Charlotte, N.C. City Councilmember becomes one of over 100 elite David Bohnett Foundation LGBT Leadership Fellows since 2002

WASHINGTON – Today, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute and the David Bohnett Foundation announced Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield as a graduate of the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellowship.  Mayfield was one of three fellows for the June 2014 class where she spent three weeks in intense state and local government programing at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass.  The program helps senior executives hone their skills and furthers the leadership potential of already accomplished public servants.


“I congratulate LaWana on this accomplishment – this intense program for senior executives at the Harvard Kennedy School is transformational,” said Torey Carter, managing director of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute.  “It provides a continuum of leadership development that bridges personal and professional growth with the skills necessary to address challenges that affect her community.”


“The current graduates from the Leadership Fellows program will join their alumni colleagues in leading exemplary lives of public service as open LGBT American citizens,” said David Bohnett, chairman of the David Bohnett Foundation. “The Fellow program empowers LGBT leaders who are making a difference in the world, honing skills and furthering their leadership potential.”


“Attending the Harvard Kennedy School has helped me to start thinking about streamlining my future political aspirations – leadership is identifying the best in others and encouraging it to soar,” said LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte City Councilmember.  “Without the David Bohnett LGBT Fellowship I would not had the opportunity to network and share best practices with some of the best leaders from around the country.”


Mayfield represents District 3 on the Charlotte City Council. She was first elected in 2011 and is serving her second term. Her previous public service includes chairing the Youth and Gang Violence subcommittee of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee, and working as a community advocate with the Charlotte Community Justice Coalition. She has served as Grants Committee Chair and a board member of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, as Board Co-Chair of the Ujamaa Institute, as National Female Diversity Co-Chair for the Human Rights Campaign, and was appointed to the National League of Cities Human Development Committee.


Since 2002, the David Bohnett Foundation in partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute has sent a select group of LGBT fellows to participate in the summer program. The intensive, three-week session offers a balance of traditional and hands-on learning experiences to help public officials meet the changing needs of their communities. Mayfield joins a distinguished group of alumni, including some the country’s top lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political leaders – Houston Mayor Annise Parker and New York State Sen. Tom Duane (Manhattan).