The newly formed Claim Our Space Now collective marked its founding with a Rally for Freedom June 27. The gathering, held in honor of Black trans folk who are disproportionately victims of violence, began in Times Square with speeches and performances before embarking on a march to Sheridan Square in the West Village. Presented by Claim Our Space Now and co-creator Krystal Joy Brown (Hamilton, Motown) in alliance with Broadway for Racial Justice, the event was organized to amplify Black LGBTQ+ voices with help from the Broadway community in celebration of Pride.
The rally featured performances from such artists as Daniel J. Watts (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Charity Angél Dawson (Waitress), Tony nominee Charl Brown (Motown), Jacqueline B. Arnold (Moulin Rouge!), Anastacia McClesky (Caroline, or Change), DeAnne Stewart (Jagged Little Pill), Kimberly Marable (Hadestown), dancer and The Rebirth of a Woman founder Mercy Baez, and The Voice alum Lisa Ramey.
Among the speakers were leaders and activists fighting in the intersection of LGBTQ+ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement, including The Okra Project founder Ianne Fields Stewart.
Go Inside the Rally For Freedom With the Stars of Hamilton, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, and More
Claim Our Space Now was co-founded by Marla Louissaint and HIV activist Dimitri Joseph Moïse with the mission to create an intersectional space to educate and mobilize against systems that perpetuate white supremacy. With the affirmation that “All Black Lives Matter,” their calls to action include diverse hiring practices, police accountability, and sex work decriminalization.
Louissaint and Moïse both hail from the theatre community themselves, having performed together in the national tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Louissaint hit the scene as a Jimmy Award winner in 2015 after starring in her high school production of Caroline, or Change; Moise has also appeared in The Book of Mormon.
For more information, visit ClaimOurSpaceNow.com.