Jonathan Capehart, Andrea Jenkins, Todd Larson and Cleve Jones will speak at Out After Carleton event

October 3, 2019
By Leander Cohen '22

Members of the public are invited to join the Carleton community to hear from four nationally renowned LGBTQA+ advocates on Saturday, Oct. 12. Jonathan Capehart ’89, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, will speak at 9:45 a.m., followed by Andrea Jenkins, a policy aide and transgender activist at 11 a.m. Later, Todd Larson ’83, former senior LGBT coordinator of the Obama White House, will speak at 3 p.m. Finally, author and activist Cleve Jones will give the keynote speech at 7 p.m.

The speakers will be on campus as part of the sixth Out After Carleton Family Reunion. All public events will be held in the Skinner Memorial Chapel on the Carleton College campus.

Out After Carleton Family Reunions serve to welcome, unite and reunite members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual and allied (LGBTQA+) community at Carleton. The Family Reunions have been taking place approximately every four years since 1998, and include talks, panel discussions, film screenings and even a dance party.

Capehart, who will speak first, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and member of The Washington Post editorial board. He also hosts the “Cape Up” podcast for The Washington Post and is a regular MSNBC contributor, where he regularly serves as a substitute anchor. Between his column, podcast and substitute hosting, Capehart has interviewed a wide range of political leaders and cultural icons, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, Academy Award-winning actor Christoph Waltz, actor Mark Hamill, actress Sonia Braga and jazz great Wynton Marsalis. In September 2014, Advocate magazine ranked Capehart ninth out of the 50 most influential LGBT people in media, and in May 2018, The Washington Post awarded him an Outstanding Contribution Award for his opinion writing and podcast. His talk is titled, “Politics in the Trump Era.”

Capehart is followed by Jenkins, a policy aide, politician, writer, performance artist, poet and transgender activist. She is known for being the first African-American openly transgender woman elected to public office in the United States, serving since January 2018 on the Minneapolis City Council. Jenkins moved to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota in 1979 and was hired by Hennepin County, where she worked for over a decade. Jenkins worked as a staff member on the Minneapolis City Council for 12 years before beginning work as curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. In 2011, she was named a Bush Fellow to advance the work of transgender inclusion. Her talk is titled, “Lifting Up What Works: Equality in the 21st Century.”

Larson ‘83, who will speak at 3 p.m., served as the senior LGBT coordinator in the Obama administration. His role was to work with the White House, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help define and give substance to an emerging U.S. foreign policy priority—the human rights and development of LGBTQI persons around the world. He previously worked for the United Nations, where he served as a senior counselor at the World Intellectual Property Organization, the High Commission for Refugees in Indonesia and Malaysia, and with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia, Haiti, and the former Yugoslavia. After graduating from Carleton in 1983, Larson served in the Peace Corps for two years in Togo. He earned his JD and MA in International Studies from the University of Washington. His talked is titled, “Fighting for LGBTQI rights.”

Jones, a human rights activist, author and lecturer, will deliver the keynote speech. Jones was mentored by pioneer LGBT activist and former San Francisco mayor Harvey Milk, and worked in Milk’s City Hall office as a student intern until his assassination in 1978. Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983 and founded The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, one of the world’s largest community arts projects, in 1987. He published his first book, “Stitching a Revolution,” in 2000. Jones led the 2009 National March for Equality in Washington, D.C., and served on the Advisory Board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which challenged California’s Proposition 8 in the U.S. Supreme Court. He published his memoir, “When We Rise,” in 2016.

For more information on Out After Carleton, visit