Charles Stephens

Founder & Executive Director

Charles is the Director of Counter Narrative and co-editor of the anthology Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call. He has over 10 years experience developing innovative community engagement initiatives, piloting programs, and mobilizing black gay men. Most recently he was the conference coordinator for the 2014 “Whose Beloved Community? Black Civil and LGBT Rights Conference” hosted by Emory University, and in 2013 served as a Grand Marshall for the Atlanta LGBT Pride Parade.

Charles has been a Co-Chair of the Emory University Hope Clinic Community Advisory Board, led the AID Atlanta sponsored social marketing campaign targeting young black gay and bisexual men called “From Where I Stand.” He has worked with such organizations as The Ford Foundation, AIDS United, and AID Atlanta as a consultant, providing strategic guidance and thought-partnership around program development and policy advocacy with black gay and bisexual men. Charles has been a fellow at the CDC Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership and the Black AIDS Institute Community Mobilization College. He was selected by the National Youth Advocacy Coalition in 2009 to present on his work at their “Best Practices Working With LGBT Youth of Color Summit.” In 2012 he was invited to present on LGBT youth issues at the White House LGBT Summit held in Atlanta. His work in Black LGBT politics and culture has been honored by PFLAG, ZAMI (which awarded him their Marlon Riggs Social Justice Award) and Unity Fellowship Church which honored him with their Community Award.

Charles has a Huffington Post Gay Voices blog, his writing has also appeared in the Georgia Voice, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lambda Literary Review, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Alternet, and WireTap. 

Content Expertise: black gay men, HIV/AIDS, gender and sexuality, art and activism, media engagement, cultural competence, stigma, community mobilization.

Email: charles.stephens@counternarrative.org

 

Johnnie R. Kornegay, III

Network Director

Johnnie R. Kornegay, III aka Jay Ray is a photographer, activist, arts consultant and coach, cook, videographer, producer, blogger, media personality and public speaker. His client list includes Kipper Jones, Aspernaut Arts, Marcus Emel, The Brown Dance Project, Fonda Clayton, Fit 360 ATL, DJ Steve ChiProfess and Real Chicks Rock among others. From 1996-2000, while in college, Mr. Kornegay learned the music business from the inside out learning sound engineering and music production under the tutelage of Al Alberts, Jr. at The Sound Spa recording studios. He has created for a diverse body of projects including as producer for the video dance “the sound of a feeling” (2011) and the stage play The Meeting (2015). He’s also provided creative visualization for Soul Synergy (2013), Sonic Visuals (2013) and Soul Sistas Juke Joint (2014).

Johnnie is the Founder & Artistic Director of Staticc Art & Life, LLC, an arts company. His mission is “delivering beauty to the world.” As an activist, Johnnie has been involved in HIV and civil rights advocacy for as long as he can remember. During his college years he trained with the American Red Cross in HIV education, and did outreach work for the Chester AIDS Coalition. He currently consults on the issues of Black gay men, arts and activism for non-profits. He blogs at JayRayIsTheName.com, and he hosts his own art and life podcast, Seeing Sounds.

Email: johnnie.kornegay@counternarrative.org