Trinice McNally is a nationally recognized transformative leader, student affairs professional, community organizer and creative committed to the liberation of oppressed people. As a two-time alumnus from Bethune-Cookman University, she is most passionate about developing national strategies and best practices for HBCUs to foster welcoming & inclusive environments for their historically marginalized populations through programmatic, advocacy & political education efforts, in addition to to providing political education & strategy for DC/MD college students, faculty & staff interested in abolition and community.
Trinice considers work at HBCUs a pivotal component towards Black liberation. She believes that HBCUs—among the oldest standing institutions for Black people in America—should be sanctuaries for historically marginalized people and have a responsibility to ensure a quality, affirming and liberatory college experience. She hails from London, England–with her lineage traced to St. Mary’s, Jamaica, by way of Miami, Florida. Trinice is a member of the Black Youth Project 100, National Women’s Studies Association, UndocuBlack Network, Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She currently serves as the founding director of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), one of the nation’s oldest HBCUs.
I define myself as both emerging and an activist based on me shifting my advocacy and activism work from focusing primarily on college campuses to the community and larger society. I started my activism tenure by organizing against college administrators at my alma mater to create the first Gay-Straight Alliance at an HBCU in the state of Florida. Through my work, I created policies to protect and support LGBTQ students, wrote my graduate thesis and conducted a study on the “Best Practices to support LGBTQ students at HBCUs” which later supported me in creating my own position and the first Diversity & Inclusion center at an HBCU in Florida. My work primarily sat at the intersections of racial justice and LGBTQ Equality for the first couple of years and was sustained through campus organizing and national advocacy efforts while leading LGBTQ Resource Centers and providing cultural competency training and programs to college administrators, staff, faculty and student leaders.
My understanding and consciousness has evolved as I have made more liberating commitments to oppressed people at large and not just Black and Queer folks. As I came into a Black feminist politic, concepts like the Black Queer Feminist Lens and Intersectionality transformed my understanding of systemic oppression and state sanctioned violence. As a result, I joined a political home to help sharpen my analysis and create a container for accountability, political education and community building.
My commitment to organizing has forced me to understand social issues initially from race, gender and sexual orientation to expand to class-status, educational background, age, ability and immigration status. I have assessed how I have contributed to the liberation of all oppressed people and it has evolved and allowed me to emerge from a limited perspective to a more inclusive activist that can make the connections between a spectrum of identities and systems of oppression. Ella Baker said, “Build it and they will come”. This mantra guides my work to build spaces, opportunities where they don’t exist in honor of freedom fighters passed and those of future generations. I am honored to be an awardee for the Kevin Zeese Emerging Activists Fund and plan to amplify my efforts to provide political education and restorative justice practices to DC/MD college students & faculty through the Envisioning Safety On Our Campuses project and continue organizing with in various capacities with the Black Youth Project 100, UndocuBlack network and the Black LGBTQ Migrant Project.