This is How Black Queer Leaders Are Making History in NC

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Mandy Carter

As a teen during the Civil Rights Era, Mandy Carter witnessed grave injustices against marginalized groups, catapulting her into a life of empowering work.  Carter helped found a variety of social justice organizations that support the LGBTQ community including Southerners On New Ground (SONG), Equality NC, and National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). ​ Her social justice organizing centers “peace activism, women’s music and culture, and Black and LGBT[Q] issues,” according to the Mandy Carter Papers, an archive of her grassroots activism from 1970-2013.

Sendolo Diaminah

After serving on the Durham Public Schools Board of Education for about 2 years, Diaminah left the job to give his full attention to social justice organizing.

Now, he trains Black leaders across the nation through BOLD, Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity.

Serena Sebring

A regional organizer with Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Sebring brings a lot to any table that focuses on liberation. Whether working to reform the money bail system, fighting against sexual violence, or unifying the Southeast region towards queer liberation, Serena Sebring is always working towards progress.

Pauli Murray

Though her peers doubted her as a Black woman law student in the 1940s, Murray was determined to work towards racial and social justice in her life. Before the terms “intersectionality” or “transgender” even existed, Murray was fighting for these rights - for herself and others! Another milestone? She was the first Black woman to become an Episcopal priest.

Vernetta Alston

As an attorney at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Alston worked adamantly to exonerate innocent people wrongly convicted of murder. Now, she serves as a City Councilperson, continuing her work to ensure the rights of all are upheld.

Equality matters. And, alongside these five queer North Carolina leaders, Equality NC is making sure LGBTQ people in the state secure the rights they deserve!

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