#CampPride15 Day Three: Day of Action for Trans Justice at Johnson C. Smith University

Campus Pride welcomes 120+ students, faculty and staff for the 9th annual Camp Pride & 4th annual Advisor Bootcamp on July 14, 2015. Throughout this week, Campus Pride will be sharing the camp experience through blogs and social media with the hashtags #CampPride15 and #AdvisorBootcamp.

Day Three of Camp Pride began with campers arriving at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), a Historically Black University in Charlotte, NC, where there were welcomed by JCSU SAFE, the campus’ LGBTQ and human rights student organization. The day’s panels and keynotes were focused on applying intersectionality to grassroots organizing and transgender issues, with a specific focus on transgender people of color.

Campers learned more about local Charlotte activism, including local politics surrounding the Charlotte Non-Discrimination Ordinance. Charlotte City Council Member LaWana Mayfield shared her experiences advocating for trans inclusion in the ultimately failed ordinance.

Suzy Geronimo, Southern trans leader and activist, shared her journey as a trans immigrant woman of color. Her inspirational body of work served as an example to campers of the need to continue work in the face of adversity and to challenge beliefs of who can be successful in activist work.

Throughout the day, campers were able to hear from panelists on grassroots organizing at the intersections, including Mandy Carter, Diego Sanchez, Marisa Richmond, Bishop Tonyia Rawls, J Mase III, Jeff Sheng, Dr. Herukhuti, Romeo Jackson, Keyonna Fowler, Vita E. Cleveland and Juniper Cordova-Goff.

As a special lunch event, the campers attended BLgT USA, a national campaign that promotes LGBTQ rights by inviting local chefs to create the classic BLT sandwich with a special twist and donate the proceeds to their local LGBTQ centers and organizations. The sponsoring restaurant was be Dish in Plaza Midwood.


@getoutgang #camppride15 #blgtusa #yum #advisorbootcamp

A photo posted by Campus Pride (@campuspride) on

The final event of the day was the Community Potluck with Purpose, held at the Sacred Souls Community Church. Sacred Souls Community Church, the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund and the Freedom Center for Social Justice will cosponsored the event. Diego Sanchez, former Senior Policy Advisor to Congressmen Barney Frank and current Director of Policy for PFLAG was the keynote speaker. Transgender artists Vita E. Cleveland and J Mase III performed spoken word and lead an interactive meditation with percussion, bringing the day to a close. To view a Periscope of the event (Available through July 17) click here.

Other partners for the day include MeckPAC, Equality NC, Charlotte Business Guild, Genderlines, LGBT Democrats of Mecklenburg County, ACLU Charlotte, PFLAG Charlotte, the Freedom Center for Social Justice and the Human Rights Campaign.


Allison Marie Turner is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and mass communication and women’s and gender studies. She is a 2015 Summer Fellow for Campus Pride. Follow her on Twitter@amturner1993.

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