Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Ann Clark will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Carolina Conference on Queer Youth. Photo Credit: David T. Foster, III, The Charlotte Observer

Youth slate conference

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 2016 Carolina Conference on Queer Youth will be held on Oct. 14, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Student Union, 9201 University City Blvd.

The event, sponsored by Time Out Youth Center and The Multicultural Resource Center at the university, is open to students, K-12 staff, helping professionals and community members from around the Carolinas. The one-day conference is a unique opportunity for area representatives to network and organize around issues important to the healthy development of LGBT youth.

The keynote speaker will be Ann Clark, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Clark was instrumental in updating district regulations in 2016 to better support transgender students across the district.

“We are excited to welcome Superintendent Ann Clark as our keynote speaker for the 2016 conference,” said Rodney Tucker, executive director of Time Out Youth Center. “As many of the conference participants are CMS employees and students, it will provide a great opportunity for them to hear from the leader of the district on the specific steps CMS is taking to support LGBTQ youth.”

Organizers said that a focus area for this year’s conference is supporting transgender and gender expansive youth, with workshops addressing access to healthcare, creating inclusive and supportive school environments, and creating youth-led programs that empower transgender youth. Other workshops will include a know your rights in K12 schools update on HB2, examining intersectional identities, supporting LGBT youth of color and an overview of the Welcoming Schools program, among others.

Registration is free for youth and $25 for adults and is available online. Eight hours of CEUs are available for professionals attending the conference

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all participants.


PFLAG holds elections

CONCORD/KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Concord/Kannapolis will hold its annual chapter meeting and election of officers and executive board members on Oct. 11, 7 p.m., at Trinity United Church of Christ, 38 Church St. N. in Concord.

Nominated for the upcoming year are: Officers — Joan Gale, president; Kelley Cunningham, vice president; Linda Coonley, secretary; and Chrisy Horgan, treasurer; Board — Don Gale, Dorothy Perry, Michael Howard and Taylor Ciucevich. Term length is two years.

Voting is only open to paid PFLAG chapter members. Proxy votes are due by Oct. 9 via email to


#100yearsstrong celebration upcoming

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Planned Parenthood is celebrating its 100th anniversary during October. And, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic will host a reception in its honor on Oct. 13, 5:30 p.m., at the Foundation for the Carolinas, 220 N. Tryon St.

Keynote speaker will be Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Anna Quindlen. She was a columnist for The New York Times and Newsweek.

Sponsorships of $1,000 or more are given the opportunity to join Quindlen for dinner following the reception. Information on being a sponsor is available online at

Tickets start at $100 for singles and range from $250-$5,000 for those as the sponsorship level. They are available on line at

In other news, Planned Parenthood of North Carolina was shown to have strong support in a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, netting a 66 percent positive view of the organization. Support cut across party lines. The poll was one of five conduced across key battleground states.

The Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina is engaging in a door-to-door effort to get progressive, pro-women’s candidates elected in November.

Sen. Richard Burr has voted eight times to defund Planned Parenthood, PAC head Paige Johnson said.

Planned Parenthood Votes has made North Carolina a federal priority, with intenstions to invest in a six figure digital ad buy which will focus on winning the Senate and presidential races in the state.


Fashion show honors leaders

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Power of One Awards and Fashion Show will be held on Oct. 15, 6 p.m., at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Center City Campus, 320 E. 9th St.

The event, sponsored by PowerHouse Project, is held to honor African-American LGBT leaders who have made an impact in Charlotte and the surrounding area, organizers said. The fashion show features local designers and models.

Admission is free with an RSVP which is available online.


Center hires co-director

Rev. Mykal Slack has been hired as the Freedom Center for Social Justice’s first co-director.
Rev. Mykal Slack has been hired as the Freedom Center for Social Justice’s first co-director.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Freedom Center for Social Justice has announced the hiring of Rev. Mykal Slack as its first co-director.

Slack began his professional career as a lawyer, serving as the first Gary Crawford Law Fellow at the LGBT Rights & HIV/AIDS Rights Projects at the national offices of the American Civil Liberties Union and then as a law clerk and courtroom deputy for the Honorable Marilyn D. Go in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Later he served as an investigator of discrimination complaints in employment, public accommodations and education for the Lancaster County Human Relations Commission in Lancaster, Pa.

Afterward, Slack decided to become an ordained minister and left the field of law. His divinity education was gained at Union Theological Seminary in New York, N.Y. He has served in various ministerial posts in the Metropolitan Community Churches and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Most recently, Slack served as director of congregational life for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, N.C.

He is also the founder and lead organizer of 4LYFE, an associated ministry of Metropolitan Community Churches, which provides pastoral and educational resources to address sexuality and gender identity issues in social service organizations and faith communities across a broad spectrum. He develops programming that creates spaces for open and honest dialogue about differences, intersectionality and relationship-building and collaborates with grassroots organizations to build networks of faith and community leaders who care about issues that most impact LGBT individuals

“Mykal far exceeds what we hoped for in this position. His legal and religious background, as well as his commitment to social justice and work as a Trans activist, made him a perfect fit for this post,” Bishop Tonyia Rawls shared. Rawls is the founder and executive director for the center.

The majority of his focus will be on the Yes You Can Go safe restrooms program, development of and the Transgender Faith and Action Network’s retreat and training programming. He will also work closely with Bishop Rawls, his co-director, on the expansion of the work the organization has been doing at the intersections of race, faith, social justice, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Slack will be based in Durham, N.C. and can be reached at


Church announces spirituality series

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Caldwell Presbyterian Church, 1609 E. 5th St., will begin a four-part spirituality series at 5 p.m. in The Third Place Coffeehouse at the church.

Presenter is Jim Green, M.Div., a psychotherapist.

Discussion is held in an LGBT and allied affirming setting and centers around the theme of “Thomas Merton and Mindfulness.” Dates and topics for the series are: Oct. 23, The Spirituality of Thomas Merton; Nov. 6, The Here and Now Moment; Nov. 20, The Divine is Shining Through the World; and Dec. 4, Finding the Peace of Christ at Christmas.

The sessions are free of charge and registration is required.


Victory endorses candidate

Jane Campbell is running for North Carolina House of Representatives for House District 98 and has been endorsed by The Victory Fund.
Jane Campbell is running for North Carolina House of Representatives for House District 98 and has been endorsed by The Victory Fund.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Victory Fund has extended its support for Jane Campbell with an endorsement for her candidacy for the North Carolina House of Representatives for House District 98.

Campbell is the only out candidate for the state’s House. She is battling incumbent Rep. John Bradford who was one of the sponsors of HB2.

A retired Navy captain, her active duty locations included Pearl Harbor, Afghanistan, the Pentagon and the White House.

Her platform focuses on protecting LGBT rights and voting rights, as well as increasing educational funding. Campbell’s highest priorities are challenging the state’s conservative super majority.

Recently, Campbell’s opponent has blamed others for the passage of HB2, even though he sponsored and voted for the measure. He points fingers and denies culpability, the Victory Fund reported. And, this is not his only “transgression.” He was a proponent of the I-77 toll road prior to the contract being signed, but back peddled and said it was a bad idea, but did admit his mistake.

If Campbell is able to win her election, she plans to work toward the repeal of HB2, among other items.

“District 98 deserves a new and honest leader who will put North Carolina’s economy and families first. I will be that leader,” Campbell shared.


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Share your news with us
Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.