This article was published on December 15th, 2020
Some conversations are easy. The issues are clear cut, and it’s easy to build consensus quickly. Other conversations? Not so easy. The problems run deep, with each side passionately defending their view.
2020 has served us with some defining conversations. Race topped that list. The death of George Floydthrough police brutality reverberated across the world, leaving us with more questions than answers. What does it mean to be black in America? What can be done about police brutality in the U.S. and other countries across the globe?
These are the sort of tough conversations that Amplify Voices brings to the fore. Created and hosted by Zeke Thomas – Activist, D.J., and son of N.B.A. legend Isiah Thomas, this series bring together athletes, entertainers, politicians, activists and other thought leaders in conversations embracing queer and black, indigenous, and other people of colour (BIPOC) intersectionality.
Amplify Voices leads the tough conversations to build heightened awareness around issues facing the queer and BIPOC communities.
When so many LGBTQ and people of colour suffer silently or experience hate and discrimination, speaking up is just one step in a long, arduous journey to justice and equality. Amplify Voices does just that; it strengthens the voices around the critical discussions we must have as a society. The series pulls no punches in addressing these issues, thanks to the openness of its impressive cast.
The show passes on the mic to people you should know more about, including political pundit Donna Brazile; entrepreneur, activist, and son of Notorious B.I.G., CJ Wallace; award-winning celebrity M.U.A., Yolonda Frederick; RuPaul’s Drag Race alum, Laganja Estranja; music executive and iconic choreographer, Lauriann Gibson; N.B.A. Hall of Famer, Isiah Thomas; and more.
Amplify Voices tears into the core of critical topics for the LGBTQ and P.O.C. communities with episodes like LGBTQ+ in Sports; The Journey of Black Women in the Beauty Business; Queer Politics: U.S. Ambassadors; and Sexual Assault: Breaking Through Stereotypes, Stigma, & Sham, LGBTQ+ in Music, Race and the LGBTQ+ Experience, and others.
The show premiered at the 2020 QueerX Festival, where Zeke Thomas was also honoured with the festival’s Visibility Award. It’s now available for free on-demand via Revry TV.
The Host – Zeke Thomas
Zeke understands the power of raising your voice and speaking up. He bravely appeared on Good Morning America in April 2017 to share one of his most painful experiences, the story of his sexual assault.
Since then, Zeke has become a fighter for change, for example, being the first male spokesman for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and appearing in a national P.S.A. as a survivor and leader. Along the way, he’s found healing, using his experiences to help others overcome their struggles while highlighting critical issues for people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community.
Joshua ‘Zeke’ Thomas is the embodiment of the perseverance and resilience that characterize the LGBTQ+ community and people of colour. From being a renowned open-format D.J. to a forward-thinking businessman, to a passionate advocate for Human Rights and Mental Health awareness while overcoming obstacles as a rape survivor, he’s on a path to creating real change and having a tangible impact on society.
Aside from hosting Amplify Voices, Zeke has travelled to college campuses with SUNY’s Got Your Back program, helped Congress draft policy around HBCU Title IX, ensuring that historically Black institutions can effectively support sexual-assault survivors, and has aligned with organizations including ACLU, The Ally Coalition, GLAAD, It’s On Us, The Jed Foundation, Little Kids Rock, the NoH8 Campaign, When We All Vote, HeadCount, Biden/Harris Presidential Campaign, among others.
As a D.J., he’s shared the stage with and performed for celebrities including Michele Obama, Shaquille O’Neal, Diana Ross, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and Snoop Dogg, not to mention being an official N.B.A. All-Star D.J. 5 years counting.
Zeke has also produced his tracks, including the debut single “REGRET,” club banger “#ByeFelicia,” and deeply personal “BLACKNESS” featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X, “Dealin’ With It,” and “Love Me Sober.”
Start Watching Now
The center no longer holds. Things, to quote acclaimed writer Chinua Achebe, “are falling apart.” We cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore and wish these deep dividing issues away. The only way out is to tackle them head-on. Conversations, such as those on Amplify Voices, help us understand and start dealing with the issues, paving the way for true healing.