In 1979, seven individuals with varying backgrounds came together to form the North Carolina Human Rights Fund with the goal of creating a more just and equitable world for folks facing threats to life and safety from their government and communities. The organization’s primary focus was to offer legal services to LGBTQ folks being prosecuted under the Crimes Against Nature Law.
It was a remarkably bold and brave move and today’s world looks radically different for many members of the LGBTQ community, at least in part due to the work of these seven founders. The group also worked to foster local organizations across the state, and help fund the first NC Pride marches. In the late eighties, the focus shifted to providing education on lesbian and gay issues. The North Carolina Human Rights Fund went on to become what today we call the Equality NC Foundation.