OutCT celebrates National Coming Out Day

Friday, October 12, 2018

Please join OutCT and the Voluntown Peace Trust as we join together to present an educational and very important program for National Coming Out Day. Special guest: Mandy Carter, southern out black lesbian social justice activist.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (heavy hors d’oeuvres)
Program begins at 7:00 p.m.

Voluntown Peace Trust
539 Beach Pond Road
Voluntown, CT
(off of Route 165)

All Ages

Intersectionality of Social Movements – A Collective Vision for the Future

Bayard Rustin and Paul Murray are two queer people of color whose story is unknown to many although their impact on society is grand. They were leaders in a variety of movements – peace, labor, women, civil rights, religion and more – and are examples of today’s push for collaboration between different groups. The Voluntown Peace Trust in eastern Connecticut was formerly known as the Committee for Nonviolent Action and it was co-founded by Bayard Rustin. In addition to short films about Bayard Rustin and Pauli Murray, there will be a panel discussion to explore collaborative opportunities for social change. Participants include Mandy Carter, Lonnie Braxton, Joanne Sheehan and Rev. Carolyn Patierno with conversations moderated by Professor Margaret Breen of the University of Connecticut.

Short Films About

Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin (1912 – 1987) was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. He was chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Bayard was involved in a number of pacifist groups including the War Resisters League and was a co-founder of the Committee for Non-Violent Action (CNVA). He worked with Mahatma Gandhi’s movement in India and taught Martin Luther King, Jr. about nonviolence. Bayard Rustin was an out gay man whose participation in civil rights was minimalized as leaders thought his orientation would detract from the movement. Read more about this unsung hero here.

Pauli Murray

Pauli Murray (1910–1985) was an American civil rights activist, women’s rights activist, lawyer, Episcopal priest, and author. In 1940 Pauli was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus, 15 years before Rosa Parks, and was a friend to Eleanor Roosevelt with whom they fought against racial discrimination. As an attorney and author who coined the term Jane Crow to describe discrimination of African-American women, Pauli’s arguments were used by Thurgood Marshall in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka and were an inspiration to Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her brief in Reed v. Reed. She was also the co-founder of National Organization for Women (NOW); and, at age 68, Pauli was ordained as the first female Episcopalian priest. Pauli was attracted to women but believed she was a heterosexual man. Pauli was unsuccessful in obtaining hormone treatment and would be considered transgender today. Read more about this amazing individual here.


Panel Discussion With

Mandy Carter is a southern African-American lesbian activist with a 51-year movement history of social, racial and LGBTQ justice organizing since 1967. Raised in two orphanages and a foster home for her first 18 years in upstate New York, Ms. Carter attributes the influences of the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, the former Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, and the pacifist-based War Resisters League for her sustained multi-racial and multi-issue organizing. Ms. Carter helped co-found two groundbreaking organizations – Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). In 2013, Ms. Carter was national coordinator of the Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project of the National Black Justice Coalition. She lives in Durham, North Carolina which was the childhood home to Pauli Murray.
Lonnie Braxton II grew up in Mississippi and is a graduate of UConn law school. He served in the U.S. Navy and as a state prosecutor in juvenile court in Waterford. Attorney Braxton has served on many boards and committees and is currently vice president of the Norwich branch of the NAACP. For Black History Month, he presents an annual film series at the Public Library of New London. Lonnie lives in New London and is a well-known historian and keynote speaker for many groups.
Joanne Sheehan is a long-time peace activist and staff of the War Resisters League/New England. A former Chair of War Resisters International, she has worked with grassroots activists around the world. A nonviolence trainer since the 1970s, Joanne is presently developing resources on its history, which includes Bayard Rustin. Her work has included countering military -recruitment, youth empowerment, and campaigning against war profiteers. Joanne lives in Norwich and is the board chair of the Voluntown Peace Trust.
Rev. Carolyn Patierno is the minister of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation in New London. It is a Sanctuary Congregation that is refugee and LGBTQ welcoming and holds a Black Lives Matter Public Witness on Sundays between services. Carolyn received her Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion and was ordained in 2001. She has been pastor of All Souls since 2001 where the mission is to nurture lifelong spiritual development and a justice-seeking community. Rev. Patierno partners with multiple community organizations and has served as President of the Homeless Hospitality Center. She lives in New London, Connecticut.

Conversations moderated by

Margaret Sönser Breen, PhD is a Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her specialties are LGBT literature, queer theory, women’s writing and feminist literary theory, and the novel; and her books include Narratives of Queer Desire, Butler Matters, and Genealogies of Identity. She lives in New London, Connecticut and has participated in past educational programs presented by OutCT.








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