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Rev. Magora Kennedy

Company: Unity Fellowship of Christ Church – New York City
Role: Session Presenter

2021 Conference Session: CURED: Lessons from LGBTQ History for Creating Social Change and Fostering Workplace Authenticity (DF1-A)

Rev. Magora Kennedy has been fighting for social justice for more than five decades. An active participant in the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and the movement for LGBTQ equality, Magora is a former Black Panther who describes herself as “the gayest great-grandmother you’ll ever meet.” She resides in New York City.

Magora is one of the main storytellers in the documentary “CURED.” In the early 1950s, when Magora’s mother discovered that her daughter was interested in girls, she offered her a stark choice: Get married or be institutionalized at the mental hospital in Utica, New York. She chose to get married — at age 14. She eventually came out and got involved in the gay liberation movement. Magora was one of the protesters who fought back at the 1969 Stonewall rebellion. In 1971, she appeared on “The David Susskind Show,” arguing that the medical establishment “made a mistake” with its mental-illness diagnosis and asking Susskind: “Does it make you feel good to say we are sick?”

Since the premiere of “CURED” at Outfest in August 2020, Rev. Kennedy has joined the filmmakers for numerous panel discussions and presentations. She brings an intersectional perspective — and the wisdom that comes from five decades on the front lines as an activist and faith leader — to every presentation. Magora is currently at work on a book project entitled “Shades of Stonewall,” which focuses on the role that people of color played in the 1969 Stonewall uprising.

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Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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