GREENSBORO, N.C. — Social justice activist Mandy Carter will be the keynote speaker tonight at the dedication of Guilford College’s Bayard Rustin Center for LGBTQA Activism, Awareness and Reconciliation (BRC). The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on the college’s campus.

Mandy Carter

Formerly the Queer and Allied Resource Center, the BRC is named in honor of Bayard Rustin, a Quaker who was a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and a pioneer in advocating civil rights for African-Americans, gays and lesbians. Rustin, the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, is credited with introducing non-violent Gandhian principles and tactics in the American Civil Rights Movement, leading to direct actions such as sit-ins, marches and boycotts.

The rededication will take place in Founders Hall, beginning at 6:30 with a reception in the Commons. Carter will speak at 7:15, followed by remarks and tours of the BRC. The event is free and open to the public.

Carter’s four decade-long career in activism began with her participation in King’s 1968 Poor Peoples’ Campaign, organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which solidified her lifelong commitment to non-violence. Like Rustin, Carter was influenced by the American Friends Service Committee, a humanitarian organization based on Quaker values.

Carter helped found Southerners On New Ground (SONG), which integrates work against homophobia into freedom and civil rights struggles in the South, and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), currently the only national civil rights organization of concened black LGBT people dedicated to fostering equality by ending racism and homophobia. In 2009, the NBJC partnered with the NAACP on LGBT Equality Task Force.

In 2005, Carter was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. On Feb. 12, she received the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina’s 2011 Frank Porter Graham Award during their 42nd Annual Frank Porter Awards Ceremony. Carter served on Senator Hillary Clinton’s North Carolina LGBT Steering Committee and later was one of the five national co-chairs of Obama Pride, the LGBT grassroots infrastructure for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. She lives in Durham, N.C.

For more information about the event, contact the BRC at 336-316-2374 or RSVP to

— Compiled from release