In our efforts to honor those who are committed to the advancement of racial equity, the NYC Elder Abuse Center at Weill Cornell Medicine (NYCEAC) is highlighting individuals and organizations that are working toward racial equity within the elder justice field. This month, we feature GRIOT Circle, a community-based, multigenerational organization serving LGBTQ elders of color.
Founded in 1996, GRIOT Circle offers its community health and wellness programs, case management, lunch programs, friendly visitor and buddy-to-buddy programs to remove isolation and fear, build community, as well as honor racial and ethnic traditions. Their mission is to respond to and eliminate all forms of oppression, including ageism, racism, sexism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, poverty, xenophobia, and their intersections.
To learn more about GRIOT Circle, we interviewed Deputy Director Aundaray Guess, who has been working in the LGBT field for 15 years. In addition to developing programs for the LGBT community, Aundaray is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and a featured writer for Poz Magazine, an online and print magazine focused on HIV/AIDS. He served as the Communication Director of GMAD (Gay Men of African Descent) prior to joining GRIOT. We are privileged to share our interview with him below.