Zeke Thomas, son of NBA legend Isiah Thomas, is focused on uplifting people and communities during very uncertain and challenging times. Thomas is a DJ, host and show creator, as well as an award-winning activist. Currently, he is focused on his latest project, Amplify Voices, which is a conversational streaming series about embracing queer and BIPOC intersectionality. The panel-series is available for free and on-demand via Revry right now. In an exclusive interview with CelebMix, Zeke Thomas opens up about this project and his future goals as an activist.
What can you tell us about Amplify Voices and your role with that streaming service?
Amplify Voices was a series of conversations centering around amplifying queer people of color and allys. I am the executive producer and creator of the series as well as a participant. We were able to secure a deal on the streaming service Revry which is a queer-centered streaming service. I am very proud of the work myself and the other producers did.
Why is it important for you to use your platform to be an advocate for causes such as voting, mental health and Blake Lives Matter?
I come from a family of activists, so it just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t use my platform to advocate for causes I believe in. Voting especially! We saw the largest voter turnout in history, but it is still so important to work to get out the vote and get more people registered to vote…especially in Georgia.
After raising awareness for such powerful movements and relevant issues, what have you learned about either yourself or the world?
I have learned that the world is a tough place. With so many hungry and many businesses struggling, including [within] my own industry, I feel it’s more important than ever for anyone including myself with any type of platform to do their part to amplify movements. [This] is why creating Amplify Voices was so important.
How do you think the coronavirus has impacted powerful movements such as Black Lives Matter this year?
I think the coronavirus has allowed us to truly see the inequalities that minority communities face when it comes to quality healthcare. It also allowed millions around the world to see the atrocities that are happening in America!
You were an NBA All-Star DJ for over 5 years! What was that experience like and what did you learn from sharing the stage with individuals like Lady Gaga, Diana Ross and even Michelle Obama?
Starstruck is the word that comes to mind. Ms. Ross is an icon and Michelle Obama is truly a national treasure. Both classified black women had to persevere to get to where they are. That is what I learned the most is that when times get hard as an artist you can still create. Lady Gaga worked at Gray’s Papaya selling hot dogs to make her dreams come true. We must all do the same. Hard work pays off!
What are your goals as an activist going forward?
My goals as an activist going forward are to continue to learn and advocate for causes that are close to me [and my heart]. My sister, Lauren Thomas, has narcolepsy and watching her advocate for organizations like project sleep and continuing to shine light on causes that are important to me and close to my heart is what I will continue to do.
Tune in to Amplify Voices here.