June 5, 2019

NYC Pride Announces Raquel Willis, Janet Mock, Tracey “Africa” Norman as Keynotes for Human Rights Conference

NYC Pride, the official host of WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50, is pleased to announce the three keynote speakers scheduled to lead a pulsating dialogue during the Human Rights Conference on June 24th and 25th: Raquel Willis, Janet Mock, and Tracey “Africa” Norman.

NEW YORK, NY JUNE 5, 2019 - NYC Pride, the official host of WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50, is pleased to announce the three keynote speakers scheduled to lead a pulsating dialogue during the Human Rights Conference on June 24th and 25th: Raquel Willis, Janet Mock, and Tracey “Africa” Norman.

The Human Rights Conference gathers activists, public figures, policymakers, students, and more for a two-day, immersive session that explores LGBTQIA+ human rights around the world. This year’s conference is scheduled from 9am – 5pm at a new location, the New York Law School, and will combine presentations and performances, politics and policies, and academics and activism.

Raquel Willis, Out Magazine’s Executive Editor, will lead the keynote fireside discussion along with Mock and Norman for the panel entitled, "Marsha Wasn’t Alone | A Brief History of Black Trans Power: on the history of Black trans resistance and resilience in the U.S. and how Black trans organizers are shaping a new future, today."

Willis is a Black, queer, transgender activist, writer, and speaker dedicated to inspiring and elevating marginalized individuals – particularly transgender women of color. Willis also launched Black TransCircles, a project focused on developing the leadership of Black trans women in the South and Midwest by creating healing justice spaces to work through oppression-based trauma, incubating community organizing efforts to address anti-trans murder and violence, and elevating nuanced narratives.

“50 years after those future-defining moments at Stonewall, let it be clear that Black trans women have been positively impacting the LGBTQIA+ community since then – and long before,” said Willis. “I’m honored to share space with powerful possibility models Tracy “Africa” Norman and Janet Mock and dive deep into our experiences navigating the world in our full truths.”

Janet Mock is a writer, director and producer whose memoir, Redefining Realness, debuted on the New York Times® Best Sellers list in 2014. Born in Hawaii, Mock began her career as an editor at People.com and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Marie Claire, Interview and Allure. Most recently, Janet made television history as the first trans woman of color to write, direct and produce for a series with Ryan Murphy’s FX drama Pose, which has assembled the largest cast of trans actors in series regular roles ever for a scripted series. The episode she directed, “Love is the Message,” has been hailed as the best episode of television this year by Vulture. Pose will premiere its second season on June 11th. In addition, Janet is a sought-after speaker, an advocate for trans rights, and the founder of #GirlsLikeUs, a social media project that empowers trans women.

“I’m thrilled to be sharing space with an icon like Tracey “Africa” Norman who blazed trails for girls like us and Raquel Willis whose work moves our culture to deepen their understanding and empathy for trans folk everywhere. For three trans women of color to occupy this space 50 years after Stonewall is a full circle moment — an homage to veterans like Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P Johnson and Miss Major Griffin Gracy,” said Mock.

In 2017, the name Tracey “Africa” Norman had become synonymous with terms like “full circle and comeback kid.” Norman’s modeling career got started all because she was in the wrong place, at the right time. She'd accidentally wandered into a model casting for the European designer Basile and, as luck would have it, got the booking. As a result, she was the first African-American transgender woman model to appear on a box of Clairol in the 1970s. Originally from Newark, New Jersey, she’s modeled and has been photographed for publications such as Essence, Vogue Italia and Harper's Bazaar India. Norman also had a magazine cover and life story spread in New York Magazine.

Single and two-day general admission passes for The Human Rights Conference are now on sale at: nycpride.frontgatetickets.com. Tickets include breakfast, lunch, and coffee break networking throughout each day.

WorldPride 2019 | Stonewall 50 will be comprised of more than 25 different events for LGBTQIA+ and allied people during the full month of June, 2019. Throughout the course of the celebration, all WorldPride events will ladder up to the foundational theme, “Millions of Moments of Pride.” Join New York City, and the world, this June as we honor the past, celebrate our differences and march together for our future. For more information, visit: www.worldpride.org.

Media Contacts:
James Fallarino | Media Director
james@nycpride.org

Eboni Munn | Communications Manager
eboni@nycpride.org | (212) 807-6424

Cathy Renna | Media Consultant
cathy@targetcue.com | (917) 757-6123

ABOUT HERITAGE OF PRIDE
Heritage of Pride, Inc. is the volunteer-directed organization behind the official NYC Pride roster of events. Heritage of Pride’s mission is to work toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. We do this by producing LGBTQIA+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate our diverse community.

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