June 21, 2023

Member Spotlight: In Our Own Voices

Reflecting on the past 25 years of your organization, what has been some of the major accomplishments or moments you are most proud of?

This is a tricky question because there are so many things I am most proud of. The first would be the dedication of In Our Own Voices’ staff members, volunteers, and board of directors. Though we are in the service of others, this work can be taxing and complicated. Our very existence is an accomplishment, and navigating the same thing we are fighting for, equity and justice, is not remised on us all. However, we have purchased our building and expanded the program and services when fully staffed from one to 25. During social unrest, we painted BLACK LIVES Matter on Lark Street and provided COVID-19 vaccination and emergency assistance to over 500 individuals. Again, while impacted and experiencing loss, racism, marginalization, and oppression.

What does the next 25 years+ have in store for In Our Own Voices?

We are working hard to build a new future, strengthening our capacity to do the work, building a new LGBTQ Center to offer our core services, Transitional and Rapid Re-housing for our community, and creating The Capital Region First LGBTQ Senior housing and support services.

What do you appreciate about your organization (and community) that you would like others to know?

In Our Own Voices, inc. is a fantastic organization rooted in changing lives, systems, hearts, and minds. I am humbled and grateful that I get up every day to go to a safe space and work with people who look like me and those who are allies and give their authentic selves to this work.

What is something you feel may be misunderstood about your organization?

There are many myths about IOOV. The main one is that we are anti-white and only provide services to BIPOC individuals. 28% of the folks we serve are not BIPOC or LGBTQIA+. Our door is open to anyone in need.


~ Tandra LaGrone, Chief Executive Officer In Our Own Voices