Chrissy Etienne joined the Equality Federation in October 2019 as the organizations first Digital Strategist and Kairos Fellow. Chrissy is a Haitian immigrant and a long time organizer who believes in the power of truth, nuance, and mindfulness. Coming from organizations and programs such as the Audre Lorde Project and Believe out loud, Chrissy has been working for the collective liberation and reparative healing for black, brown, and LGBTQIA identified folks. They believe in the power of community resources to ensure that none of us ever get left behind. When Chrissy is not attending to their communities or doing movement work, they are cooking in the kitchen with a horde of ancestors directing the ratios of their decisions. Chrissy is also a poet and writer who narrates at the intersection of grief and politics. Learn more about them below and reach out to say welcome to the Equality Federation:
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1. Who inspires you?
I’m wary about this particular language, because I fear falling into the trap of hero worship. For that reason, I would not say that I am inspired by any one person or group of people, but I am certainly moved by qualities that I want to embody. I seek to be in simultaneous practice with folks who are curious, and generous. These two qualities have been guiding lights for how I do my work and how I live my life.
2. What’s the last book you read?
I just finished re-reading The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker. This is my 6th reading of this work of fiction and honestly I will never get enough. It finds me whenever I need it, each and every time.
I also recently finished reading How to do Nothing: Resisting The Attention Economy, and it was amazing. This text asks the reader to reimagine their relationship with the internet, time, and physical space. It shifted my orientation to all three of those things–in the best way.
3. What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
Being a Kairos fellow! Being a part of this fellowship and having the opportunity to workshop my organizing ideas with brilliant peers and mentors. This is an opportunity to grow into a powerful digital communications machine and to be tooled with the skills for a rapidly changing internet space. It is also an opportunity to work in collaboration with folks who are doing cutting edge organizing all over the country and to learn from their experience. This is by far one of the coolest projects I’ve been a part of in a really long time. I’m excited to practice my digital organizing skills with Equality Federation. I can’t wait to see all that we create together.
4. What’s the best concert you ever attended?
I was 19 and had barely come out. I met these incredible older lesbians who took me under their wings and introduced me to queer culture in Philadelphia, PA. They took me to my first concert ever, which was an outdoorsy, singer-songwriter affair with multiple artists (headlined by Melissa Ferrick, lol). It was the first big public queer space I was ever a part of and it made me feel like I’d come home.
5. What drew you to the Equality Federation?
Our country needs this work. LGBTQIA folks are being targeted with so much destructive and harmful legislation all over the country and it’s vital that the people at the forefront of the fight have all the tools available for It’s the work that I’ve been doing for a long time now. I’ve been an organizer for over a decade and my work has always centered LGBTIA folks and I can’t imagine a day that it won’t. Equality Federation
6. Last question, how can people get in touch with you?
If you want to talk about all things digital organizing, or if you want to geek out about cooking you can email me at email@example.com! I’m also on twitter as @chrissyetienne—follow me there to hear my musings on life!