Spotlight: Ebony Ava Harper
This week we want to take a moment to acknowledge a brilliant visionary here in our community, who is working tirelessly to better the lives of trans folxs. Her name is Ebony Harper.
She is an award-winning, nationally-recognized, activist and humanitarian. She identifies as a Black trans woman (pronouns she/her/hers), and she has spent a good majority of her career fighting for justice and equality, not only for the transgender community, but for ALL the members of our community. Ebony currently serves as a Program Manager at Public Health Advocates (PHA), and as the Program Director for California TRANScends (which exists in partnership with PHA and the California Endowment). California TRANScends is a statewide initiative that works to promote the health and wellness of transgender people throughout the state of California.
SJPC sat down with Ebony to ask her more about what drives her fierce and unrelenting drive to take part in social justice activism.
What does social justice mean to you?
“That we fight for those who don’t have a voice, that we provide a voice for those who can’t speak. Social justice to me means fighting for the most marginalized, it means changing the culture so that we create a more loving community.”
“It means giving the most marginalized an equal shot at life.”
“Social justice means dismantling all the systems that oppress people, including climate issues, which are strongly tied to racial injustice.”
Why are you involved in social justice?
“I’m a big ol’ Black trans woman, so I have no choice BUT to be involved in social justice, because facing society means engaging in the fight for social justice.
My existence pushes back against the narrative, and against the cookie-cutter mold we put the world in, society is hostile towards my existence. Then also, experiencing ostracization and marginalization myself has resulted in me not wanting others to feel that way, and in wanting to make life better for all marginalized communities."
How do you self care to keep fighting for social justice?
“I disconnect when I need to, and I connect with my chosen family and friends. I travel when I need to get away from work and everything. I sometimes go home to Jamaica and visit and connect with family there. I struggle with self-care at times, but I do affirm that self-care is critical to the movement, and our mental health needs to be taken care of. Self-care, for me, is also being vulnerable and connecting with others, and sharing my story. My self-care often looks different depending on the day.”
We want to thank Ebony for her time and energy. Please support her and her work in any way that you can so that she can keep fighting the good fight.
Here is the link to the Public Health Advocates profile of Ebony. CA TRANScends can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.