R. Ashley Jackson is an activist, advocate, fiber artist and program management consultant. Ashley assists the LGBTQ+ community in the South by designing, planning and organizing campaigns to shape public policy affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community. She works with community members, business owners, elected officials and stakeholders to raise awareness of issues affecting LGBTQ+ people including racial justice; intersections of communities and youth led organizing. Ashley served as the first Alabama State Director for the Human Rights Campaign and the first LGBT Community Advocate for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Ashley has Business and Marketing degrees from Hinds College and attended Auburn University Montgomery for Sociology and Political Science. Ashley has written for and been featured in CNN’s Gay in America series, and autostraddle.com. She’s featured in Queer Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America, the film Mississippi: I Am and PhotAmerica.com.
Ashley co-founded the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition and served as the director for three years and co-founded QYLTS (Queer Youth Leading the South) Activist Summer Camp. She served as a board member for the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition, Equality Alabama, the National Safe Schools Roundtable and was a member of Race Forward’s first ever Better Together Southern Cohort - a coalition working towards racial justice in LGBTQ+ communities in the south.
Ashley was recently named a New Civil Rights Leader: Emerging Voice in the 21st Century by the L.A. Times. She’s a Mississippi native currently residing in Atlanta, GA.