Spoonflower + LGBTQ Center of Durham: Pride 2019

JUN 25, 2019 updated May 26, 2021
LGBTQ Center of Durham community members share their stories and what Pride means to them.

Spoonflower is built on a foundation of creativity, inclusion and self-expression. For Pride 2019, we are so excited to partner with an organization that is both near and dear to us: the LGBTQ Center of Durham. We admire the work the Center is doing in our local community to create programming, resources and networks of support for those who identify as LGBTQ+ and are thrilled to partner with them for Pride: Durham, NC. Meet some of the incredible Durham community members that work with the LGBTQ Center and learn how creativity and personal expression have helped shape their self-identity.

Meet the LGBTQ Center of Durham Community Members

J. Clapp

Interim Executive Director, LGBTQ Center of Durham
Chair of Pride: Durham, NC
Matriarch of the House of Coxx
He/Him/His/, They/Them/Theirs

Former Director of Duke’s Office of Access & Outreach, J. served as the coordinator for  programs supporting Duke University’s first-generation, low-income, racially diverse college students. He provided guidance on reaching this population and collaborates with Undergraduate Admissions to recruit students from diverse backgrounds.

As Durham’s Drag Diva, Vivica C. Coxx brings beauty, comedy, and social justice to a head in the most beautiful way. Crafting a nightlife culture AND making drag accessible to everyone, she has made a name for herself and keeps growing!

Barbara Lau

Director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center

Lau’s work is an effort to activate history for social change inspired by the life and legacy of activist, poet, lawyer and Episcopal priest Pauli Murray. From 1999 to 2009, she directed community documentary projects at the Center for Documentary Studies. In that position she led nationally recognized documentary programs for youth and the documentary/public art project Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life. Lau has more than twenty years of professional experience as a folklorist, oral historian, teacher, curator, radio producer, and arts consultant.

Helena Cragg

Former Executive Director and founder of the LGBTQ Center of Durham
Current consultant and program manager for the Center

A NYC native and M.I.T. graduate, Helena runs the Center, currently serves on the Board of Durham Central Park, is formerly the president of Old North Durham Neighborhood Association and has served on the Strategic Planning and Long Range Planning committees for Central Park School Middle School.

Meet Vernetta Alston : Spoonflower + LGBTQ Center of Durham: Pride 2019 | Spoonflower Blog

Vernetta Alston

Ward 3 representative on the Durham City Council

With a B.A. in political science from North Carolina State University and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Vernetta won a seat on Durham’s City Council in 2017.

Alston’s professional experience includes work as a staff attorney for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. She has also served as a member of Durham’s Citizen Advisory Committee, the Durham Peoples’ Alliance Board, and the University of North Carolina Law Pro Bono Alumni Board.

José Romero

Activist / Organizer / Poet / Cultural Anthropology PhD Candidate

A queer activist living in Durham, NC, José descended from working-class immigrants from El Salvador and Mexico. His abolitionist organizing for black/brown futures includes forging with Alerta Migratoria NC, Defend Durham, Durham Beyond Policing, Inside-Outside Alliance, LGBTQ Center of Durham, and pursuing a Cultural Anthropology PhD at Duke University. He writes about environments, militarization, and the poetics of insurgency.

Tori Grace Nichols

Prismatic Performance Artist

LeiLani Dowell

Activist / Educator

Tori Grace is a world-traveled poet, musician, actor, dancer and activist. With a background in creative arts therapy, Tori Grace feels called to cultivate wholeness and healing through performance and education.

Originally from L.A., LeiLani Dowell is a long time organizer and activist who ran for Congress in San Francisco in 2004. She recently completed a PhD in English from the Graduate Center at CUNY and intends to go into publishing. She is kind and generous and a fierce Scorpio when she needs to be. She is an amazing cook and a brilliant human; an absolute treat to be around.

Thank you to the Durham community members for so kindly sharing their stories. We feel so honored to have the opportunity to introduce each and everyone of you to the Spoonflower community.

Featured Designs in this Post

A special thank you to The Rickhouse for welcoming Spoonflower into their venue to film our Pride interviews.

A special thank you to The Rickhouse for welcoming Spoonflower into their venue to film our Pride interviews.

Celebrate Pride with a custom flag for your local parade or shop the Marketplace for Pride-inspired designs.

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