Being a photo/video producer and social media entertainment influencer/content creator has become the main avenue for supporting Ladi’s life’s work: to cultivate community and to influence change in a way that is revolutionary and inspiring.
During the pandemic and throughout all of the uprisings around the nation, many womxn like Ladi and the ladies of Sister’s Helping Each Other Battle Adversity (SHEBA) were living lives of discomfort and vulnerability, mainly due to the conditions we normally face as Black trans womxn being significantly and increasingly more impactful, due to stigma and facist idealism attached to a heightened sense of fear that came along with the world’s Covid-19 crisis. They understood the significance in all of these things that were occuring inside and outside of ourselves. So with that knowledge came duty, and with that came urgency and action.
In August of last year, Ladi was invited by The National Black Trans Liberation Movement to attend The March on Washington hosted by Rev Al Sharpton. After much planning and discussion, The Black Rose Initiative was conceived, and they raised close to $8,000 from generous donations that went toward mutual aid for the community and toward funding the expenses of the trip to Washington as well as benefiting community members who weren’t able to attend.
This year for International Trans visibility day, The Black Rose Initiative created a week’s worth of events tailored to the celebration of Black/Brown trans bodies and lives. The events were made possible by our diverse community and local LGBT and health organizations fighting alongside our Black trans community. Support for this also included individual cisgender allies and LGBT community members of the city of Milwaukee.
Being able to lead alongside co-organizer Elle Halo uplift Black/Brown transness has been a goal of Ladi’s since the beginning of the creation of their coalition of Black trans power. The Black Rose Initiative is growing and expounding upon new ideas for future programming that will allow them to move forward toward the betterment of all trans lives including Black trans and non-binary folks. To help contribute to the success of The Black Rose Initiative and future programming, you can contribute to the cash app $BlackRoseInitiative.
2021 Pride in Color Leadership Features
The Influencer: Ladi London is a brown-skinned, femme trans Milwaukee native who produces videos and other content to effect change and cultivate community.
The Artist: nibiiwakamigkwe is a two-spirit Indigenous artist, activist, and organizer interested in healing and visibility.
The Table Shaker: Yanté Turner is an openly trans and queer Black change agent working as an Inclusion and Equity Coordinator as well as a doula.
The First: Ankita Bharadwaj is a lawyer, advocate, and trail blazer who knows the journey upward is often isolating, but that it is worth it.
The Founder: Rick Banks is co-founder of MKE Black, Inc. which connects Black Milwaukeeans to Black culture, events, and Black-owned businesses.
The Scholar: James McMaster is a queer Asian-American educator, and activist who lives by example in the classroom and out in community.
The Professor: Víctor M. Macías-González is Professor of History and Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UW-La Crosse.