A Web Portal For Lesbians Of Color
Mandy Carter is one of the nation's leading African American lesbian activists. An extraordinary political activist, Carter has organized the grassroots in almost every major region of this country over the last 30-plus years.
Mandy grew up in upstate NY Born November 2, 1948, in Albany, NY where she was raised in orphanages and foster care. She arrived in NC via San Francisco. Mandy's early political activism includes her work with the War Resistors League. Mandy was an early director of NCPRIDEPAC, and helped found SONG--Southerners On New Ground -- at the Durham Creating Change Conference in 1993. A noted speaker, Mandy has traveled extensively, educating audiences about LGBT rights in a broader social justice movement. A winner of the prestigious Stonewall Award, Mandy Carter has enough energy for an army of organizers, and she never fails to maintain her sense of humor. Mandy is an articulate and non-confrontational doer, who get things accomplished by her motivational mentoring and by exemplary and tireless activity. She has forged strong and indelible ties between the natural allies that exist in the African-American, religious, and LGBT communities. Mandy is unforgettable as a symbol of what organizational skill can mean to the development of a movement and the centering of a culture.
A key focus of Ms. Carter's work is the monitoring of the radical right in communities of color, with special attention paid to the divisive tactic of anti-gay organizing in the black church and black community.
At the beginning of this year Ms. Carter was elected to be the Secretary-Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee Gay and Lesbian American Caucus. She is also a member of and serves on both the DNC Black Caucus and the DNC Gay and Lesbian Caucus.
She served as a consultant for the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum, the only national organization dedicated to the nation's estimated two and a half million African American gays and lesbians. Established in 1988, The Forum works to empower black lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered by developing their leadership skills, increasing their visibility and building bridges between their various communities.
Ms. Carter was honored at the 1999 Forum's National Conference in Atlanta, GA where she was the recipient of the Bayard Rustin Award for Political Activism.
In the fall of 1997, Mandy was on special assignment from the Forum and was Program Director for Equal Partners in Faith, a multiracial grassroots coalition of people of faith committed to equality and diversity, that coordinated a DC-Metro area response to the Promise Keeper's "Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men" October 4th rally held on the Mall in Washington, DC. The Promise Keepers is an evangelical Christian men's-only movement who's leadership has ties to the Religious Right.
Prior to her appointment as Field Director for the Forum, Ms. Carter was Director of North Carolina Mobilization '96, a political action committee that mobilized North Carolina's lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender and allies voters, volunteers and money to defeat Jesse Helms who was up for reelection Sen. Helms defeated Democratic challenger Harvey Gantt to win a fifth, 6-year term in the U.S. Senate. Senator Helms found Carter a formidable enough opponent to attack her personally when she worked against his reelection in 1990 and he did so again in 1996.
With awards from many human rights and community organizations to acknowledge her achievements, Ms. Carter currently sits on the Boards of the International Federation of Black Prides, the National Stonewall Democratic Federation, the Triangle Foundation, Equal Partners in Faith and Ladyslipper Music.
Listening to Mandy Carter, you would never say the battles she wages is hopeless. A tireless activist, she shows little signs of slowing down. Thatís a good sign for the lesbigay community, whose strength is greatly inhibited by the invisible closet most members of our community are still struggling with and the constant barrage of intolerance emanating from the Religious Right.
Ms. Carter lives in Durham, North Carolina.
http://www.outandequal.org/programs/keynotes.htm -- Out and Equal Keynote Speaker Oct. 5 2001
Books: Uncommon Heroes: A Celebration of Heroes and Role Models for Gay and Lesbian Americans, edited by Samuel Bernstein, Fletcher Press, 1994.
More Biographical Information: http://www.africanpubs.com/Apps/bios/0373CarterMandy.asp?pic=none
I guess all advocates have stories to share about how we came to activism. In my case, the story is how I became concerned with the work of the Religious Right. [More]
Our LesbiGayTrans Movement at a Crossroads
by Mandy Carter
from Sojourner (June 1998, Vol 23, No 10)
I stand in opposition to the proposed Millennium March. I have been opposed to it since reading the February announcement in the Washington Blade. At the same time, the controversy surrounding the proposed march has led many to question the state of our lesbigaytrans movement as we head toward the new century. This questioning is good and important, and it should continue.
Activist: Lobby for Rights
By Sejal Vora
"If you haven't come out, and you are thinking about coming out, do so. And if you are straight, then be an ally."
Replacing Jesse at the Helm
Stonewall Cincinnati is dubbed a 'top homosexual power group' as former director joins campaign to defeat Sen. Jesse Helms
BY CINDY L. ABEL
DURHAM, N.C. - The news of my arrival got here before I did. As early as late July, I was being featured by name in the fund-raising letters of Sen. Jesse Helms, R-North Carolina.