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LGBT History Month profile: Human rights activist Mandy Carter

Equality Forum
Friday, October 11, 2013

Mandy Carter, Activist
b. November 2, 1948

“Sometimes you have to be bold and take a risk.”

Mandy Carter describes herself as an “out, southern, black, lesbian, social justice activist.” She has been advocating for human rights for more than 45 years.

Mandy Carter

Mandy Carter

Born in Albany, New York, Carter was raised in orphanages and the foster care system. After high school, she attended Hudson Valley Community College before dropping out and moving to New York City. She met a group of people at the League for Spiritual Discovery and traveled with them to San Francisco. In 1969, she joined the War Resisters League.

In 1992, Carter became a public policy advocate for the Human Rights Campaign. The following year, she helped establish Southerners on New Ground, an organization that integrates people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities and working class members of the LGBT community in the South.

She co-founded the National Black Justice Coalition, the only national organization focused on African-American LGBT civil rights.

In the 2000 election, she participated in the statewide voter empowerment campaign, which produced one of Florida’s largest turnouts of black voters. In 2008, Carter was a National Co-Chair for Obama Pride.

Carter won a Spirit of Justice Award from GLAD for advancing LGBT rights. The National Organization for Women called her “one of the nation’s leading African-American lesbian activists.”

She is the National Coordinator for the Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project of the National Black Justice Coalition. Carter lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. Thanks Mandy for standing up for what you believe! We need more people like you to help open the eyes of America. Equality for everyone!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:05am
  2. Finally, some good news on my feed :)

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:28am
  3. Mandy, we need more people like you! Thank you!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:49am
  4. deep bow, lady! thank you!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 4:04am
  5. Mandy you have done so much to help the cause. Thank you.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 4:55am
  6. I am HONORED to be able to say that nearly all my activism and writing and courage to be out and proud derives DIRECTLY from knowing Mandy Carter and being inspired by her in the early 90s in North Carolina. She is a whirlwind of righteousness and brilliance and passion. Tip of my hat and a grateful bow to you always, Mandy…I’m so glad your work has been recognized thus. :)

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:19am
  7. man, shes had to deal with racism, sexism and homophobia.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:41am
  8. She’s been supporting my activism since 1995 <3
    HAIL MANDY !!!!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:56am
  9. Thank you Mandy <3

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:23am
  10. Thank you Mandy!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:57am
  11. She’s amazing!!!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:48am
  12. She is a great woman

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:50am
  13. Mandy Carter is a great lady. I had the privilege of spending time with her for a couple days. We can certainly learn a lot from her.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 2:50pm
  14. namaste’

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 3:32pm
  15. there should be more like her, thanks for your help and work mandy

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:19pm