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Activist Achebe Betty Powell Passes

By Charlotte Robinson, February 26, 2023

Achebe Betty Powell an inspiring LGBTQ leader & activist has passed away at the age of 82. Achebe was one of the first Black women to have a leadership role in the lesbian & gay liberation movement in the 1970’s & was a founding mother of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice org where she remained active for the last 45 years. Powell worked across movements & brought disparate communities together. Powell stated, “All of our movements—the black civil rights movement, the women’s movement & the LGBTQ+ movement—were so important to link to each other. It’s critical for the long game. It’s about human rights & we need to work in that context to make this movement much larger than just us. It’s the continuing work of our current & future leaders to think in this visionary way, because we have to secure the rights of us all on this planet. We can never stop bending the arc of history toward justice—for all of us.” Susana Fried, Co-Chair of Astraea Foundation’s Board added, “I commit to brining Achebe’s spirit into our work. As a friend of Achebe's, I am honored & humbled to be part of the amazing Astraea journey that daily manifests Achebe's principles & values." Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force concluded, "We are so saddened at the loss of Achebe Betty Powell. She was a pioneer, a visionary, an inspiration & trailblazer in a movement that was in its early organizing days. The Task Force was blessed to have her as a board chair & board member, including having her represent us as our first Black board member in 1977 at the first ever meeting at the White House with LGBTQ activists.” 

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