Meet Briyana Davis
As a black non-binary femme, connecting with community has allowed Briyana to survive and thrive. Immersed in community work as an artist, educator, and organizer, Briyana is dedicated to creating positive change at the intersections of their identities and experiences.
Briyana’s recent community leadership has focused on the needs of people of color and LGBTQ people. In addition to volunteering with the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project in New York City, they also assisted at the 2014 IvyQ LGBTQ Conference at Princeton University. Inspired by the #BlackOutBlackFriday campaign in November 2014, Briyana started a blog called Giving Black. While many called to direct funds toward black-owned businesses, they saw the need to fund community members and compiled crowdfunding campaigns for and by black people. The majority of the campaigns featured are for or by trans, gender non-conforming, and queer people to raise money for rent, education, medical costs, creative projects, and more.
In December of 2014, Briyana founded and co-organized the first Queer and Trans People Of Color Holiday Fair, held in Brooklyn, New York. The event arose as an alternative to a similar queer fair, as many people of color had concerns about racism. All the vendors and the majority of attendees were LGBTQ people of color. People gathered to purchase gifts, exchange gifts, swap swag, and make art. It was a powerful event and brought the community together.
Currently, Briyana is pursuing an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities at the University of Texas at Austin. Their goal is to create programs for trans and queer youth of color focused on leadership, healing, and self-expression.
Briyana’s commitment to supporting and strengthening the LGBTQ community shines through all that they do, from academic research to volunteer work to artistic endeavors. Our communities are inspiring and powerful, and Briyana is dedicated to help us become even greater.