Young adult leaders speak out on involvement, inclusion

Panel urges inclusion of young adults, progressive action on intersecting interests

Young adult leaders discuss their role and involvement in the Charlotte LGBT community at a panel discussion on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte.
Photo Credit: Shane Windmeyer/Campus Pride.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Six young adults led a panel discussion last night at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, exploring topics like leadership, young adult involvement and efforts community organizations can take to better include young people in leadership and volunteering.

This writer served as a guest moderator for the panel and forum, sponsored by Campus Pride and held in cooperation with the Center and Time Out Youth.

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Panelists included (left to right in photo above): Anthony Dondero, a UNC-Charlotte student; Rikki Bower, a recent Charlotte transplant from San Diego, Calif., and Campus Pride volunteer; Jess McDonald, communications and programs manager for Campus Pride; Gonzalo Agudelo, a UNC-Charlotte student active with the campus’ LGBT student group and oSTEM chapter; Nathan Gedney, a Time Out Youth board member; and Victoria Davis, a Winthrop University student active in her campus’ LGBT student group.

“The purpose of the panel was to encourage local Charlotte LGBT organizations to actively engage young adults in a meaningful way and share ideas on how to create authentic ongoing spaces for young adult involvement,” Campus Pride wrote in a blog post this morning. “Discussion centered around the panelists’ interests, energy, passion, and commitment as well as how to grow Charlotte LGBT organization outreach efforts and diversity.”

Questions asked and topics discussed at the panel included: “How do young adults become involved in leadership positions, as active members and part of ongoing actions within a Charlotte LGBT organization?” and “What is your under 25 representation like within your organization?”

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Panelists also discussed the need for community groups to focus on broader issues of the progressive community, including the intersecting interests and needs of transgender people, immigrants and others.

Campus Pride thanked several organizations who sent representatives to the forum, including: Carolina Trans Society, Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, UNC Charlotte Center for Wellness, QNotes, Time Out Youth, Charlotte Pride, Aponte, Charlotte Business Guild, MeckPAC, Charlotte Film Society, Chi Psi Omega Fraternity Inc , Alpha Psi Kappa Fraternity, Inc., Chi Psi Omega Fraternity, Inc., and Charlotte Royals Football Club.

“We hope other community organizations will also have discussions on how their LGBT and ally organization can more effectively outreach and actively involve young adult communities in the Charlotte area,” Campus Pride said.

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Posted by Matt Comer

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