Meet the Logo30: Vanessa Warri

The scholar and Black transgender activist expresses her Pride by claiming space.

Every day during the month of June, we will be spotlighting our 2021 Logo30. This powerful series profiles ordinary and extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways. Visit the Logo30 homepage to view current and past honorees.

Vanessa Warri is committed to making the world a safer, more equitable place for Black transgender women.

A Point Foundation scholar, future social worker, and proud Black trans woman herself, Warri left home and estranged herself from her devoutly religious parents at 14 years old. Once she turned 18, Warri began working at a local nonprofit in San Francisco that serves LGBTQ+ youth. The job was eye-opening, and she has made it her life’s work to uplift and empower Black trans women and homeless LGBTQ+ people.

Today, Warri is pursuing a Master’s degree in social work and a PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the first Black trans woman in the program’s history. She is also an accomplished strategist and consultant for nonprofits and community-based organizations serving queer and trans communities, including GLITS, Inc. in New York City, founded by fellow Logo30 honoree Ceyenne Doroshow.

Warri says her very existence is an expression of Pride in a world that is “hell-bent on insisting that I am not here.”

“I express my Pride by taking up space in places that have been comfortable for far too long without us,” she tells Logo. “Every time I engage in dialogue and an exchange of ideas with my peers, with my professors, clinicians and families, I shake their normal up a bit. And I let them know that we do this, too. Whenever I tell current and future social workers to listen to communities because they have always had a sense of what their needs have been… it’s because I come from a demonstrated legacy of that. And when I do that, I express my Pride.”

We couldn’t agree more, Vanessa. Watch the video below to learn more about Warri and the rest of our incredible 2021 Logo30 honorees.
 

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella