Keynote Speaker 2016

shaved and bearded

Louis Mitchell is a pioneering “intentional man,” elder, and advocate, who serves as the consultant for community engagement for the Transfaith™/Interfaith Working Group. Louis has been involved in the fight for health, respect and self-determination since the early 1980s, with deep engagement in political, mental health, recovery, and black church contexts.
Some key accomplishments include:
• Served as founding executive director of the Oshun women’s drop-in center (San Francisco, CA)
• Worked with clients and staff at Morris Home, a transgender-specific residential recovery house in Philadelphia, PA
• First “out” transgender-identified board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and as a founding member of Lesbians and Gays of African Descent for Democratic Action
• Co-founded Recovering the Promise Ministries in Springfield, MA
• Profiled in the documentary, Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen.
• Served as a founding member of the TransSaints ministry of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, as well as East Coast Regional Minister
• Served as the founding Officer for Religious Affairs for the Transgender People of Color Coalition
• Served as a member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention at both the regional (Pioneer Valley) and the statewide (Massachusetts) level.
• Provided keynote addresses for the 2011 Trangender Religious Leaders Summit, 2012 First Annual Black Transmen, Inc Conference, 2012 Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference
• Received the 2011 Haystack Award from the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC for his work in Social Justice and Social Ministry and honored with the 2015 Claire Skiffington Vanguard Award from the Transgender Law Center for his long time advocacy for the disenfranchised
• Honored by Black Trans Advocacy with a Foundation Award in 2013. Established in his name, the “Louis Mitchell Foundation Award for Empowerment” acknowledges those who increase spiritual, political, or social strength through service, personal encouragement, and availability to the Black Trans Community.
• Recognized as a part of the 2014 edition of the Trans 100, Louis was named as one of the ten leading Black Religious leaders Advancing LGBTQ Justice by BelieveOutLoud
• Profiled in the LGBT Religious Archives Network gallery
• Received the President’s Award from the Wells College students for his 2015 Residency on Intentional Inclusion and Building Diversity
Additional influences include:
• Using his own learned experience, a broad range of resources, theories and studies, to bring a fresh, “on the ground”, open-hearted, holistic strategy to the work of individual and community healing.
• Raised in the black Baptist church, in Los Angeles, CA
• Studied and co-taught with Angela Davis in California
• Has been sober for more than three decades
• Co-parents a young child, Kahlo, with her mother, Krysia L. Villon