Cheryl Courtney-Evans, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, came to Atlanta in 1979. Through years of hardship while here (although she came with some college education and nine years of administrative job experience), she found a place with LaGender, Inc. an Atlanta transgender support group, where she received certification as a transgender peer counselor through the United States Conference of Mayors grant program. Convinced there was another, better way to serve the transgender community, she joined the staff of Aniz, Inc. and through this agency was able to co-found TILTT, Inc. (Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth, Inc.) with Minister Lisa Newson to facilitate this, becoming the first transgender support and advocacy organization in Atlanta to serve both transgender men and women.
Since its inception on September 27, 2007, TILTT achieved incorporation, becoming TILTT, Inc., and has strived to assist transgender individuals in navigating the community at large, addressing those issues that would help them to more fully integrate into that community. TILTT, Inc. has served over 300 transgender individuals, providing moral support and general trans-advocacy. In April, 2009, Ms. Courtney-Evans participated with over 200 transgender individuals, sponsored by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), in Lobby Days on Capital Hill in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress members for passage of the Mathew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act with gender identity included as one of the protected groups, as well as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). (She was gratified to learn of passage of the former in the House the day following their visit to “The Hill”, feeling their voices had made some impact. The Hate Crimes bill was consequently passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama in October, 2010.)
In addition to her duties with TILTT, Inc., Cheryl now facilitates workshops and sensitivity [awareness] trainings, her most notable being with the Audre Lorde Leadership Conference (ZAMI, July, 2009), at the University of Georgia, Athens (March, 2011), where she presented “The Black Transgender Experience in America” (both venues) and AID Atlanta (November, 2011) for its staff. She is the winner of the TransFaith In Color/Freedom Center for Social Justice Conference “Pioneer Award” for ‘years of courageous work toward transgender rights and empowerment’, in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a constant supporter of human rights issues, with a focus on the transgender community in this respect.
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