31st MLK Day Speaker: Charlene Carruthers

Charlene Carruthers

Yes I am Black, yes I am a lesbian, yes I am queer, yes I am a woman and my eyes are squarely centered on Black Liberation.

Every year, CAMD creates a running list of speakers─suggested by the team and community members─who we believe can speak to some of the most pressing matters of our time and ground it in historical context. We’ve intentionally centered the voices of trans and cisgender women of color, and Black women in particular, because the prevailing narrative around civil rights often forgets the womyn of the movement.

All community members were invited to join us for Andover’s 31st Annual MLK Day Celebration with our keynote speaker, Charlene Carruthers, founding national director of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and author of the book Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. Carruthers is a political strategist, cultural worker and PhD student in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. A practitioner of telling more complete stories, her research includes Black feminist political economies, abolition of patriarchal and carceral systems, and the role of cultural work within the Black Radical Tradition.

Charlene is the founder and executive director of the Chicago Center for Leadership and Transformation, a locally rooted and nationally connected learning community for political education, grassroots organizing, language and strategic communications capacity building. Her work spans more than 15 years of community organizing across racial, gender and economic justice movements. She has worked alongside hundreds of young Black activists to build a national base of activists in a member-led organization of Black 18–35-year-olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people with BYP100.


Who am I?
Who Are my people?
What do we want?
What are we building?
Are We ready to win?

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