Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship team is delighted to announce that Mandy Carter has joined our team as Interim Fellow Development Coach and Bridge Builder. Mandy will collaborate with Heather Laine Talley, Tzedek Director of Social Justice Leadership and Community Engagement, on the weekly Fellow Forum and other aspects of Tzedek program delivery. In the winter/spring of 2018 the Tzedek team will initiate an open hiring process to fill this position in a more permanent way.
Having offered training to each of the last two groups of Tzedek Fellows and being one of our key program advisors, Mandy will join us for a one-year term to dedicate significantly more time to the Fellowship. Given everything that is happening in our state of North Carolina and on the national level, Mandy is very excited to participate in the Tzedek Fellowship’s commitment to supporting the incoming group of emerging social justice leaders and finding ways to amplify capacity in local social justice organizations.
This year marks Ms. Carter’s 50th year of social, racial and LGBTQ activism. From her home base in Durham, North Carolina, Mandy has spent the last 37 of those years living and organizing, primarily in the South. Raised in two orphanages and a foster home, she has devoted herself to a lifetime of social justice activism and grassroots and community organizing. Mandy attributes her strong commitment to the influence of the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee’s High School Work Camp program she attended at the age of 17. Soon thereafter she participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired 1968 “Poor People’s Campaign,” held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
She is a co-founder of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), which integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South. She is also a cofounder of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), which is dedicated to empowering black LGBTQ people. In 2013 Mandy was the National Coordinator of NBJC’s Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project to acknowledge and honor black, gay, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. In November of that year, Rustin was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. In 2015, Mandy helped organize broad and diverse participation in the 50th Anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights that led to the passage of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Mandy brings with her the many lessons she has learned through her deep experience organizing in the South for racial justice and LGBTQ rights and her long-term involvement in multi-racial coalition building and collaboration.
For the next year, Mandy will reside part-time in Asheville, North Carolina, to provide one-to-one mentoring for the Tzedek Fellows. She will partner with Amy Mandel to initiate a listening project to learn about challenges, successes, experiences, needs, and opportunities for connection and capacity building with Asheville’s social justice nonprofits and grassroots organizations.
Mandy (far right in red) with a group of Warren Wilson College students in Selma in 2015.