Karama Blackhorn named 2016 Pride Activist of the Year at Capital City Pride
Capital City Pride recently named South Puget Sound Community College’s Karama Blackhorn as the 2016 Pride Activist of the Year. The award, also known as the Gabi & Alec Clayton Activist of the Year award, was presented at Capital City Pride on June 19 at Olympia’s Heritage Park.
Blackhorn, SPSCC’s Diversity & Equity Center Program Coordinator, was nominated and selected by the 2016 Pride Committee for her many contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Blackhorn is the founder of the Queer I Am conference, which brings together students and staff from northwest community colleges to develop skills that will strengthen their campus’ sense of belonging and pride for queer culture. “From the get-go, Karama has been the heart of Queer I Am,” said SPSCC Dean of Student Engagement Jennifer Manley. “Her passion and strong work ethic brought this vision to reality—and the numbers prove it.” The conference grew from 150 attendees in its first year to 281 attendees in its second year, and added an extra day of learning to the program.
Blackhorn has also been instrumental in building SPSCC programs that support education for under-represented students, such as the FIRE Summit and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Legacy Conference.
Anna Schlecht, Capital City Pride Co-Chair, stated that, “Primarily, though, Karama was selected for her ability to push hard issues with a warm heart and engaging smile—simultaneously confronting and wooing people to do the right thing.” Blackhorn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Critical Race and Sexuality Studies from The Evergreen State College and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at The Evergreen State College.
The award is named after Gabi & Alec Clayton, the parents of 17-year-old Bill Clayton who took his own life after an anti-LGBTQ hate crime on a high school campus in 1995. The Claytons are heavily involved LGBTQ+ activists who have dedicated their lives to LBGTQ+ rights and safety in educational institutions.
Blackhorn joins three past winners who have positively impacted the LGBTQ+ community in Thurston County and beyond, including Lucas Miller, Virgil Clarkson, and David Kindle.
More information about Capital City Pride can be found on their website at capitalcitypride.net. More about the South Puget Sound Community College Diversity & Equity Center can be found on our website at spscc.edu/student-life/diversity-center.