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Feb 5, 2020

Black History Month: Honoring Mandy Carter

February is Black History Month. In honor of this time of year, Equality NC is creating space to honor the lives and legacies of black icons, many of whom are LGBTQ. We hope you’ll enjoy these weekly profiles throughout the month, and consider the ways in which these folks have laid the foundation for ENC’s work across the state today.

There’s perhaps no one better to open this series than someone who quite literally laid the foundation for ENC’s work: Mandy Carter. A co-founder of Equality North Carolina, Mandy has spent over 50 years of her life organizing for the LGBTQ community. She relocated to Durham, North Carolina, during the height of the AIDS crisis and committed herself to changing the culture of the South. She and a number of others also co-founded Southerners on New Ground (SONG), a social justice and advocacy group committed to queer liberation and economic and racial justice.

In 1990, Mandy was among a group of individuals who founded the NC Pride PAC in the wake of LGBTQ mobilization surrounding the 1990 Jesse Helms-Harvey Gantt Race for U.S. Senate. This Political Action Committee, now known as Equality NC Action Fund, sought to use that energy to affect change at the state level. Since then, the group has been active in state legislative races and other races of statewide importance.

Mandy is also a co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization serving the LGBTQ community. And in 2005, Mandy was nominated 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.

Today, Mandy is still active with ENC, working as a Voter Engagement Strategist to help get pro-equality candidates elected to public office. Her dedication to our movement is an inspiration, and serves as an example of true service for our staff and board every day.

This Black History Month, we’re asking you to follow in the footsteps of Mandy Carter and consider supporting the work of ENC. From our RYE Fellowship to our political endorsements, we’re able to get up every day and fight for a safer, more equitable North Carolina for our communities because of the support of folks like you. Please consider supporting the work of ENC today -- and keep an eye out for more profiles in your inbox in the coming weeks. Happy Black History Month!

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