Louis Mitchell is a pioneering "intentional man," elder, and advocate, who serves as the consultant for community engagement for the Transfaith™/Interfaith Working Group and as an Assistant Minister for South Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Louis has been involved in the fight for health, respect, and self-determination since the early 1980s, with deep engagement in political, mental health, recovery, and black church contexts. His experience includes serving as founding executive director of the Oshun women’s drop-in center in San Francisco, working with clients and staff at Morris Home, a transgender-specific residential recovery house in Philadelphia, co-founding Recovering the Promise Ministries in Springfield, Massachusetts, and suicide prevention work at the regional and state level.
Louis’ work has included many firsts: serving 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. He was a founding member of the TransSaints ministry of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, as well as East Coast Regional Minister and the founding Officer for Religious Affairs for the Transgender People of Color Coalition. Recognition of Louis’ work and honors include profiles in the documentary films Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen (Ziegler & Rodriguez Lora), More Than A Pronoun (Luke Allen Productions), More Than T (PrayTell), and inclusion in the 2014 edition of the Trans 100, in which Louis was named as one of the ten leading Black Religious Leaders Advancing LGBTQ Justice by Believe Out Loud.
In 2013, Louis was honored by Black Trans Advocacy with an award established in his name. The "Louis Mitchell Foundation Award for Empowerment" acknowledges those who increase spiritual, political, or social strength through service, personal encouragement, and availability to the Black Trans Community.
Louis cites his early years in the black Baptist church in Los Angeles, and his study and co-teaching with Angela Davis as important influences. He has been in recovery from alcohol and drugs since 1983 and co-parents a young child, Kahlo, with her mother, Krysia L. Villon.