Sheltreese McCoy

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Sheltreese McCoy

The late Sheltreese Donyell McCoy was a Communist Party USA member who was "the Social Justice Educator and Crossroads Initiative Coordinator at University of Wisconsin Madison’s Multicultural Student Center" and was involved in the 2004 presidential election.

Sheltreese McCoy was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 16, 1981, but was raised in Cleveland Ohio. She attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio majoring in ethnic studies and sociology. She has been involved with the Communist Party USA and Young Communist League USA since 2004 and in 2006 was a field organizer for the Eastern Region. She lived in Oakland California before her death on November 22, 2018.[1]

Obituary Posted at 'Our Lives Magazine'

Obituary posted verbatim from Our Lives Magazine:[2]

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dr. Sheltreese McCoy passed away Thursday, November 22. Known to most as Treese, she was a longtime and fierce advocate for racial justice, disability rights, intersectionality, queer folks (especially/specifically queer and trans people of color), and more.
"During her time in Madison, Sheltreese was the Social Justice Educator and Crossroads Initiative Coordinator at UW Madison’s Multicultural Student Center, among many other roles and activities. She was the creator of RHedI, LLC, a social justice development firm, and president and founder of Change the Field, a Queer People of Color social justice development firm.
"Sheltreese earned her B.A. from Bowling Green State University, and a Masters' of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from UW Madison. She was a writer, speaker, trainer, and teacher who facilitated trainings and workshops all over the United States, Canada, and South America. She recently completed her PhD. in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, with a focus on queer and trans people of color in higher education.
"In 2015, the Fair Wisconsin Education Fund recognized Sheltreese with their Activist of the Year award, citing her creation of the first and most comprehensive Queer People of Color Resource Guide, presented annually at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change Conference, and facilitation of numerous workshops and trainings about intersectionality, race and racism, homophobia, and erasure. Sheltreese was also the last multicultural issues director at United Council of UW Students. In this capacity she organized the annual Building Unity Multicultural Issues Conference and the first ever United Council Queer People of Color summit.
"Our Lives had the honor of publishing Sheltreese’s story in her own words in our November 2015 issue ( She was a force to be reckoned with, a tireless advocate for positive change, a great intellect, and a big heart - and she will be greatly missed.


"Dr. Sheltreese McCoy is the president and founder of RHedI, LLC, a social justice development firm. Sheltreese has served as an educator and social justice organizer for over 12 years. Her social justice work includes strategic planning, leadership development, and, community building. She is a QTPOC strategist and educator who takes pride in helping organizations reach their goals. Sheltreese has facilitated training's and workshops in the United States as well as Canada and South America. She has received training from some of the best social justice organizations in including the American Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO), the Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI), and the Midwest Academy. All of Sheltreese’s work stems from an intersectional praxis and centers justice and equity.[3]


"While on campus, MCoy participated in many activities, which included the NAACP, Presidents Leadership Academy, Student Government, and she co-founded an artist collective known as Creative Minds. After graduating, she moved to Brooklyn, New York to work in the political arena.

In New York, Sheltreese McCoy worked for the city council, state legislature campaign races, and on the 2004 Presidential Election. She then turned her focus to youth and student organizing around issues of employment, access to education, and international solidarity. It was through this work she found her way to Madison and the United Council. Now as the Multicultural Issues Director for United Council, she looks forward to rewarding and vigorous new challenges in the fight for student rights and access to higher education.[4]

YCL Midwest Voter Project

"This Fourth of July, 2004, activists from across the country joined activists in Missouri, to defeat George W. Bush. Communist Party USA and Young Communist League members, alongside friends and allies from Texas, California, New York, and everywhere in between, have been plugged into local political battles.
"The goal of the CPUSA’s Midwest Project was to defeat Bush and the ultra-right in America’s heartland. Central to the Missouri "part of the Midwest Project is helping to elect progressive, pro-labor candidates. Strengthening grassroots coalitions and building a broader movement to defeat Bush is tied directly into the efforts to build the Party and YCL."
"After Missouri, the Midwest Project workers went to Ohio.
"Participants included Tony Pecinovsky, Docia Buffington, Sheltreese McCoy, Joel Lewis and Cinomin Brothers.[5]

Young Communist League

Portrait, NY Communist Party HQ, circa 2007

In 2005 Sheltreese McCoy was a Cleveland Ohio member[6]of the Young Communist League USA.

I became a member of the YCL in July 2004. I was impressed by the national campaign work that was happening through the Midwest Elections Project. I wanted to be around people who affirmed what I believe in, like education and health care for all. Joining the YCL was part of making a commitment to the changes I want to work toward in my life. I didn’t join so I could find my way -- I joined to confirm my way.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones supporter


Sheltreese McCoy was a supporter of the late "progressive" Democratic Party Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones-even forgiving her for supporting Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama.[7]

It's rare that national figure has a deep impact on your life but I can say that I have had one, Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She was my congressperson in Ohio, and I looked up to her as you would a president or an astronaut. I wanted to do the good things she did in Ohio, and I wanted to stand up to the corporate interest that plagued the Ghetto I lived in because she did.
when I was a junior in College i went on to intern in Washington and i got to meet her in person, i wrote my final internship thesis on her and her amazing accomplishments and even remember the advice she gave me to "run for Precinct Captain" there are few prouder moments for myself and my mother when the picture I took with her got sent to my mothers house, signed and everything...
I didn’t agree with you when you supported Hillary for histories sake, versus supporting the new start up with the twinkle in his eye, but I forgave you…I had to because I could not through your history out with the bath water, and I could not forget that you were by far the most powerful woman I had ever come in contact with.

Communist Youth Festival

In 2005, McCoy went to the World Festival of Youth and Students in Caracas, Venezuela.[8]

University of Wisconsin

2014 - Crossroads Initiative coordinator, social justice educator, and program planner at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Previously teaching assistant at University of Wisconsin-Madison, RISE(Recruitment initiative for student employment) Coordinator at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Multicultural Issues Director at united council of UW Students.[9]

Fair Wisconsin award


Each year in Madison, Fair Wisconsin gathers members of the LGBT community, allies, activists and policy makers to recognize those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of LGBT equality in Wisconsin.

The 2015 Madison Leadership Awards Activist of the Year is Sheltreese McCoy.

Sheltreese McCoy is the inaugural Crossroads Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin. In this role, she has produced the first and most comprehensive Queer People of Color Resource Guide, presented annually at The LGBTQ Task Force’s national Creating Change Conference, and has facilitated numerous workshops and trainings about intersectionality, race and racism, homophobia, and erasure. The Crossroads Initiative also hosts discussion groups, a welcome week barbecue, launched the Reel to Real film series featuring queer and trans* people of color, and has brought renowned national speakers to campus including Janet Mock, Kenyon Farrow, Rinku Sen, and Marc Lamont Hill.

Before starting this position, Sheltreese was the last multicultural issues director at United Council of UW Students. In this capacity she organized the annual Building Unity Multicultural Issues Conference and the first ever United Council Queer People of Color summit.

The Fair Wisconsin Madison Leadership Awards Brunch is one of our annual signature events supporting Fair Wisconsin Education Fund. Join Fair Wisconsin Education Fund as we honor leaders and activists who stand up for fairness and advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Wisconsinites.[10]