Louis “L.J.” Mitchell was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and comes from a long line of people who believe that community building and community service are important Christian values.
Rev. Mitchell and his wife, Krysia L. Villón, moved to the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts in 2001. Louis is committed to struggles for fairness, equity, respect and self-determination. Using his own learned experience, a broad range of resources, theories and studies, he brings a fresh, “on the ground”, open-hearted, holistic strategy to the work of individual and community healing. Using his own life experiences and varied work, volunteer, social justice and ministry experiences, Louis seeks to share a vision of intersectional thinking and brings a commitment to inclusion and mutuality to each setting that he’s invited to.
Louis has had a long history of service with various agencies and boards, including as the first “out” transgender-identified Board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and as a founding member of Lesbians and Gays of African Descent for Democratic Action.
Louis was recently featured in the documentary, Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen, is a featured blogger for Many Voices, as well as many articles through the years. He serves as the engagement coordinator for the Interfaith Working Group, is a board member of the Freedom Center for Social Justice and current program co-chair for the Trans Faith in Color Conference, a member of National Black Justice Coalition’s Leadership Advisory Council, a founding member of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries’ Trans-Saints and serving as their East Coast Regional Minister, and as a founding member of the Trans-People of Color Coalition.
Mr. Mitchell was the co-founder of Recovering the Promise Ministries in Springfield, Massachusetts. Louis was recently honored as the recipient of the 2011 Haystack Award from the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC for his work in Social Justice and Social Ministry. He was further honored to be selected to be the Keynote Speaker for the inaugural Black Transmen, Inc. Conference and the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference in 2012.
Louis lives in daily gratitude for the reconciliation, restoration and grace of a loving God that surpasses all of his needs!
(This biographical statement provided by Louis Mitchell.)