CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A popular, African-American and lesbian religious leader from San Francisco will present a lecture at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte this month, addressing politics, sexuality and religion.

Bishop Yvette Flunder, founder of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ, says the fight for gay rights has been used to divide the black community. She’ll speak on that topic and more at the Oct. 22 “OUTSpoken” lecture event.

“Given Bishop Flunder’s strong ties to Charlotte and her national — even international — reputation as an engaging speaker and tireless advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society, she was a natural choice when we were looking for an OUTSpoken speaker who could help the community think about religion and sexuality in new ways,” Kent Brintnall, associate professor of religious studies and UNC Charlotte faculty representative for OUTSpoken, said in a release.

The annual OUTSpoken event was created to focus on LGBT issues. University leaders hope the event positively influences the campus climate to make it a more accepting and affirming place for LGBT students, faculty, staff and community.

Flunder, a native San Franciscan, is widely known for her HIV/AIDS work, LGBT advocacy and social justice outlook. She founded the Ark of Refuge, a non-profit organization providing housing, direct services and education for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Flunder is also a trustee and adjunct professor at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley Calif. She also serves as a board member for the National Sexuality Resource Center and works with the Religion Council of the Human Rights Campaign.

The Oct. 22 lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. at UNC-Charlotte’s Cone University Center, McKnight Hall. The event is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow. Paid parking is available on campus; visit pats.uncc.edu for parking information.

For more information on the OUTSpoken event, visit outspoken.uncc.edu. : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.