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Voices of REC

Voices of REC

By Voices of REC
The staff of Ruth Ellis Center inside Detroit, MI work tirelessly every day to ensure our organization's vision: a world where LGBTQ+ young people are safe and supported no matter where they go. These are their stories and the stories of those whom we support.

New episodes will be released every month.

Are you following our socials?

Twitter| @RuthEllisCenter
Instagram| @ruthelliscenter
Facebook| Ruth Ellis Center
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Pride: Overdue
We didn't mean to stay away for so long, but we return bearing gifts and a bit of time warp if you will. In this episode, you'll learn a bit of PRIDE history, both personal and the origins of the movement itself. We'll talk about all the awesomeness that took place during PRIDE, which if you missed, never fear, we will have you mark your calendars so you don't miss a beat with the Center, and thankfully there's even more of which to look forward.  You'll also meet our awesome new BH Director, Elizabeth Carr, as she discusses Child Abuse Awareness Month (April), how LGBTQ+ youth are impacted, and what you can do to help. There will be some adult themes discussed, so please protect young ears, but as always LGBTQ+ affirming. We don't want to give too much away, so buckle up because this time around we had a lot to learn and A LOT to say. 
July 20, 2022
Celebrating Women's History Month: A Quick and Not-So-Dirty Introduction to the New Co-Host of Voices of REC
We've been away too long! We've missed you and we've got a surprise in store. We're going to be talking to an awesome woman, learn about her journey, and her personal history with the Ruth Ellis Center. There will be lots of laughs, love, and an unabashed podcast love letter to all the beautiful women who support us. No frills, just a quick, meaty conversation. Stay tuned, we're back in 2022!
March 31, 2022
Upward and Onward, Goodbye 2021!
We've lots to be thankful for this holiday season, mostly because of all of you. Yes, YOU! Our listeners/supporters/community are integral to the work we have the great privilege of doing for LGBTQ+ young people, and this episode really details the impact you have had throughout the year and what we have been able to accomplish because you believe in us. Our fearless leader, Mark Erwin, the Director of Development and Advancement joins us to share what was, what is and what will be in as the New year rapidly approaches. Curl up by the fire, pour yourself some hot cocoa, and join us for an episode of some Christmas Carol remixes and some very special thank yous and more. 
January 05, 2022
Let's just say that Autumn has been an incredible month for interviews for us and we are particularly excited for this one. Giving Tuesday is such an incredibly important day for nonprofits like ours and we decided this year we would share a beautiful origin story with you that began right in the heart of Detroit, much like us. Your support comes full circle in this beautiful narrative that we are so excited to have had the great fortune to share with you all.  You're going to meet Kwaku Osei-Bonsu, and learn just some of the ways he might be one of the most dynamic people you've encountered.  Here's why:  He's the co-founder of these restaurant and food-centric spaces and much more: EastEats IdlewildEats | Facebook Detroit Black Restaurant Week Is Back With 50 Restaurants, Food Trucks - Eater Detroi For MLN8, the Magic Started With a Subscription Service - Hour Detroit Magazine We don't want to ruin any delicious morsel of this interview. Listen in and see what we mean! 
November 30, 2021
November: The Future of LGBTQ+ Leaders is Already Here Presented by Cadillac
Folks, this episode is jam-packed! We begin with our normal chat, which segues into conversations with some incredible individuals. We first meet Elaine Montilla, Founder of 5x Minority, and Assistant Vice President and CIO for Information Technology at The Graduate Center, CUNY, a Forbes Technology Council member and contributor, a TEDx Speaker, and an AMA Women’s Leadership Center presenter AND a place on Yahoo Finance's 2021 OUTstanding 100 LGBT+ Executives list. The list showcases leaders who are breaking down barriers and creating more inclusive workplaces. A pioneer by any other word, much like our beloved Ruthie. How did we even find this amazing human, you ask? Much like this episode and interview, she was brought to us by the wonderful folks of @Cadillac and their #AudacityofMe Campaign (video link below). Then Elysia has some insightful conversations with three Ruth Ellis Center family/staff members to reflect on #TransAwarenessWeek // #TransDayofRemeberance - on this mini-episode Voices of REC. While Nazarina shares some history on the day and why it is such a critical period for us as an organization, Elysia talks to our future and learns what they are doing to ensure transgender young people feel safe and supported no matter where they go. Our abundant gratitude to Latrice Ward, Harmony Harris, and Elijah Earnest for sharing their time, energy, and experience with you and for all their diligent work in and for the community. Special thanks to @TransSistasofColorProject & @NuiiWaavBrotherhood for creating affirming spaces and families for our trans siblings here at REC, in Detroit/Highland Park, and beyond. Many thanks to @PFLAG and Gwendolyn Ann Smith for co-founding this important event. Resources mentioned in the episode: Elaine Montilla | 5xminority CUNY Profile: Elaine Montilla | CUNY School of Professional Studies | CUNY SPS Ted Talk: The Value of Mentoring Women and Minorities in Tech | Elaine Montilla | TEDxChelseaPark - YouTube" Cadillac Campaign: Audacity of Me  Nuii Waav Brotherhood Elijah Marques Trans Sistas of Color Project Fair Michigan Julisa Abad Director of LGBTQ Outreach and relations & Victim Advocate 313 658-5534 / W'SUP - WSU Prevention Team Matrix Human Services Remembering Our Dead Remembering Our Dead ( PFLAG Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021 | PFLAG
November 30, 2021
October is History, LGBTQIA+ History
Nazarina and Elysia are back, once again, to join your weekend playlist with a ton of content you're not going to want to miss. We begin with an origin story, as we often do, of LGBTQ+ History Month. It came from somewhere and Elysia is going to tell you where. Then we join Chloe Davis, artiste extraordinaire and author of the newest addition to your coffee table and/or bookshelf, The Queens' English, an essential read for all that is LGBTQ+ and inclusive. Then Nazarina has a little surprise, because her resident media scholar, Richard Mwakasege Minaya, Ph.D., interrupts the podcast's airwaves to help us celebrate LatinX/Hispanic Heritage Month, and REC's scholar-in-residence, Katie B., shares her archival knowledge to help Elysia declare the origins of Detroit's Ruth Ellis Day. And though that may be the end, November will be full of surprises, so stay here and stay tuned and enjoy what was LGBTQ+ History - or, at least, that's what we called October 2021. Say yay, and press play!
November 04, 2021
Autumn Affirmations
September is NOT over, and we've got much to share over your favorite Pumpkin Spice or Maple dessert. Join Elysia and Nazarina for an episode chock-full of Affirmations. This episode is a special one, folks, as we join the Ruth Ellis Institute team to discuss their newest project, the Gender Affirming Care tool, a fantastic project dedicated to our vision, a world where LGBTQ+ young people are safe and supported no matter where they go. There will be some singing, some laughing, complete with a deep breathing session, some learning around trauma-informed care and how it relates to gender affirmation, and need we not repeat, a surprise LGBTQ+/ Ally of the Week.
September 28, 2021
We Celebrate Black Business Month Over Here! What about you? (August 2021)
August was a whirlwind, so much so in fact, we delayed the release of this episode. And, come on, let's be honest - Isn't August just an early September, anyway? In this episode, Elysia dives deep under the surface of Black Business Month, why it's important here in the D and beyond. We even discuss what it's got to do with us, and you'll meet some of the lovely Black Business owners that help REC go. Join us for the last episode of the Summer. You'll be happy you tuned in.
September 24, 2021
It felt hotter than July!
Please tune in to a very congested Nazarina and an Elysia full of positive vibes for this episode as we discuss BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month with an interview with a super special guest who will discuss their behavioral health work in a local school environment. WE will also share one of the ways we do the work we do via defining our core principles and even help ground you with some meditative grounding techniques. Then we’ll wrap a bow on the episodes by sharing some awesome updates from the departments that help this organization go and a healthy shoutout to a local educational institution for being so abundantly supportive of REC, who we bet don’t even know it! All that and more is coming to your ears, and we thank you ever so much for once again joining us.
August 03, 2021
Ch-Ch-Changes, Transitions, Banking with an Ally and DCFC's Prideraiser
Welcome to Season 2 and #HappyPride! We've missed you all, and thank goodness you're here! Like most of 2020, 2021 also has been a time for transitions. Some things are new and others not-so-much. So have a listen and see what's in store this #PRIDE. One of our team members also had the great pleasure to speak with the Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer at Ally Bank, the wonderful Andrea Brimer,  and Sean Mann, one of the awesome co-founders of Detroit City Football Club to discuss their support of Prideraiser, and how it supports the beautiful youth of REC. 
August 03, 2021
Philosophy, taking care of the body AND mind.
Philosophy, the skincare company, is more than just the pioneers of self-care for the body, they care DEEPLY about the mind. Naz & I'Sha sit down with Philosophy and learn about their charity, the Hope & Grace initiative, that supports mental health & wellbeing. They also chat with Ruth Ellis Center living legend + one of its founders Dr. Kofi Adoma. 
October 22, 2020
Giving during COVID a chat with PNC, a Pretty Nice Corporation
We sat down with Ric DeVore, James Coleman, and Bryan Kieler of PNC to discuss corporate giving in the time of COVID. I know,  you're probably thinking, giving in COVID how? Well, this episode explains just that, hope you enjoy it! Are you following our socials? Twitter|@REC_Detroit Instagram|@ruthelliscenter Facebook| Ruth Ellis Center
September 22, 2020
REC talks #BlackLivesMatter
Join Nazarina and I'sha as they discuss #BlackLivesMatter the movement (and the hashtag) as it relates to LGBTQ+ lives, those at home in Detroit, nationally and around the world with one another, London Bell of Bell Global Justice and Kailee (pronounced Ky-Lee) Scales, Black Lives Matter Global Network Managing Director. This is a longer episode, however, remember where there is love, there is always hope.  Nazarina and I'sha are filled with both. We hope you feel the same.  Join us for our 3rd episode! 
June 09, 2020
Behavioral Health at REC with Katie G.
In this episode Nazarina & I'Sha social distance while interviewing Katie Gorney, Ruth Ellis Center's Behavioral Health Director. We discuss her journey to REC and how she and her team have been able to see patients virtually, some of the challenges that present, and get deep about self-care in the time of a pandemic. Questions, comments, inquires, concerns? Please feel free to email us at we'll be glad to hear from you. 
May 25, 2020
An Introduction to the hosts (or VOICES) and the Ruth Ellis Center (REC)
Join I'sha and Nazarina, the Community Engagement Manager, and Senior Development Associate, respectively as they introduce themselves and the Ruth Ellis Center, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities with LGBTQ+ young people to build their version of a positive future.  They'll be discussing the podcast's goals, some organizational history,  culture, and even some snippets from a recent staff meeting (cultivation mtg) about another one of the Center's new endeavors... rebranding. They'll share also what you can do to get involved, and what's in store for the coming episodes. We hope you'll tune in. 
May 11, 2020