Jasmine was elected to Buncombe County Commission in 2016 and selected as Vice Chair in 2018. She currently chairs the Early Childhood Education and Development Committee and serves on the Justice Resource Advisory Council and Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. She focuses on policy issues that help create a community where every child can thrive, and where people feel a sense of belonging and can live up to their full potential. These include early childhood education, affordable housing, criminal justice reform, and responding to the opioid epidemic.
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and her wife, Meghann Burke, live in Asheville with their three kids and dog. They love hiking, swimming, exploring every playground in the county, and cooking. Jasmine is a fan of the UNC Tarheels, Carolina Courage, and Carolina Panthers.
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 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 solutions 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 and launch CSE.
Raised in Chapel Hill, NC, 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 served on the Biden Foundation’s Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality and been interviewed widely about LGBTQ issues in the South. A fiction writer, her first collection of short stories, Damn Love, received honorable mention in the Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction in 2014.