David Blair

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September 19, 1967 – July 23, 2011

David Blair, better known as Blair, was born in Newton, New Jersey and moved to Detroit in the 1990s.  He achieved national recognition as an openly queer socialist poet, artist, singer-song writer, and activist.  Blair also taught poetry to Detroit Public School students and at the Ruth Ellis Center.  Among his many achievements were a National Poetry Slam title and the BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award.

Between The Lines, July 28, 2011

Metro Times, August 3, 2011

Ciara La’Shae White

Ciara Lashae White pic

October 22, 1987 – January 10, 2013

Ciara La’Shae White was musically inclined at a young age, playing clarinet and bass clarinet in the concert and marching bands at Ruddiman Middle School in Detroit and taking part in the marching band, as well as junior ROTC, at Mackenzie High School.  She was a beloved member of the LGBT community and the Ruth Ellis Center.

Stinson Funeral Home

Amber MonRoe

Amber MonRoe pic

May 23, 1995 – August 8, 2015

According to Detroit police, 20-year-old Amber Monroe was engaged in sex work In August 2015 when she was shot and killed near Six Mile and Woodward.  She was the twelfth trans woman of color murdered in the U.S. that year.  Monroe attended Oak Park High School, studied at Wayne State, and was a familiar face at the Ruth Ellis Center.

Between The Lines, August 20, 2015

Grace McClelland

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January 27, 1958 – June 16, 2015

A Lincoln Park resident and New Jersey native, Grace McClelland worked for two decades in the non-profit sector before being tapped, in 2003, as first executive director of Ruth Ellis Center for LGBT youth in Metro Detroit.  Following her departure from REC in 2009, she began her own consulting firm, Liberation Consulting.

Between The Lines, July 9, 2015

Beth Kendall

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June 10, 1952 – August 30, 2007

A native of Mason, Elizabeth Ann Kendall grew up in Mio, received her Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, and earned an MBA from Oakland University, enjoying a long career in budget and finance.  Her involvement in the Detroit area LGBTQ community included support for Affirmations and the Ruth Ellis Center.  She and her partner Torii Hamilton married in Canada in 2003.

Between The Lines, September 13, 2007