Joe Solmonese (Credit: HRC)

Great news for outgoing Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, who will be making one of his last public appearances as “professional gay” head honcho at this weekend’s HRC Carolina Gala in Charlotte: Solmonese has been named a national co-chair of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, according to The Miami Herald‘s Steve Rothaus.

But, I saw something like that coming. Who couldn’t have.

From my Feb. 18 Q&A with Solmonese at the old day job:

Where do you see your life taking you now?
I’ve given some thought to what I’ll do next. I haven’t decided how I’ll spend all of my time, but I know I’ll spend a fair amount of time between now and November working to reelect President Obama.

But, the move out of HRC wasn’t the only topic of my chat with Solmonese. There was some great conversation on ENDA, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” voter mobilization, the progressive movement and North Carolina’s impending vote on an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment.

I have to say, I was quite proud this Q&A was one of my last duties as editor of QNotes — so, count me as biased as I highly encourage you to read the full thing at…


Students, faculty and staff at Charlotte’s Johnson C. Smith University have teamed up to present a unique, online community portal to help them share their history and story in the lead up to the Queen City’s historic hosting of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

From the school’s as-of-yet-completed website,

The REEL Urban Network’s RUN DNC 2012 project, inspired by the 2012 Presidential Elections and Charlotte’s historic role, is an innovative interdisciplinary project formed by the faculty and students at Johnson C. Smith University.

This project was launched in an effort to provide students, alumni and the residents of the West Charlotte area community an online platform to discuss issues and experiences that matter to them and how, we can work together to improve our community through the democratic process, civic engagement, and the sharing our stories.

The Charlotte Observer also reports:

The convention is one of the catalysts behind the new RUN DNC website at Johnson C. Smith University.

But it isn’t the only focus of the multimedia page, which launches Friday. Through videos, photos and writings, as many as 400 students will be “digitelling” stories on and off campus leading up to the convention.

A big part of their storyline will be reports about the campus’ westside – its civil rights and political history, its citizens and the present-day happenings that tie in with the rest of urban America.

“When all the reporters come, either we can tell the westside stories, or someone else does,” said Laurie Porter, communication arts professor and one of several faculty members leading the project, including Tonya Williams.

There’s lots of stuff happening among the local LGBT community’s leadership circles and lots of great conversation on how we can take advantage of the media spotlight being directed Charlotte’s way. Johnson C. Smith’s initiative is a great example of how communities in Charlotte can share their stories to a wider audience both within and outside the city.