CHARLOTTE — OUTspoken, a group of students, faculty and staff at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, will host guest speaker Elizabeth Birch (pictured), a former president of the Human Rights Campaign, on Oct. 7.

Addressing LGBT civil rights and social progress, Birch will discuss how gay equality affects individuals, businesses and the larger community.

Birch is a former attorney and corporate executive. She directed the Human Rights Campaign from 1995 to 2004. She and her former partner, Hilary Rosen, were outspoken advocates for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Birch currently operates her own consulting firm and runs Rosie O’Donnell’s production company, KidRo Productions, Inc.

In 2007, the university brought transgender author, playwright, performance artist and activist Kate Bornstein to campus. OUTspoken was born out of the desire to see more LGBT-inclusive speakers and events at the school and in the greater Charlotte area.

Students are excited about their participation in the group and the chance to help organize events for noted and respected LGBT leaders.

In a statement, OUTspoken said they anticipate “Birch’s speech to be an illuminating exploration of both litigation and politics.”

The event, open and free to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in McKnight Hall in the Cone University Center at UNCC.

More information about the evening can be found at

— Cristina Dominguez contributed to this report.