Lydia Meredith is an author/writer (The Gay Preacher’s Wife: How My Gay Husband Deconstructed My Life and Reconstructed My Faith, published by Simon and Schuster, October 2016); an ordained minister; a civic leader; an activist for LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) justice, especially for the reported millions of emotionally crippled, homeless, LGBTQ+ children and youth who are rejected by their families of origin; CEO/Founder of Beacon of Hope – A Social Enterprise; mother of 3 sons; and grandmother of 6 grandchildren.
Lydia grew up impoverished; during the Jim Crow era (legalized discrimination against African-Americans). She overcame classism, sexism, and racism to become a successful corporate executive for two decades. Upon leaving Corporate America, she founded and managed the nonprofit organization, Beacon of Hope, Inc. – Renaissance Learning Center. Grant writing and fundraising over $1.5 million a year served thousands of disproportionately at-risk children, youth, and their families, residing in the most economically challenged Metro Atlanta communities. Lydia Meredith received numerous awards and commendations from public officials for this work, such as the Georgia Assembly N. T. Randall Servant Leadership Award and the Childhood Hero Award from former Governor Roy Barnes and his wife Marie Barnes — recognizing Beacon of Hope as the state-wide model for quality childcare in Georgia.
She is retired from nonprofit executive leadership and is now using her life experiences, resources, voice, and pen to support social justice. Public service, writing, teaching, and oration capture this season of her life. Her goals are to inspire social transformation for the cause of justice and liberty. Lydia believes all humankind have God-given, inalienable human and civil rights, and devotes her life to this end.
Lydia serves on the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (Region 14) Advisory Board, the Georgia Association of DFCS Advisory Boards, Inc. (Vice President), and the Georgia Professional Human Services Association’s Legislative Advocacy Committee. She is a consistent contributor to the Ali Forney Foundation, The Trevor Project, TBC Tabernacle Baptist Church, Inc., and Georgia Equality.
Lydia Meredith has three (3) Master’s Degrees in Business, Christian Education, and Public Policy from Vanderbilt University, The Interdenominational Theological Center: Morehouse School of Religion, and Georgia State University: Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, respectively.
Lydia is currently a doctoral candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of English (Rhetoric and Composition) at Georgia State University. Her academic goal is to conduct scholarly research to complete a compelling dissertation that addresses the topic of how the Bible (Biblical Rhetoric) is used to oppress, specifically, those in the LGBTQ+ community. Her second, equally important goal is to teach students to think and write rhetorically/critically (and also to share their findings in academic and non-academic settings) for 21st-century matters that relate to this subject and social justice matters in general, and how to put thought into action.
She seeks to stir the soul of students to become productive citizens and civic contributors. When a student writes about their social position, writing becomes a passion; and as words change the heart and the condition of humankind, writing becomes a masterpiece.