Campaign for Southern Equality's Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is vying for a seat on the Buncombe County Commission.

Activist mounts campaign

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, is running for a District 1 seat on the Buncombe County Commission.

She was one of the driving forces in the same-sex marriage battle across the South, as well as working across North Carolina to strike down Amendment One. Campaign sources said that Beach-Ferrara was told that it would take her decades to change the discriminatory law, but she believed in North Carolina and the fight for justice. “And she was right,” they added.


Magazine submissions requested

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — OurVOICE and the University of North Carolina at Asheville are currently accepting submissions of art, poetry, drama and prose by survivors of sexual violence.

Pieces can focus on any topic. Those which address the intersection of race, class, gender and/or sexuality are encouraged. Due date for submissions is March 25. Visit to join in the project. Publication date is slated for April as a way to honor Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Readings from submissions will take place On April 22, 7 p.m., at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St.


Wedding expo booked

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The LGBT Wedding Conference and Expo will take place on April 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore, 115 Hendersonville Rd.

This three part event will feature a conference with panels and guest speakers addressing marriage and commitment within the LGBT community. Secondly, there will be an expo featuring Asheville’s LGBT-friendly wedding vendors. Additionally, there will be a group commitment ceremony where couples can marry or renew their vows to one another followed by a reception. The American Red Cross will also be on site for a blood drive.

The event, sponsored by Blue Ridge Pride Center and partners, is open to all members of the LGBT community and allies. Tickets are $9.39 each and are available online.


Center adds ‘smile’

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Blue Ridge Pride Center has recently partnered with the AmazonSmile Foundation. This arrangement provides a way for supporters to support the center with little or no additional out-of-pocket costs.

Customers with Amazon visit the AmazonSmile website where they are able to choose from the same products as the standard one. At checkout, 0.5 percent of purchase pricing goes to the center on price eligible sales.

To sign up, visit and earmark the center as the charity of choice.

In other news, the center is still seeking contributions toward their special fund created to gather monies to offset last year’s shortfall on the rain-soaked Pride celebration.


Purse registration opens

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The 12th Annual Power of the Purse Luncheon will be held on May 24, 12 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Asheville, Expo Center, 1 Resort Dr. It is presented by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC).

Former astronaut Mae Jemison will be the featured speaker at the 12th Annual Power of the Purse Luncheon.
Former astronaut Mae Jemison will be the featured speaker at the 12th Annual Power of the Purse Luncheon.

Featured speaker will be Dr. Mae Jemison, who is a NASA astronaut, physician and educator. She flew on the 1992 Space Shuttle Endeavor’s STS-47, a cooperative mission between the U.S. and Japan. While onboard, she performed experiments in material and life sciences and human adaptation to weightlessness.

Prior to her work with NASA, Jemison was an area Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia. She earned her M.D. from Cornell University and practiced medicine in Los Angeles, Calif. She is currently leading the 100 Year Starship, an initiative exploring human interstellar space travel and is the founder and president of two medical technology companies.

Sponsors and patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy coffee with Jemison at 10:30 a.m. During the event, the 2016 Women for Women grants will be announced. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit The Women’s Fund endowment which supports the needs of the region’s women and girls.

CFWNC’s Lindsay Hearn shared that the organization provides all individuals equal employment and selection opportunities regardless of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, color, sex, disability, religious belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation or any other basis prohibited by law. The personnel program of The Community Foundation is established and administered in a non-discriminatory manner in accordance with federal, state and local laws and regulations and the foundation is also committed to providing a work environment that is free from any form of discrimination or harassment. The foundation does not tolerate sexual harassment or harassment on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, color, sex, disability, religious belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political orientation or other basis protected by law.

Tickets are $75/individual and $150/patron. Registration is available online.


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Share your news with us
Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...