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
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
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.
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.
That’s 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