Carmen Vázquez was an out, loud, proud, and visionary sexual freedom fighter. Carmen’s work focused on sexual freedom within a racial and economic justice and human rights framework. A fiery force for justice, she was passionate about nurturing and learning from new generations of activists and advocates. As the recipient of the Vicki Sexual Freedom Award and co-chair of our Board of Directors, Carmen supported Woodhull from its founding, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge, a command of our issues, and a network of advocates dedicated to the advancement of sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.
Carmen was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Harlem, New York. She is a graduate of the City University of New York with a Master’s in education. Among her many accomplishments, Carmen was the Founding Director of the Women’s Building in San Francisco, helped found the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center in San Francisco, and the LGBT Health & Human Services Network , a coalition of over 55 organizations and groups in New York advocating for LGBT Health and Human Services. The Network has secured over $54 million dollars in state funding for its members. She was a founder and principal author of Causes in Common (a national coalition of Reproductive Justice and LGBT Liberation activists) during her tenure as Director of Public Policy at the LGBR Community Center in NYC.
Her essays have been published in several anthologies and she made scores of keynote presentations at conferences and college campuses across the United States. She has been honored for her activism and community intellectual contributions by the City University of New York School of Law with an Honorary Law degree in 2005. The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College in Massachusetts Voices of Feminism Project conducted an oral history of her in 2005 and her papers are archived at the Sophia Smith Archives. Carmen was the Co-Chair of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation Board of Directors.