Civil rights activist, nonviolence resistance champion and lead strategist of the 1963 March on Washington Bayard Rustin, once said: “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” While the words “angelic” and “troublemaker” may seem to be fundamentally and diametrically opposed concepts, the phrase speaks to and empowers those of us who desire to see a world that does not yet exist. It is a contradiction of terms and a call to action for activists to disrupt and to heal. It is a model and framework that transcends every issue silo, every community, and every movement that speaks truth to power. It is a practice that is deeply rooted in living—and owning—our intersections, boldly, proudly and unapologetically!

Across the world, there are angelic troublemakers who are using their voices, their lived experiences and their truths as weapons in the fight for equality, equity, space and inclusion. DETROIT is right at the top of that list. As we close out LGBTQ Pride Month and look toward November’s Facing Race National Conference in Detroit, we speak the names, honor, and lift up the work of some of the most committed and inspiring agents of change who are breaking up the block, disrupting the system and giving us LIFE in the process.