Nicole “Coco” Townsend was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri, and currently resides in Western North Carolina. She identifies as an unapologetic Black. Queer. Woman. Reserved, and often quiet, but she’s not afraid to TURN UP when needed. She stepped into movement work before she even knew what movement work was – educating folks about HIV/Aids after losing her brother to the disease in 2001.
Nicole’s introduction to Queer organizing spaces came in 2010 after a string of hate crimes took place in Asheville, NC – it was at this time that she began to use poetry and spoken word as a medium to connect folks to the work that needed to be done to combat the phobias and isms. This work eventually lead her to direct a film in 2012 entitled “Color ME Brown: Conversations with unmuted voices” – which uplifted the voices of of Black and Brown folks navigating through Asheville. Since then, her organizing work has been heavily rooted in Western North Carolina and has focused on environmental justice, sustainable food policies, police accountability, and Queer & Trans liberation. Her formal introduction to SONG came in January 2017 when she joined the North Carolina BLM Cohort.
For all the curious Queers, she’s a Scorpio. Her rising is Capricorn. Her moon is Aquarius. She likes kayaking, naps, and cuddling on the couch with her beagle Roscoe.