Mandy Carter

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Mandy Carter
Mandy Carter
Mandy Carter speaking at Vanderbilt University
Born (1948-11-02) November 2, 1948 (age 70)
ResidenceNorth Carolina
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHudson Valley Community College
OccupationUS lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist
Years active1968-Present [1]
Political partyDemocratic
MovementUS LGBT

Mandy Carter is an American black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist.

Political activism[edit]

Although she was first introduced to social justice activism in 1965 when the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee visited her high school in Schenectady, New York, it was the 1968 Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Poor People's Campaign that officially marked the beginning of her activism. Carter also credits Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign projects such as those associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the former Institute for the Study of Nonviolence founded by folksinger Joan Baez, and the War Resisters League (WRL), specifically WRL-West with whom she got her first-ever paid position in the movement in 1969.[1][2][3]

She is a former Executive Director and one of the six co-founders of the North Carolina-based Southerners On New Ground (SONG).[2][3][4] Founded at the 1993 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's (NGLTF) Creating Change Conference in Durham, North Carolina, SONG integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South.[1]

Carter served as campaign manager for North Carolina's Senate Vote '90 and Mobilization '96 political action committees.[3][4] She served again as campaign manager for Florida Vote/Equal Voice based in Miami - a 2000 non-partisan, statewide voter empowerment campaign, which was initiated by the African-American Ministers Leadership Council of the People, People for the American Way Foundation, and the Florida NAACP - which resulted in one of Florida's largest black voter turn out's ever. Additionally, Carter was a four-year (1996-2000) North Carolina Member-At-Large of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and a member of both the DNC Gay and Lesbian Caucus and the DNC Black Caucus. She was a delegate at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, as well as one of the four co-chairs for the daily meeting of the DNC Gay and Lesbian Caucus.[1]

Together with Matt Foreman, then executive director of NGLTF, Carter was one of the two gay and lesbian people to speak at the 2003 Lincoln Memorial Rally for the 40th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. SONG and NGLTF had been asked by the 40th Anniversary Steering Committee, which included Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King III, to mobilize LGBT participation at the rally. They spoke at the event in honor of Bayard Rustin, the gay black activist who coordinated the 1963 march.[1]

She was one of the five National Co-Chairs of Obama LGBT Pride, the LGBT grassroots infrastructure for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. She focused on organizing grassroots networks, especially people of color throughout the South.[2]

Carter is a co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), and is leading the organization's 2013 Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project.[2][5] She sits on the boards and/or advisory committees of Durham's Ladyslipper Music, Equality Michigan, Vermont-based Kopkind Colony,[1] and Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance.[6]

In 2012, along with Chicana historian Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez and peace activist Matt Meyer, Carter co-edited We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America, which Maya Angelou called "so this age and this climate of political posturing and posing." [7]


Carter was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as one of the "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005" - which recognized, made visible, and celebrated the peace work of thousands of women around the world.[2][4] She was given the 2006 Spirit of Justice Award from Boston's Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) for her work on LGBT civil rights in the United States. At the 2008 NGLTF's Creating Change Conference in Detroit she received the $10,000 Anderson Prize Foundation's Susan J. Hyde Longevity Award.[1]

She was inducted into the International Federation of Black Prides' Black LGBT Hall of Fame during the January 2012 Martin Luther King Day holiday. Later that year she was named to the Campus Pride 2012 "Hot List" - chosen by students, campus professionals, and others involved in higher education. The list featured the top twenty-five LGBT related speakers, lecturers, and performers from around the country.[2]

Carter was a 2013 recipient of Woodhull's "Vicki Sexual Freedom Award" recognizing her for her human rights work to secure and protect personal autonomy.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Robinson, H. Alexander (February 2, 2008). "Black History LGBT Profiles: Mandy Carter". Bilerico Project. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mandy Carter". Carolinas Diversity Council. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Mandy Press". PM Press. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Solow, Barbara (October 12, 2005). "Durham activist is one in a thousand". Indy Week. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  5. ^ Baim, Tracy (July 24, 2013). "Old Lesbians Organizing for Change gather in St. Louis". Windy City Times. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  6. ^ "Mandy Carter (NC)". Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  7. ^ "Martinez, Carter and Meyer Co-edit Anthology". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  8. ^