The freedom to exercise our speech, through the right to vote, is the cornerstone of any democracy. This freedom ensures that the people are heard and represented in a nation’s critical decisions. In the United States, the right to vote has been awarded to minorities, but only after centuries of hard fought and tumultuous battles rooted in racism. These battles have propelled our nation forward in its promise to uphold the hopeful phrase enshrined in the Constitution: “in Order to form a more perfect Union.” 

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WASHINGTON, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, released the following statement from Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, Chief Executive Officer, in response to the tweets of President Trump to ban transgender people from serving in the military:
 
“This morning our nation’s 45th President utilized Twitter to announce his decision to ban transgender people from serving in our nation’s military. This position is beyond disgraceful and spits in the faces of the more than 15,000 transgender people currently serving honorably and those that have previously served in our nation’s armed forces.

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My name is Calvin Tendai Pegus, and I am the Health and Wellness Summer Intern at the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Morehouse College’s Project IMHOTEP. I am also an advocate and health communicator. I encourage those within my community and beyond this National HIV Testing Day to know their status and get tested. No longer can we sit by idle and continue to feel brokenhearted as our brothers, sisters and other family members are the spoils of war in this battle against HIV/AIDS.

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Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, strongly opposes the recently introduced health care legislation, entitled the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which was crafted in secret by Republican Leadership without any hearings before the committees with jurisdiction over health care issues. If passed into law, this measure would eliminate life-saving provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) like protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The legislation would further strip affordable, comprehensive coverage from working class and low-income Americans, implement massive cuts to essential services provided under the Medicaid program, and result in tens of millions losing their insurance. All of this while granting tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. With the Senate proposal threatening the stability of the health care system and overall health of the millions of Americans, including Black LGBTQ and same gender loving people, NBJC strongly opposes this bill.

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As we celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month and all it means to live OUT & Proud, it is essential that our community is aware of the many public policy decisions and movements of the federal government that will undoubtedly have major implications on those that live at the intersection of race and LGBTQ/SGL identity. With this in mind,  NBJC is honored to present the June 2017 Edition of What’s Going On In Washington. This education tool provides brief updates on many of the issues that are being debated and decided in our nation’s capital.  We hope you are able to utilize these updates as a way to empower yourself and take action to ensure your elected representatives in Washington know where you stand on the issues.

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