanni’s The 100 Best African American Poems, and was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry.
She has published in the Brooklyn Rail, Artforum, the Paris Review, Frieze, Harper's Bazaar, and the New York Times. In 2021, She was a finalist for New York Theater Workshop’s Golden Harris Award. In 2021, she was a panelist for David Zwirner’s More Life exhibit, and has spoken at Bard Center for Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon Parks Foundation, Columbia University, the New School, and NYU’s Center for Humanities.
Lee Soulja was born in New York City and raised in the Bronx. He discovered dancing was his passion at the age of nine when he won a dance contest on Wonderama. Lee has since traveled the world, dancing and performing at The Apollo Theatre and Lincoln Center. As a visual artist, he has been featured in Vogue Spain, W, and the New York Times, as well the film Saturday Church (2017) and the TV shows Pose, Law & Order, and New Amsterdam. He is also a member of the house and ballroom community and is the founding father of the House of Soulja. For the last twelve years, Lee Soulja has organized the NYC Black Pride weekend and recently created a new organization called the NYC Center for Black Pride to showcase and celebrate the contributions and history of Black and Latinx LGBTQIA+ people.