Naomi Simmons-Thorne is an award-winning scholar, educator, and activist-organizer based out of the University of South Carolina. Naomi has led and participated in numerous organizing and social justice efforts within the state of South Carolina and the larger southeast region. In 2018, she became an inaugural inductee into the Obama Foundation’s Community Leadership Corps and a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Triumph Award in 2019. Naomi is a regularly requested speaker both in part for her critical thinking style and timely social and political commentaries. She has been interviewed and profiled by outlets including the The State, On Point! With Cynthia Hardy and the BBC World Service.
Her ideas and analysis have been received by both national and international audiences across various mediums including films and documentaries. She is a curator for the Out Here LGBTQ film series at the Nickelodeon Theater in Columbia, South Carolina and the coordinator for the Gender Benders Footstep Fellow Program. Naomi is also recognized as a rising scholar. She is currently serving as a fellow at the Research Institute For Scholars of Equity. Her work has been anthologized, and published in academic journals including the Activist History Review.She is a soon-to-be graduate of philosophy and sociology at the University of South Carolina where she studies the intersections, genealogies, and constructions of gender, sex, sexuality, race and power.