Mandy Carter is a southern African-American lesbian activist with a 51-year movement history of social, racial, and LGBTQ justice organizing since 1967. Raised in two orphanages and a foster home for her first 18 years, Ms. Carter attributes the influences of the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, the former Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, and the pacifist-based War Resisters League for her sustained multi-racial/multi-issue intersectional organizing.
Her participation in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-inspired 1968 Poor People’s Campaign organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) solidified her sustained commitment to nonviolence. She lived for two weeks in “Resurrection City” on the Mall in Washington, DC. She was arrested and jailed in one of many nonviolent civil disobedience actions that summer and will be participating in the 50th Anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign in 2018.
2018 also marks the 35th anniversary of the 1983 Women’s Peace Walk from Durham, NC, to the Seneca Women’s Peace Encampment in New York. This major anti-nuclear action was organized by the Durham-based War Resisters League Southeast Regional office to protest the U.S. deployment of nuclear missiles to Europe.
In 2013, Ms. Carter was national coordinator of the Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project of the National Black Justice Coalition, which acknowledged, honored, and celebrated black gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. The BRCP joined in the many activities marking the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which Dr. King gave his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. Bayard Rustin, a key organizer of the 1963 March, posthumously received the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
In 2015, Ms. Carter helped organize diverse broad-based participation in the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Selma-To-Montgomery Voting Rights Act activities that moved Congress to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which enfranchised hundreds of thousands of blacks across the South.
Underscoring the importance of electoral politics in social change movements, Ms. Carter was one of five national co-chairs of Obama LGBT Pride, the national LGBT infrastructure for Barack Obama’s historic 2008 presidential campaign and win. She did the hard work of organizing grassroots networks and especially people of color throughout the South. She is a former member of the Democratic National Committee’s Black Caucus and LGBT Caucus.
Ms. Carter was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005, which recognized, made visible, and celebrated the impressive and valuable, yet often invisible, peace work of thousands of women around the world. The 1000 women from 150 countries were guided in their work by nonviolence, integrity, and selflessness.
In 2015, she received the Union Medal, the highest honor from the Union Theological Seminary, a leading progressive seminary and voice for justice.
The Mandy Carter Papers Collection was acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, a repository of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.
Ms. Carter lives in Durham, North Carolina.