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Not only an up and coming star in the comedy scene, but Gwen La R?ka is also a dedicated grassroots activist who truly recognizes the need to be a voice for many marginalized communities. She attacks many facets of discrimination by simply looking in the mirror and embracing who she is. A proud, gender queer Latina, Gwen La R?ka brings a refreshing voice to comedy by addressing important social issues that have impacted her and her communities.

Through comedy, and in her own life, she crosses all racial and gender barriers by sharing her spotlight with issues that all too often fall on deaf ears. From helping raise thousands of dollars for battered and sexually abused women and girls by donating her time & talent to the UIC Production of The Vagina Monologues for 4 consecutive years, to helping raise awareness and funds to aid the high climbing numbers of homeless LGBTQ youth in Chicago, Gwen has proven to be not just a funny comic, but a comic with a cause.

An advocate, ally, artist, and feminist, Gwen plays an important role as an activist in many communities as well as organizations that she's currently a member of, such as Orgullo En Accion and The Venus Collective. Both collectives aimed at helping raise awareness, providing a safe and intentional space for women, girls, & LGBTQ folx to create and be free, and unveiling social injustices in every form.

That genuine love for her community, for the people, and for humanity over all, can be a story easily told by her work and involvement in her ever growing list of fund raising events, shows, and local movements, both comedy and non comedy related. Oh, look! Here she comes now...

Get outta here narratorI wanna say something now! Hey yall, it's me! How are you? I just wanted to quickly say that with so many dope Chicago grassroots organizations, projects, collectives, artists, and just good ol' folks doing amazing things, I figured I'd plug them all! After all, that's how COMMUNITY should get down wouldn't you agree? Network, help one another rise up, and spread the love yall.

Below, I've listed a little bit of everything for you guys; amazing resources, community organizations, collectives, projects, and even some Chicago based events, businesses and artists for you to browse through! Take a peek, discover some cool cats doing great things! Chicago represent!

About Face Theater

Chicago-based theater company that creates performances that examine and participate in the development of queer communities.

All for Dirty Paws

My son Zeus gets groomed here! Your one-stop shop for all your pet needs. Support local Latina’s in business!

ALMA

Empowering Latino Gay Bisexual and Questioning Men by providing Support, Advocacy, and Leadership Opportunities, through Innovative Cultural Programming.

Amigas Latinas

Amigas Latinas is a support, education and advocacy organization for lesbian, bisexual and questioning women of Latina heritage that provide a safe environment and offers opportunities to gather, celebrate and explore their identities and potential as women who love women.

Anna Harambasic Agency

American Family Insurance Anna Harambasic Agency! I work here! You need insurance, I'll hook you up. No, seriously. Life, auto, business and more!!

BabyDolls Boutique

My 3 sisters from another mister! Grew up with these gals since Kindeeeegarden, 25 years ago! So proud of them for being the strong, independent Latina women they are and opening up their very own Boutique! BabyDolls Boutique is a fun-loving "Magical Queendom" that specializes in unique one-of-a-kind items for mommies, babies, AND fashionistas. Tons of amazing jewelry, handbags and various accessories to fit everyone's personal, unique style. Support Women in business =)

Change.org

YOU have the power! Sign an important petition or create your own!

Creative Well Design

She handled my website! Graphic AND web designer! Need I say more?

DJ E Dizz

My home slice and one of the dopest Female DJ’s in Chicago! Spinning music for true music lovers; Deep House, Soulful House, Hip-Hop/R&B and exclusive remixes!

Howard Brown Youth Center

Howard Brown Health Center exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.

Sam Kirk

Sam Kirk is not only a good friend of mine but an amazing, multi-disciplined artist who is known for her vibrant culture filled paintings and artwork. Her work fights to create awareness of how quickly assimilation, gentrification and greed can erase neighborhoods and the residents that build them.

The L Stop

An AWESOME website for Chicago's lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer women. From News and Events to great interviews and more.

La Casa Norte

La Casa Norte's mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness. They provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities.

Mikey O Comedy Productions

The Godfather of Latino Comedy Productions in Chicago!

Mujeres Latinas En Accion

Bilingual and bicultural agency that seeks to empower women to become self- reliant and improve the quality of their lives.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through support.

Proyecto Latina

A multi-media project that amplifies the success and impact of Latinas in our community.

RAINN

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.

VDay

Join the Global Movement to End Violence against women and girls!

The Venus Collective

(I'm a member and we DO rock! Teehee!) We are a multi-dimensional collective, who's norms, vision and mission, are embodied through our 3 initiatives; Arts in Action, Spiral Effect, & creative community. Through these initiatives Venus Collective creates safe spaces for women to learn, share and grow.

Windy City Media Group

Stay up to date of LGBTQ news in the Windy City!

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP)

A safe environment for LGBTQA youth experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and to celebrate their strengths through the process of developing a theatrical performance.

YWEP - Young Women's empowerment Project

A member based social justice organizing project that is led by and for young people of color who have current or former experience in the sex trade and street economies.

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