top of page

About Us

North Star LGBTQ+ Community Center is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all individuals within the queer community, as well as their allies. Our center is a beacon of support, advocacy, and education, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment. Whether you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, visiting our center promises a warm and inclusive experience. Here, you'll find comprehensive information about our board of directors, details about our address and operating hours, ensuring you have all the necessary information to connect with us. Come and join us at the Center!

Visiting the Center

Come Hang out!

We have comfy chairs, outlets to use, and Wifi available for our visitors; the password is on the community chalkboard. We also sometimes watch tv or videos together– please ask the volunteer on duty before use, and checking in with other visitors present before turning on a show. Come be in community and share space with us!

Kitchen Area

We have a kitchen area, complete with full size fridge and freezer, microwave, and kitchen sink. There is also a large counter area with multiple outlets for the crockpots to stay plugged in for potlucks. We like to keep the fridge stocked with water and sodas, so if you’re at the store and want to pick up a few extra bottles we’d be greatly appreciative (or check our our full wish list).

Kitchen Area at North Star
Library Area at North Star

The Center also houses the Alice Johnson Jennings Library. Stop by and browse during the Center’s open hours!


Parking for the center is available on street (2 hr parking between 7am-6pm) and in the lot next to 1502 Fabrics (to the left of our storefront.)

Board of Directors

Board of Director Headshot
Cindia Gonzalez
Chair of Board of Directors

Cindia joined the board in 2018 and quickly became the Interim-Secretary. In 2019, she became the vice-chair of the board of directors and was promoted to chair in 2021. Cindia received her Masters degree in Newspaper, Magazine, and Online Journalism from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Since joining the board, Cindia has continued to help North Star with its social media, graphic design, and email marketing. Cindia leads the “Crafty Queer” program every second Saturday of the month at the center with her partner. She loves teaching people how to crochet. She also enjoys reading, journaling, crocheting, crafting, cooking, and entertaining.`

Board of Director Headshot
Tobi Sparks

Tobias joined North Star Board of Directors in the fall of 2022. He holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. He previously was involved with The Coming Out Monologues before moving to Winston-Salem in 2021. In his spare time, he enjoys video games, writing, cooking, and binge-watching various docu-series.

Board of Director Headshot
Dezi Velez

My name is Dezi, I love reading, and learning. I am a firm believer in always staying a student. There is so much knowledge in the world, the only thing I can keep doing, is learning.
I grew up with a very open and supportive family and group of friends. I hope to be the person that provides love and support to whomever needs it.
I have 2 degrees and I use my knowledge to try and help the environments around me. Whether it be work, home, or a beautiful, welcoming community center.

Board of Director Headshot
Deb Marke
Vice-Chair of Board of Directors

Deb joined the Board in January of 2021. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Health and Exercise Science and is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently they work in higher education in community engagement, advocacy, social justice education, and democratic engagement. In addition to North Star, Deb also serves on the Governing Council for 18 Springs. Previously, Deb served as an abortion a doula with Planned Parenthood Southwestern Ohio and is extremely passionate about gender and reproductive Justice. In her free time Deb enjoys going to concerts, reading, taking spin classes, gardening, and snuggling with all of her pets.

Board of Director Headshot
Spencer Foster

Spencer joined the North Star board in September 2021. He graduated from Appalachian State with a degree in Public Relations, and currently works in the advertising industry as a PR and social media specialist. Spencer has a passion for public health and has helped to expand accessible STI testing at North Star. In his free time he enjoys going to concerts, spending time with his pets, and binging any city of the Real Housewives.

Board of Director Headshot
Kasey Mayfield

Kasey joined the North Star board in June of 2021. She holds a bachelors degree in accounting from UNC Greensboro, and currently works in the nonprofit sector as the director of finance. Kasey was a member of the WS Non-Discrimination Ordinance Coalition and has volunteered with Equality NC, Campaign for Southern Equality, and Family Equality. With those groups, she spoke to NC senators to help get the Respect For Marriage Act passed. In 2022 she was invited to the White House for A Night When Hope and History Rhyme for her work with the RFMA. In her free time she enjoys reading, attending drag shows or live music, and spending time with friends.

Board of Director Headshot
DeAnna Kearns

DeeAnna became a member of the North Star Board of Directors in the fall of 2022. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and double minored Sociology and Gender Studies. She is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte. DeeAnna has served members of the mental health and I/DD population since 2006 and has a passion for helping others. In her free time, DeeAnna loves going to the beach, shopping, and spending time with her nieces and her two dogs, Kali James and Finnley Kade.


By Teresa Carter

It all started...

In 2012, Teresa Carter completed a Needs Assessment at the PRIDE Winston-Salem march concerning whether the Triad area needed a LBGTQ Community Center. At that time, there was no LGBTQ Center in the Triad. Raleigh and Charlotte had Centers and Ms. Carter visited both and gathered information on how to start and fund a Center. At the PRIDE March in Winston-Salem over 93% who completed the Needs Assessment stated that there was a great need for a LGBTQ Center in Winston-Salem.

In 2012, Ms. Carter began organizing a Board for the Center and Winston-Salem Equality, another non-profit in Winston-Salem agreed to merge with North Star Community Center. The name for the Center came from the first Gay Comic Strip hero named North Star. In addition, the North Star is where you look in the sky for directions.

The non-profit paperwork for the 501c3 was completed and in 2013 the search was on for a location for the Center. The first location of the Center was 704 Brookstown Ave in downtown Winston-Salem. It
was a very large house with great space. It is now home to Positive Wellness Alliance. Due to many issues the Center moved to what is the now the Center’s location on Burke Street. North Star also was
an umbrella organization for “Out at the Movies” until they gained their 501c3 status.

The first grants awarded to North Star were: Adams Foundation Grant, Winston-Salem Foundation Grant, Smith Reynolds Grant, Arcus Foundation Grant and Reynolds Foundation Grant. The Grants made
it possible for North Star to hire their first Center Manager. The library at North Star also was made possible by a private donation by Kevin Jennings in honor of his mother. The furniture at North Star was made possible by a private donation from Keith Preston Phillips. North Star started a very successful fundraiser named “In Good Company” which was attended by 250 guests from Winston-Salem’s large and small businesses and recognized them for their policies regarding equality and LGBTQ. The event was held at the Embassy Suites Banquet Room. The events raised over $20,000 each year it was held.

Bishop Gene Robinson held the invocation our first year of the event and we had many guest speakers.

As founder of North Star, I am so proud of the many Board members, volunteers, donors and staff who continue to provide a safe space for everyone to be themselves and provide many support groups and activities. I Cannot wait for the the next 10 years!

center hours
1:00 PM
3:00 PM
1:00 PM
3:00 PM
North STar LGBTQ Community Center

930 Burke St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101

(336) 893-9053 

bottom of page