:: Meet This BOI ::
Name: Bakari Jones
Favorite Color: Orange
Favorite Accessory: Safety Pin
Hometown & Current City: Baltimore, MD
Career: Program Coordinator
Education: BA Temple University 2007, MBA Loyola University Maryland 2011
Bakari Jones is a native Baltimorean committed to reshaping the landscape of her hometown. More than anything, she considers herself a conscious, Black, queer, masculine performing, community based social entrepreneur as she is constantly starting projects with the aim of organizing and unifying those in and around her community.
In 2007, Bakari received a Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and English from Temple University in Philadelphia before a two-year stint in New Orleans, Louisiana. While serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in post-Katrina New Orleans, she admits establishing friendships proved quite challenging. Shortly after returning to Baltimore, Bakari earned her MBA from Loyola University Maryland and hasn’t been able to stop “starting things” since.
Not only does Bakari work full time as a Program Coordinator for the national ACT-SO program at the NAACP headquarters, she also juggles a few other projects. Storms of the Brains is the moniker under which she sells both t-shirts and her management consultation services. Bakari and her BLF (best lesbian friend) also co-host “Wine & LesbiFriends”, BYOB house parties in DC and Baltimore for 21-40 year old lesbians of color. However, Bakari is most excited about her latest project, Bois of Baltimore.
This past January 2012, Bakari founded Bois of Baltimore with the goal of creating safe spaces for alternative masculinity. Bois of Baltimore aims to organize women and trans men that identify along the masculine spectrum. The mission of Bois of Baltimore is to create safe spaces for alternative masculinity. We accomplish this by uniting those that identify along the masculine spectrum (Boi, Stud, Butch, AG, Lesbian, Trans, Dom, and Masculine of Center) through a diverse offering of group activities, community service projects, local partnerships, discussions, and educational programs. By harnessing the creative, social, and economic capital of this collective, and that of its allies, the Bois of Baltimore seek to improve the socio-economic condition of queer persons of color in and around Baltimore thereby empowering them to create their own spaces for alternative masculinity and any other form of gender expression! By cultivating an environment that encourages collaboration and demands sustainability, the Bois of Baltimore define what it means to be a progressive, queer person of color living in the greater Baltimore area.
In just a few months, the group already has over 20 paid members and aims to have 50 by year-end. For more information on how to get involved with the group, please email BoisofBaltimore@gmail.com.
Photo credit: Alexander Dobson Media 2012