CNP’s 2021 Virtual Summit Celebrates Black LGBTQ Icon Bayard Rustin

Counter Narrative Project (CNP), the Atlanta-based organization committed to uplifting community history and collective memory, will host their 2021 CNP Summit virtually on March 17th and 18th. The event is an educational celebration of the teachings and themes of the Civil Rights and Black LGBTQ icon Bayard Rustin. Rustin is best known as the main strategist and organizer behind the historic 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his brilliant “I Have a Dream Speech.”

Alongside Dr. King, Rustin was also one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the most influential organizations of the Civil Rights Era, and was an accomplished organizer, advocate, and leader throughout his life.

The keynote session of the summit will be titled “Influencing a King: Bayard Rustin and Coretta Scott King’s LGBTQ+ Activism.” The session will dive into the complex friendship between King and Rustin and his vast influence on the early moments of Black LGBTQ+ Activism through King. The featured speakers of the session are Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, who is the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College, and Lynn Cothren, who served as the Special Assistant to the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King for over 23 years.

Additionally, the Summit will feature multiple sessions from community organizers, activists, and leaders offering insights and lessons about Rustin and the translation of his work into today’s complex landscape.

“Bayard Rustin has inspired so many of us into action and advocacy for a better, more equal world,” said CNP Executive Director Charles Stephens. “My hope is that this Summit will create space for us to learn in a more intentional way from Rustin who was perhaps one of the greatest organizers of all time.”

Registration is currently open to the public and free of charge. Participants can learn more and register at