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Although she was born at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, Ebony Burnett Aldridge was raised in the South -- in Millbrook, Alabama. The 30-year old systems engineer is a small business owner with a passion for social justice and giving back to her community.

Burnett, who moved back to San Diego six years ago.

What organization(s) do you volunteer for, and why?

I volunteer for San Diego LGBT Pride and also serve as a member its Board of Directors.

I do this because I come from a place in which I had to hide who I was, and have to continue to justify that I am a real person with real values.

I want to make a difference and be that beacon of light to the ones who feel closeted and full of darkness.

What motivates you to do the volunteer work you do?

The love of social justice. The love for people, and the love for building relationships among people who would never have the opportunity, otherwise.

Do you volunteer because of your work, or not? And what do you do for a career?

I do not volunteer because of work, I do it because it defines me. I am a small business owner working as a systems engineer, trainer, and marketing consultant.

What is something that many people do not know about you?

I am a country girl, raised in Alabama (Roll Tide Roll), but born at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. I love country music, I am a nerd, and I met my partner Krissy, online.

What would you like to see change in the LGBT community?

In the past few years, I have seen all-out wars within the community, both publicly and privately.

I would love to see us all come together for the greater vision of equality. I believe that there are too many prejudices within the community, so that sometimes the vision isn’t truly 20/20.

Our fight should be free of violence and hate, to the ones who are opposed to our civil rights.

What do you like most about the local LGBT community?

On the other hand, I do love that we can come together to support various causes and people in need, such as HIV/AIDS, homelessness, equal rights, all types of cancer, etc.

What sorts of things do you do to enrich your social life other than volunteering?

I really enjoy building community from within.

I have a wonderful group of women that I attend church with (University Christian Church) and that really enjoys bringing others together. We spend time volunteering, golfing (I hold the drinks), hiking, volleyball, traveling, dining, and reaching out to those who have been left out in one way or another.

Again, I love people.

Note: If you or someone you know should be featured in an upcoming community profile, e-mail Ben Cartwright at ben@sdgln.com.

Photo, above left: Ebony with her partner, Krissy.