Meet Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara grew up in Chapel Hill and was raised by her mom, a public health nurse. Today, Jasmine and her wife, Meghann Burke, live in the East End neighborhood of Asheville with their toddler son. Jasmine roots for the Tarheels and the Panthers and loves spending time with family and friends.
Jasmine is the founding Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE), an Asheville-based non-profit that launched in 2011 to promote full equality for LGBTQ people and families across the South. Service and faith are the driving forces in her work - from teaching in prisons to becoming an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
CSE helped to win marriage equality in North Carolina and Mississippi and works across the region - especially in small towns - to promote LGBTQ equality. Jasmine also works as a part-time chaplain for the Echoing Green Foundation, which supports global leaders in developing innovative solution to social problems.
As a kid, Jasmine would visit Buncombe County with her mom on trips to the mountains. While attending the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson, she fell in love with Asheville and later taught writing at the college. During this time, Jasmine was active in progressive politics in local, state and national races. She and Meghann left the area to continue their educations and returned to Asheville in 2010 to start their family. Meghann is an attorney in Asheville. As a family, they love hiking, biking and running at Bent Creek, playing soccer, and exploring local playgrounds with Calvin.
Jasmine attended public schools through high school and received her undergraduate degree from Brown University. She holds a Master of Fine Arts and completed her Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School. She serves on the Biden Foundation’s Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality. A fiction writer, her first collection of short stories, Damn Love, received honorable mention in the Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction in 2014.