Rainbow Rundown: Erasing Racism series coming to end, Black organizers cited for election wins

If it’s Friday, it’s time for the Rainbow Rundown, your end-of-week recap of all the important and notable LGBTQ news and goings-on.

We’re just two weeks out from Thanksgiving weekend, and because we’re so close, we want to start this week’s Rainbow Rundown with a couple of important reminders:

First, be safe! Plan ahead and plan smartly for your Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends this year. COVID-19 hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, new cases and deaths from the virus are rising. This week, North Carolina health officials released important guidance on how you can keep your Thanksgiving gatherings safe and fun.

Secondly, we’re still looking for support and donations for Friendsgiving for the local LGBTQ community. We’ve partnered with Queen City Nerve, Time Out Youth, and Single Barrel Room to provide a free Thanksgiving meal to LGBTQ folks in need. Those who want to participate in the meal can sign up online here — either to dine in or to have a meal delivered. We’re also still in need of food and supplies donations and, of course, monetary gifts are always welcomed. You can click here to learn more about the event.

On to the rundown…

In this issue of the Rainbow Rundown:

  • Interfaith “Erasing Racism” series concludes on Sunday
  • Black organizers cited for election victories
  • News from around the nation and world
  • Local and regional news spotlight
  • Upcoming events

Interfaith ‘Erasing Racism’ series concludes this Sunday

The fourth and final conversation in Charlotte Pride Interfaith Programs’ “Erasing Racism” series is planned for this Sunday, Nov. 15, 6 p.m. The event will be broadcast live on Charlotte Pride’s Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter.

“Erasing Racism” has been a four-part series of conversations with LGBTQ and affirming faith leaders in the Charlotte area — tightly focused on questions regarding race and religion. Starting in August, the series has tackled tough questions and issues, including segregated faith groups, the history of white supremacy in the white Christian church, and the power, urgency, and agency for Black people of faith to speak their truths, and the responsibility white people of faith have in confronting racism in religious spaces.

Recurring panelists have included the Rev. Clifford Matthews, Jr., of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. John Cleghorn of Caldwell Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Debra Hopkins of Essentials for Life Ministries. Other panelists in the series have included Bishop Tonyia Rawls of Sacred Souls United Church of Christ, Rabbi Asher Knight of Temple Beth El, the Rev. Wes Isley of the Charlotte Pagan Spiritual Community. The series’ moderator has been Erin Barbee, with guest moderation by the Rev. Amantha Barbee, formerly of Charlotte’s Statesville Avenue Presbyterian and now pastor of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Ga.

The final conversation on Sunday will ask: “What does true inclusion look like?” Panelists will include the Rev. Amantha Barbee, the Rev. Ken Fuquay of M2M Charlotte, the Rev. Debra Hopkins and the Rev. Clifford Matthews, moderated again by Erin Barbee.

You can easily watch all of the prior conversations in this Youtube playlist.

Do programs like these pique your interest? Ever wonder how you can get involved in LGBTQ-affirming interfaith work in Charlotte? You should join Charlotte Pride Interfaith Programs team! Click here to learn more about applying to this team or other volunteer leadership positions with Charlotte Pride.

Black organizers cited for Democratic election victories

Wilmington is the place where white supremacists staged a violent coup in 1898. The port city then had one of the largest Black populations of any city in the state, with several well-respected Black elected officials and business leaders. Following the 1898 coup and massacre, many Black residents fled the city. That history wasn’t lost on two local residents who took out a billboard calling upon the memory of 1898 and urging other residents to vote in 2020. Photo by Reggie Shuford/Facebook.

Black community organizers — in particular Black women — are being lauded for the Democratic Party’s close wins in historically “red” states and counties across the country, including in Georgia and North Carolina.

Georgia, which hasn’t voted for a Democratic candidate for president was in 1992, when then-candidate Bill Clinton won the state. High-profile leaders like former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have pushed voter registration and mobilization. Grassroots groups, too, have led the charge, as documented this week by WBUR’s Here & Now. The Boston-based NPR station chronicled the work of LaTosha Brown, a cofounder of Black Votes Matter, a national initiative to support local organizing. In Georgia, Black Votes Matter invested resources into more than 600 Black-led grassroots groups.

In North Carolina, the Wilmington Star News is profiling the work of local Black Lives Matter organizers, with many saying their protests, organizing work, and voter registration and mobilization efforts this summer helped to turn New Hanover County over to Biden. It’s the first time the coastal county has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 44 years, when Jimmy Carter narrowly took the county in 1976.

Wilmington’s chapter of the national Black Lives Matter worked to increase voter education and awareness on their Facebook page all through the fall. Additionally, they offered voter registration at all of their rallies.

From the Star News:

“Without a shadow of a doubt, New Hanover County would have not flipped blue” without the summer of protests and rallies downtown, said Lily Nicole, one of the organizers of the lowercase leaders, during a phone interview Wednesday. “I would love to thank the citizens of New Hanover County for that.”

Flipping the county blue wasn’t necessarily a goal of the protests, Nicole said: “I didn’t even think it was a possibility.”

The protests did, however, appear to drive voter engagement.

“In our first week we registered over 300 in the 18-25” age demographic, Nicole said. “Some were first-time voters,” while others were new to the area, or college students who had not previously participated in the local political process.

Sonya Patrick heads the Wilmington arm of the Black Lives Matter movement, which does not endorse candidates but does encourage voter participation. Patrick said her group registered around 400 people to vote during regular summer and fall rallies held at the 1898 memorial on North Third Street. Patrick, however, also noted registering voters locally isn’t anything new for her group.

“The local BLM established a year-round get-out-the-vote effort since 2014, which includes voter registration, rallies, panel discussions, public forums (and) meetings with legislators and law enforcement,” Patrick wrote in a text message. “I feel the George Floyd case really brought more awareness to racial disparities and shed a light on how the decisions of public officials can answer the demands for justice or deny justice. This resulted in (a) massive increase in BLM rallies, not only locally but around the country.”

Read the full article at the Wilmington Star News.

News from across the nation and world

Local and regional news spotlight

Upcoming Events


Transcend Charlotte will host several upcoming virtual events:

2020 Debrief and Recovery Space with Reia Chapman
Thu, Nov 19, 2020 6:00 PM

Building Credit for Trans & Enby Folx: Navigating Through Transition, Zeke Christopoulos 
Tue, Dec 8, 2020 6:00 PM.

Click here to learn more and to register.


November 13-14

Building Power Across the Spectrum: NC Advocacy Conference 2020 will include plenty of breakout sessions for experienced and beginning advocates. Join us on Friday, November 13th – Saturday, November 14th, 2020 to learn how to improve lives and fight for the rights of people living with HIV and hepatitis, people who use drugs and affected communities from grassroots leaders and respected experts. During this FREE and ENTIRELY VIRTUAL event, you will also get a chance to (virtually) connect with advocates from your region and around the state. Click here to learn more and to register.


November 14, 7pm

Same date, same hot mess – just virtual! The Virtual Gaymes of Gay Bingo is hitting your screen on Saturday, November 14 and will be all about entertaining you (no bingo cards will be harmed in the making of this live stream). Gay Bingo Charlotte is one of the most unconventional fundraising events in Charlotte and Miss Rona won’t stop us. Join us for a night of laughs, outrageous costumes, wacky games and unpredictable entertainment. All funds raised from this event stay in Charlotte and go to support HIV care. Click here for more information and to get tickets.


November 20

On November 20, 2020, join together as a community-wide family as we mark this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance. Mark your calendars now for this virtual event. More details, including livestream details and support services, to be announced soon.

You can click here RSVP on Facebook to get reminders and updates about the event.

Memorial Altar drop-off: We are accepting physical items to be placed on a memorial altar during the event. You can drop off memorial items like photographs, poems, gems, stones, artwork, other small mementos or trinkets. Please no perishable items. Drop-off location is Time Out Youth Center, 3800 Monroe Rd., Charlotte, NC 28205, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. through next Friday, Nov. 13.

COLLABORATIVE ORGANIZERS INCLUDE: Charlotte Black Pride, Charlotte LGBTQ Elders, Charlotte Pride, Charlotte Transgender Healthcare Group, Freedom Center for Social Justice, Gender Education Network, Time Out Youth, and Transcend Charlotte, Transitioning Center of the Carolinas.