End of the Year Message From

Aundaray Guess-Executive Director


Greetings from the Staff and Board of GRIOT Circle!

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

As we wrap up 2023, we want to thank you for your support and involvement in our organization.

This year was a pivotal one for GRIOT Circle, as we adapted to the challenges and opportunities of serving LGBTQ elders of color. We are proud of the work we have done and the impact we have made in our community.

We end the year experiencing a surge of new members taking part in our virtual programming. Despite us still on the search for a permanent space, people are still committed to GRIOT and its mission of creating an affirming space for LGBTQ elders of color.

We continue to receive support from the community and elected officials, both city and state have expressed their admiration of the work GRIOT Circle is doing.

We also want to share some exciting news and updates for 2024.

ο»ΏHere are some of the highlights:

- We are expanding our team with two new hires: a Program Associate who will help us develop and deliver more diverse and engaging programs for our members, and a Development Director who will help us secure funding and resources for our long-term goals, including finding a permanent space for GRIOT Circle.

- We are re-launching two of our core programs: the Buddy 2 Buddy Program, which connects seniors with peers who can offer friendship and support, and the Still Standing Program, which promotes HIV prevention and sexual health education for older adults.

- We are introducing a new initiative called GRIOT After Dark, which will offer evening events for seniors of color who work or have other commitments during the day. These events will feature food, music, and access to local community resources, as well as a fun and festive atmosphere. This is a great opportunity to meet new friends, network, and have fun. No older adults have to miss out!

Finally, GRIOT will return to its grassroots origins. As you may know, GRIOT was founded by Regina Shavers and others who wanted to address the racial and social injustices faced by LGBTQ older adults of color. We want to honor their legacy by engaging and collaborating with other organizations led by people of color who are already doing the work. We want to share our stories and perspectives, and sit at the intergenerational table with our allies.

We’ll start in late Spring with quarterly community discussions as we invite local leaders and advocates to talk and dissect matters that affects the lives of people of color and the communities in which LGBTQ older adults of color call home.

These are only the beginning of our new direction, and we will keep you informed as each initiative rolls out. We invite you to be part of this exciting journey in several ways.

You can be part of this exciting new direction several ways. The most impactful one is to show your support of GRIOT Circle by giving an end-of-the-year donation. No amount is too small, and your donation will show your commitment to GRIOT's vision.

If you're not able to give today, you can make a financial pledge of support.

Send an email to [email protected] and make a pledge!

Thank you for being part of the GRIOT Circle family.

We look forward to seeing you soon.


Aundaray Guess

Executive Director