Leadership Advisory Council
The NBJC Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) is a key manifestation of NBJC’s core strategy—building a national coalition of Black LGBT people working collaboratively to own our power. Comprised of a distinguished body of exemplary thought leaders, the purpose of the LAC is to serve as both an incubator of ideas and a conduit connecting some of the most authentic advocates in our community to the NBJC leadership.
LAC members update NBJC on significant developments at the center of our community’s needs, strategically assess the direction of the organization and deepen NBJC’s impact on federal, state, and local initiatives. They represent a wide range of geographical regions, professional disciplines, subject matters and generations.
The Leadership Advisory Council is charged with holding NBJC conscious and accountable as we strive to strengthen Black families and cultivate Black LGBT emerging leaders.
Shaun W. Allende, Esq. is the managing partner and owner of The Law Office of Shaun Allende, which represents clients in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Allende’s desire to become a change agent within the law came about when he found the “purpose” of his being the victim of a violent anti-gay hate crime while he was a student at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The incident inspired Allende to make a personal pledge to work to ensure that no other person felt the injustice he felt when the HBCU declined to discipline his attacker because he was a “good football player.”
In 2010, Allende was elected the first minority Co-President of “OutLaw,” the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law’s LGBT student organization. He also served as an active council member of the “Consortium of D.C.,” an alliance of all law school LGBT organizations in the D.C. metropolitan area. During his tenure in both leadership positions, Allende developed educational events, which educated lawyers and law students on the unique challenges and issues endured by minority members of the LGBT community.
Presently, Allende continues to pursue his purpose: using the legal system to continue the advancement of minority and LGBT civil rights. As a member of the Maryland State Bar’s Young Lawyers Section, Allende serves as co-chair of the section’s “Diversity Committee.” In this role, Allende is developing educational programming that will educate Maryland and D.C. attorneys on the historic civil rights matters that have shaped local law and the current LGBT struggle for equality.
Allende resides in Northwest Washington, D.C. where he has a bird’s eye view of his hobby of keeping up with politics.
Kye Allums, a 22-year-old Minnesota native, is a passionate advocate for transgender equality. He is a recent graduate of George Washington University (GW) where he received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
While attending GW, Allums made history by “coming out” as the first transgender basketball player to compete openly on a Division 1 women's basketball team. Since then he has been devoted to making a difference in the world by raising awareness through his Transition Tour.
Allums has spoken at many LGBT events and universities around the country educating and allowing individuals to learn from his coming out mistakes. He is currently searching for scholarships while deciding on which graduate school to attend.
As Allums works towards his goals, he continues to focus on his mission to spread transgender awareness.
Li' Arnee, a successful, savvy entrepreneur and business owner, was born biologically female but has lived his life psychologically and spiritually as a man. He was born and raised in Los Angeles County, California and graduated from the Los Angeles Job Corps as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN).
Arnee continued his education at Knoxville College as a Pre-Med/Business Major. He later relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada where he used his business skills to start an award-winning catering company, Arnee's Smokey BBQ. Arnee also worked with the Las Vegas Pride committee in its beginning stages and became involved in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy.
In 2007, Arnee returned to his hometown in California to care for his sick mother and grandmother and began to realize how fleeting life is. It was too short not to live authentically. This newfound freedom gave Arnee the courage to begin the process of physically transitioning from female to male. After attending Unity Fellowship of Christ Church, he realized that the Creator loves him for his true self. Arnee surrendered to God’s call to combat social injustice and to help others in the LGBTQ community understand that God's love is for everyone.
Arnee is currently a deacon candidate at Unity Fellowship of Christ Church and also one of the co-founders and president of Alpha Omega Nu, Inc. fraternity and Nu Men Transmen Support Network. His newest business ventures include Arnee's Traveling Grace and Mercies, a transportation and limo business specializing in American Disability Act (ADA) pickup, and Arnee's Sweet Daisies, a line of scented body butters and moisturizers.
It is Arnee's dream that his ministry, fraternity and support group will help make way for trans men around the world to come forward and be their authentic selves without fear of rejection from family, society or God.
Dr. Juan Battle is a Professor of Sociology, Public Health, & Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (C.U.N.Y.). He is also the Coordinator of the Africana Studies Certificate Program.
With over 60 grants and publications – including books, book chapters, academic articles, and encyclopedia entries – his research focuses on race, sexuality, and social justice.
In addition to having delivered lectures at a multitude of universities, colleges, community-based organizations, and funding agencies throughout the world, Prof. Battle’s scholarship has included work throughout North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Among his current projects, he is heading the Social Justice Sexuality Project – an initiative exploring the lived experiences of Black, Latina/o, and Asian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the United States and Puerto Rico. Additionally, he is developing a project examining college progression among Black men and other vulnerable populations.
For more information, please visit his website – juanbattle.com.
Simone Bell is the State Representative for Georgia House District 58. She won a special election in 2009 and has served for 3 sessions in the House. She is the first African American out lesbian to serve in a State House in the United States. Bell serves on the following committees: Children and Youth, State Planning and Community Affairs, and Human Relations and Aging. These committees allow her to continue her work as a strong advocate for seniors, children and community building.
Prior to serving in the House, Bell worked in health care as an administrator with Emory University Health System and private physician practices. In this work she managed physician offices, coordinated patient services and served as a liaison between the patient, physician and outside vendors, including insurance companies. These works led her to the non-profit sector where she worked for The Health Initiative and Lambda Legal as a community educator. In these roles she traveled across Georgia and the south educating communities about the need for access to affordable and quality health care, workplace equality, safe schools for all children and fighting HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination. She also mobilized the LGBTQ community to work towards securing rights and policies that set standards for full equality and civil rights. She’s been a strong advocate for women’s rights, affordable housing, senior issues and youth empowerment for over 20 years.
Bell is a 2003 graduate of Agnes Scott College with a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her studies were concentrated in Religion and Women’s Studies. She has received numerous awards for her work in community building, advocacy and organizing. She is a sought after lecturer and presenter at colleges and conferences, sharing her journey from activist to legislator.
Representative Bell lives in Reynoldstown with her partner of 23 years, Valarie Acree.
Mandy Carter is one of the leading African American lesbian activists in the country. She has a 42-year movement history of social, racial and LGBT justice organizing since 1968. Committed to multi-racial, multi-issue organizing, Carter attributes the influences of the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, the former Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, and the pacifist-based War Resisters League to her longtime sustained activism.
Most recently, Carter has been named the American Civil Liberties Union-North Carolina’s 2011 Frank Porter Graham Award winner.
Mandy Carter was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the “1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005" in order to recognize, make visible and celebrate the impressive and valuable, yet often invisible peace work of thousands of women around the world. And while the “1000 Women” didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize, the second pillar of the project included a book about the 1000 Peace Women, an interactive online platform, and a traveling exhibit.
Carter helped found two ground-breaking organizations: Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). SONG integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South. She served as its Durham-based Executive Director from 2003 – 2005. NBJC was founded in 2003 and is the only current national civil rights organization of concerned Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and allies dedicated to fostering equality by ending racism and homophobia. NBJC actively pursues ways to counter anti-gay organizing within African American communities.
Carter’s political involvement is also quite extensive and includes: serving as campaign manager for North Carolina’s Senate Vote ’90 and Mobilization ’96 political action committees; serving, again, as campaign manager for Florida Vote/Equal Voice based in Miami; participating in a 2000 election year non-partisan, statewide voter empowerment campaign, which was initiated by the African American Ministers Leadership Council of the People For the American Way Foundation, and the Florida NAACP, and which resulted in one of Florida’s largest Black voter turnouts ever.
During the 2008 presidential elections, Carter was one of the five National Co-Chairs of Obama Pride, the LGBT grassroots infrastructure for Barack Obama’s historic 2008 presidential campaign. She has done the hard work of organizing grassroots networks, especially of people of color, throughout the South. She was also a member of Hillary Clinton’s North Carolina LGBT Steering Committee up until the May 2008 North Carolina Democratic Primary that was won by Obama.
Carter lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Crystallee Crain is a leader, educator, writer and activist. She is committed to her community and the people around her. Crain has a decade of experience with many successes in leadership development, teaching, learning and writing. Her journalism experience started when she was 16 years old writing for daily newspapers in Michigan. This work led her to an interest in electoral and issue area politics. In 2010 she spearheaded the Violence Prevention Initiative at the College of Alameda, which is now in the process of replication at other local college campuses. Recently Crain has initiated the "Speaking Truth to Power: Dismantling Urban Violence" curriculum design project, which is the first endeavor of a for-profit called DIGME.
Since then she has been committed to the access of quality, truth-based information and education, in comparison to our power- and oppression-based system of history and learning. Her teaching practice is through the lens of critical pedagogy and critical race studies.
Crain is a Ph.D. (cand.) working towards a Doctorate of Philosophy in Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She holds a Master of Arts in Social Sciences (Sociology), and a bachelor's in Political Science. In January 2011, she received the Norman Lear Award from People for the American Way for her leadership in political advocacy. Crain was published in Women in Today's World, a multimedia encyclopedia on women's issues in the 21st century (Sage Publications). Crain is on the board of OneLife Institute and spends time volunteering at the Prisoners Literature Project.
Rev. Cedric A. Harmon is a native Midwesterner with Southern and New England influences. He is a licensed and ordained minister affiliated with the Progressive National Baptist Convention, National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, and The Fellowship.
After graduating from Emerson College with a B.S. in media management, Harmon moved to Washington, D.C. which has been his home every since. Initially, he found a job within the non-profit sector and decided the non-profit arena nurtured him and mirrored his religious values of a meaningful life where equality and justice mattered. Concomitantly, he felt the pull back into ministry and entered Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C.
For thirteen years, Harmon worked as the Associate Field Director for Religious Outreach at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, where he identified clergy, provided media training and brought them to the nation's capital for legislative testimony about issues of religion and government.
Harmon left Americans United for Separation of Church and State in 2008 and began volunteering to organize clergy to secure marriage equality in the District. At the same time, he became involved in the founding of an affirming and inclusive congregation.
While serving this “radically inclusive” congregation, he became the Minister of Welcoming Resources for Many Voices—Sharing Ways to Welcome in Faith. He is immensely proud that their website (www.manyvoices.org) provides liturgical and educational resources for allies and partners in the work of inclusion. He is currently Co-Director of Many Voices with Ann Thompson Cook.
Kamora Le'Ella Herrington is the Mentoring Program Coordinator for True Colors, Inc., a support and advocacy organization for sexual minority youth based in Hartford, Connecticut. Herrington has over 20 years of experience in the human services field and has become a vocal advocate for LGBT youth.
In 2009, Herrington appeared on the Tyra Show titled "Hell to Pay: Gay Teen Exorcism" after one of the youth in her program was videotaped being exorcised. In 2010, Herrington was featured on the CNN special report titled "Gay Teens Talk Their Truth." She is a 2010 Faith Works Fellow with the Conference of Churches based in Hartford and is committed to bringing understanding to the intersectionalities of identity.
In 2010 and 2011, Herrington participated as an activist leader at the National Black Justice Coalition's (NBJC) "OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit" in Washington, D.C. to organize with other thought leaders, faith leaders, philanthropists and activists who are organizing to empower their communities while educating Congressional leaders, the Obama Administration and federal agencies about Black LGBT public policy concerns.
Her proudest accomplishment has been raising her son.
Rev. Holmes currently pursues two work paths – a Federal management career and ordained ministry with MCC. She is a graduate of the Episcopal School of Divinity, Cambridge, MA and The New Seminary, New York, NY.
Rev. Holmes' multi-layered ministry includes serving as MCC's Program Officer for People of African Descent. As Program Officer she develops relevant programming and nurtures relationships between MCC and organizations (both secular and faith-based) addressing issues related to people of African descent. In addition, she serves as Ecumenical Liaison to The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and leads the People of African Descent Advisory Council and Conference for People of African Descent (PAD) Conference and Our Friends. In her ministry, Rev. Holmes organizes and connects faith-based, academic, civic, and social justice voices to inform and empower LGBT people of African descent and their allies around pertinent spiritual, political, and health/wholeness issues of the day.
Rev. Holmes continues to put feet on the divine message of liberation through her social justice work. Because of her "equality in the workplace" stance, Rev. Holmes was called upon to witness the signing of the Presidential Memorandum extending limited benefits to same-gender domestic partners of federal employees. She also testified before Congress on the merits of legislation to extend full benefits to LGBT federal employees. In addition, Rev. Holmes has participated in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Clergy Call, National Black Justice Coalition faith initiatives, marriage equality efforts, and LGBT clergy networking.
Whether tearing down walls that divide or building bridges of hope, you will find Rev. Holmes working out her mission: "Be the change you want to see."
Kim L. Hunt became the first executive director of Affinity Community Services in May 2009. During her tenure, Affinity has transitioned from a direct service/community-building model to one with more emphasis on policy and advocacy. Since her hire, the organization has attracted major donors and new foundation support and has become a more visible player in spaces where LGBTQ issues are being addressed.
Hunt is a former Affinity board member and chaired the Development Committee. During that time, Affinity secured two multi-year grants, shored up its individual giving efforts, and built its capacity through internal structuring and securing additional professional services.
Before her Affinity hire, she co-founded O-H Community Partners (OHcp), a national strategy and technology consulting firm, which provides services to clients seeking market returns and social and environmental impact. In her time with OHcp, Hunt grew the firm's work in the transportation/infrastructure sector and government practice area to a national scale through the development and implementation of community planning processes, policy/advocacy campaigns, and capacity building projects. Her leadership in fundraising was instrumental in securing over $14 million for client programs and general operations.
Hunt is a graduate of the University of Chicago's Harris School for Public Policy and has a master's degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Hunt is a published author who has written and presented research on public policy, transportation inequities, and social justice. She resides in Chicago with her partner of over 12 years and two daughters.
Hutson W. Innis was a loving colleague and friend who served proudly as a member of the NBJC Leadership Advisory Council. During the first week of April 2013, we received word that Hutson had gone home to glory. Many who knew him remember his gentle spirit and positive nature…always. He was dependable, professional and kind. He would do anything asked of him for NBJC and cherished his role with pride. We memorialize Hutson this month as one of the ‘fallen angels’ who served valiantly for the advancement of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people everywhere.
Hutson W. Inniss was the Executive Director for the National Coalition for LGBT Health in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Coalition's staff, he was the Vice President for Community and Organizational Development at Tapestry Health, Inc. He served as the project director for its Among Men/For Men Project, a HIV prevention and substance abuse treatment access program funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Inniss also founded the agency's Health Initiative Partnership, a capacity development program for local minority-serving community-based organizations, funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health.
Inniss also served as Co-Director and Adult Advisor for Out Now, Inc. of Greater Springfield, MA, and was a founding member of the Massachusetts Commission for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. In 2009, he founded the Pioneer Valley Coalition for Suicide Prevention. Over the course of his career, he facilitated many workshops on suicide prevention, anti-bullying and creating safe school and community spaces for youth and adults. He was a 2007 Fellow of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention/Association of Schools of Public Health's Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership, and a 2005 Fellow of the Human Services Forum's Leadership Development Institute.
Hutson will be missed.
Maurice Jamal is the Founder and CEO of GLO Television Network. Founded in 2010, GLO TV is the nation's first urban LGBT television network. With a full slate of digital and high definition programs, GLO TV is the preeminent source for urban LGBT. Maurice Jamal is also an award-winning director behind the successful films The Ski Trip, Dirty Laundry and Friends & Lovers.
His production company, MoJAM Entertainment, is a leading producer of media content for LGBT communities of color. Jamal has received nominations for both GLAAD and NAACP Image Awards. He's been listed in OUT magazine's "100 Most Influential Gays in America"; BET's "25 Most Important Black Gays" and BET's "Top Gays in Entertainment." He's been profiled in The Advocate, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and CNN. Jamal is also the first openly gay Black actor/writer to be profiled in the mainstream urban media sources Black Enterprise, Ebony and JET. Among his charitable endeavors are advocacy works for HIV/AIDS, teen literacy and LGBT equality.
He is currently Chairman for UrbanOUT: The National Urban LGBT Film & Arts Festival, and sits on the Board of Directors for Blackhouse at the Sundance Film Festival and for Frameline SF, which produces the world's largest and longest-running LGBT film festival.
E. Jaye Johnson is the President and CEO of KingMakerz, LLC, a multi-media marketing, branding and business consulting firm. He is also the Executive Director of NuMan Transgender Support Network, a nonprofit organization designed to empower and provide resources for the transgender community. As a co-founder of Alpha Omega Nu Transman Fraternity, Inc., he is passionate about creating a sustainable brotherhood amongst trans men.
Johnson is also a professional filmmaker and photographer. He is committed to using these creative mediums to bring about awareness and support for his philanthropic endeavors. Johnson resides in Burbank, California, with his wife Patti of nine years. As ordained reverends, both he and his wife teach new thought/ancient wisdom spiritual principles.
Victoria Diane Kirby is a Regional Field Director for Organizing for America Florida, the grassroots movement to re-elect Barack Obama and Democrats down the ticket. Prior to taking that position she worked tirelessly to advocate for research and resource centers for LGBT students on Historically Black College and University campuses. She pioneered research on the needs for such centers that was published in the inaugural issue of the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has been featured on CNN, MSNBC's Today Show, FOX, the Washington Post and a number of other national and international media outlets. She was invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to be her guest at President Obama's first joint address to Congress and was invited to have lunch with President Obama as a result of her work as a Summer Organizer with the campaign. She served as the first openly gay elected member of the Board of Trustees of her Alma Mater, Howard University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Culture and a Master of Arts in Public Administration.
While at Howard she worked as an assistant to the president of the university, created Howard's social media initiative and started work on an LGBT Resource Center. She served as a member of the Human Rights Campaign's Diversity & Inclusion Council and is a board member for the International Federation of Black Prides. Kirby was also honored as a Metro Weekly "Next Generation" awardee.
Curtis Lipscomb is a graduate of Cass Technical High in Detroit and Parsons The New School for Design in New York. He is a trained clothing designer with inspiration from leading clothing manufacturers Perry Ellis, Willi Smith and Patrick Kelly. During his successful career, he witnessed the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on members of the gay community. He witnessed his friends and heroes die one by one. After the death of his best friend, Robert L. Penick III, Lipscomb dedicated himself to the improvement of the quality of life for people at risk of disease, discrimination, and stigma.
A longtime resident of Detroit, Lipscomb has long remained active in community relations. Lipscomb has been involved with numerous non-profit organizations for twenty years--with a particular involvement with organizations tailored in advocacy for the lesbian, gay, bi-attractional and transgender (LGBT) community.
Most recently, Lipscomb has successfully led the board of directors of KICK – The Agency for LGBT African Americans in board development training over a two-year period, with funds awarded in the combined amount of $43,304 from The Arcus Foundation and The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan. KICK - The Agency for LGBT African-Americans was awarded $180,000 by the Arcus Foundation in December 2010 to fund The Center In Detroit, the location of KICK. Lipscomb currently serves as the Executive Director of KICK.
Stacey Long currently serves as the director of public policy and government affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Long also co-chairs the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Lobbyists' group, a network of national advocacy organizations focused on public policy advocacy within the LGBT community.
Prior to her work at the Task Force, Long served as director of advocacy & community development at Bread for the City in Washington, D.C. She aggressively worked to preserve affordable housing, eliminate food insecurity, and protect critical safety net measures from harmful budget cuts. Prior to that, as Wisconsin's first women's health officer, she managed a multi-million dollar women's health initiative and convened four statewide women's health conferences including the state's first health conference for women of color.
Long chaired the DC Commission for Women and is active in several civic activities including serving as a member of the National Executive Board of Pride at Work AFL-CIO; board secretary of SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League); and a member of the Washington Government Relations Group.
A graduate of the GLAAD People of Color Media Training Institute and a 21st Century Fellow of the Pipeline Project, Long is a well-regarded lawyer and is licensed in Wisconsin. She received a bachelor's degree in Africana Studies from Vassar College; a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School; and a Nonprofit Management Executive certificate from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute.
Samantha Master is a senior and Communications major at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland where she served as the Community Service and Outreach Coordinator of the school's LGBT student alliance, Rainbow Soul, from 2008 – 2010. Under her leadership, Rainbow Soul built coalitions with several student organizations to foster a more tolerant campus climate through community service; encouraged and empowered students using political advocacy; and created Pride and Soul Week, a week-long celebration of LGBT history and awareness, the first of its kind at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campus. Master has also served as an Equality Federation intern, creating "Get Up, Come Out, and Get Active," an advocacy training designed for LGBTQ youth, as well as an organizer and facilitator of Morgan's first-ever trans-identity and inclusion panel.
Most recently, Master authored "An Open Letter to Roland Martin" discussing homophobia and gender binary within communities of color, which was featured by both GLAAD and The Root. She has been honored for student activism and leadership, and hopes that her work and the work of her peers will eradicate homophobia and transphobia on HBCU campuses.
Rod McCullom is a freelance writer, field producer and multimedia journalist who blogs on LGBT news, pop culture and progressive politics at the award-winning Rod 2.0.
For several years, he was a columnist and featured contributor to The Advocate—and scored two cover stories. He is also a frequent contributor to Ebony. His first report in the October 2011 issue—"Black Same Sex Couples Raising Kids in the South"—was nominated by the GLAAD Media Awards for "Outstanding Magazine Article." McCullom’s writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Advocate.com, Out.com, NPR, MTV/LOGO’s AfterElton and other media.
Having extensively covered domestic and international HIV/AIDS issues, McCullom has reported from AIDS 2010 in Vienna, Austria and from the 2011 Black Diaspora MSM Conference in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
McCullom is a contributor to the upcoming anthology For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough. He also was a featured contributor to the critically-acclaimed 2010 anthology Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Minister Louis "L.J." Mitchell comes from a long line of people who believe that community building and community service are important Christian values.
Rev. Mitchell and his wife, Krysia L. Villón, moved to the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts in 2001. He is committed to struggles for fairness, equity, respect and self-determination. Using his own learned experience, a broad range of resources, theories and studies, he brings a fresh, “on the ground,” open-hearted, holistic strategy to the work of individual and community healing. Using his own life experiences and varied work, volunteer, social justice and ministry experiences, Rev. Mitchell seeks to share a vision of intersectional thinking and brings a commitment to inclusion and mutuality to each setting that he’s invited to.
Rev. Mitchell has had a long history of service with various agencies and boards, including as the first “out” transgender-identified Board Member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and as a founding member of Lesbians and Gays of African Descent for Democratic Action.
He was recently featured in the documentary Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen, is a featured blogger for Many Voices, as well as the author of many articles through the years. He serves as the Engagement Coordinator for the Interfaith Working Group, is a Board Member of the Freedom Center for Social Justice and current program Co-Chair for the TransFaith in Color Conference. Additionally, Rev. Mitchell is a founding member and East Coast Regional Minister of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries’ Trans-Saints as well as a founding member of the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC). He remains in high demand as a consultant, public speaker, trainer and preacher.
Rev. Mitchell was the Co-Founder of Recovering the Promise Ministries in Springfield, MA. He was recently honored as the recipient of the 2011 Haystack Award from the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC for his work in Social Justice and Social Ministry. Rev. Mitchell was further honored to be selected as the Keynote Speaker for the inaugural Black Transmen, Inc. Conference and the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference in 2012.
He lives in daily gratitude for the reconciliation, restoration and grace of a loving God that surpasses all of his needs.
Peggy Moore serves as the California Political Director for Organizing for America, the President's Field Team and a project of the Democratic National Committee. With over 25 years of public affairs and organizing experience within both the corporate and non-profit arenas, Moore's career is highlighted by her personal commitment to community service and empowering others to lead.
Prior to joining Organizing for America, Moore worked to provide health care to the uninsured as the Northern California Field Director for Health Access, to provide support and outreach services for seniors as the Outreach Coordinator with Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, and she has organized various get-out-the-vote campaigns to promote social justice and equal rights for all communities, including her own spirited run as a candidate for District 2 City Council of Oakland.
As the founder of Sistah's Steppin' In Pride, Moore has led the production of the annual East Bay Dyke March since the summer of 2001, enhancing visibility for Oakland's LGBT community and providing a space for cultural and artistic expression in the heart of the city. Moore's hands-on approach to organizing and political affairs prepared her for her role as the Deputy Field Director for Northern California during the General Election of the Obama Campaign in 2008.
As a loyal lover and unofficial ambassador for Oakland, Moore currently serves on Barbara Lee's Advisory Committee. She continues her commitment to changing the world right where she is.
Ronald Moore became the Vice President of Human Resources of Safe Horizon, a victim assistance agency, in August 2009. He is responsible for Staffing, Compensation and Benefits, Training and Development as well as Employee Relations.
Moore joined Safe Horizon after 26 years of employment in Human Resources at Hewlett Packard. While serving as the company's New York Area Human Resources Manager, Moore was active in the Bergen County, New Jersey United Way and a Board Member of the Bergen County Urban League. After a transfer to Atlanta, Georgia, Moore became the Site General Manager for the Atlanta Business Center with a population of 2, 500 employees. He was also the face of Hewlett Packard to the Atlanta business and government community.
Most recently, Moore was the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Kimberly-Clark Company based in Atlanta. He was responsible for the global K-C Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and 15 employee network groups, in addition to managing relations with several national diversity organizations.
Moore has been involved in many nonprofit organizations over the years, serving as a member of the board of directors for over 10 nonprofit organizations. He served as President of the Atlanta Executive Network, Co-Chair of Georgia Equality, a board member of Out and Equal, and a volunteer at NY Empire Pride Agenda. He currently serves on the Church Council and chairs the Personnel and Salary committee of the Riverside Church of New York City.
Moore received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, a Master of Arts in Counseling, and a master's in Labor and Industrial Relations all from Michigan State University. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he currently resides in East Harlem, NY.
Rodney Nickens Jr. came to NBJC after working for 18 months as a community organizer in Los Angeles, CA, with the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition, a Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) political organization dedicated to winning equality for the Black LGBT community in the aftermath of California’s Proposition 8. As a native of Portsmouth, VA, Nickens earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California, Merced, and his Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies from UCLA where his work focused on examining Black middle-class public opinion on marriage equality in suburban municipalities in Los Angeles, California. It was eye-opening work that piqued his interest in LGBT public policy advocacy and led him to visit Washington, D.C. as one of the inaugural participants in NBJC's 1st Annual OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit.
After finishing his graduate studies at UCLA, Nickens moved to D.C. in search of an opportunity to be of service in the Black LGBT movement. He has been with NBJC since August 2011 working as a Senior Fellow responsible for forging partnerships with staffers in key national LGBT advocacy organizations, congressional offices, and government agencies. In addition to identifying potential opportunities for collaboration and providing leadership on federal legislation, administration policy and regulatory changes that support Black LGBT individuals and families in this country.
Darlene Nipper, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's deputy executive director, brings nearly 20 years of management and advocacy experience to the organization. She has held leadership positions in the government, corporate and nonprofit sectors, including the city government of Washington, D.C.; Black Entertainment Television (BET) Foundation, where she oversaw a national campaign to reduce obesity in African American women; the National Mental Health Association; and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), where she served as chief operating officer.
Nipper has an extensive background as a health advocate, working with those affected by HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness and other health issues. As senior director and then-vice president of public education for the National Mental Health Association, Nipper managed programs that worked with 340 mental health associations across the country. From 1994 to 2000, she was the director of community living at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, a community residential services program for adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. In 2005, she was appointed director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, in the Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia, where she served as a senior advisor to the mayor on issues related to the LGBT community.
Nipper is an ordained interfaith minister who practices and leads mindfulness meditation. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Howard University and a Master of Science in Administration from Trinity College. Darlene resides in her hometown of Washington, D.C.
Morris Price is the District Director for Rep. Diana DeGette, 1st District in Colorado. In this capacity Price oversees all of the Congresswoman's office operations; develops and implements policy objectives, strategies and operating plans; and directs all activities and staff of the district office related to her outreach, communications, legislative objects and strategies.
Additionally he travels throughout the district at regular intervals to keep abreast of local concerns meeting with elected officials and representatives of local groups, schedules meetings with for profit, not for profit organizations, federal and district government agencies as necessary and acts as a liaison to and notifies the appropriate media for the Representative.
Prior to his position with the House of Representatives, Price spent 10 years in philanthropy including 5 years with the Gill Foundation working for the LGBT civil rights movement serving as the National Program Officer for the Gill Foundation, more specifically, he had the responsibility for supporting ongoing work in the areas of religion, faith, and business. He managed portfolio that included an African American and a transgender initiative. Morris' first 15 years were in higher education administration where he worked for Wabash College, Montclair State University, DePauw University and as the Director of Admission with the University of Denver. Morris has a B.A. from Colorado State University and a M.A from Regis University where he received the 2000 Colorado Trust Fellowship.
A Colorado native, Price is active in his community as the Chair of the Board of the Urban League of Metro Denver and the Colorado State University GLBT Alumni Alliance. He also sits on the boards of the RedLine Art Laboratory, the Denver Art Museum Marketing Committee, the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and a Shorter AME Church. Additionally, he is Co-Founder of the Denver Gay Professionals, a business networking organization.
Price is the son of a welcoming and supportive father and mother originally from Louisiana that have instilled a sense of family in his life.
Charles Pugh serves as the President of the Detroit City Council - the legislative branch of city government. This honorable body is not only responsible for approving the city's budget and contracts, but also passing ordinances and resolutions. With his historic election, Pugh, an openly gay elected official, is charged with helping to revive the City of Detroit.
Born and raised on the city's west side, Pugh faced tragedy at an early age. At the age of three, Pugh lost his mother in a homicide and, just four years later, his father, who had recently gotten re-married, committed suicide. Nevertheless, Pugh, raised by his grandmother, was able to overcome these sad and unfortunate events to achieve great success throughout his life.
After graduating from Murray Wright High School, Pugh went on to earn his degree in journalism from the prestigious University of Missouri. As a teenager, Pugh had a dream of returning to Detroit as an anchor-reporter. He accomplished this goal in 1999 – just ten years after high school graduation.
After serving as a respected journalist in Columbia, Missouri; Topeka, Kansas; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Norfolk, Virginia, Pugh became a highly celebrated reporter at Fox 2 Detroit. In his self-proclaimed "dream job," Pugh was able to convey his unwavering love for this city, becoming an "adopted" family member to many Detroiters. Pugh was able to translate this overwhelming affection into another impressive opportunity, when he became the commentator and news director of WJLB FM 98. In these roles, Pugh made it a point to encourage and empower Detroiters to work towards a future they desired and deserved.
Although Pugh diligently served his community as an advocate, mentor and journalist, he decided to add another title to his extensive resume. Pugh, compelled by an urge to better serve the city he loves so much, submitted his name as a candidate for Detroit City Council in 2009. His message of providing citizens with competent, ethical and transparent leadership, resonated with Detroiters, as their votes placed him #1 in the primary and general elections.
As Council President, Pugh is committed to engaging, informing and empowering citizens to reclaim their communities and improve their neighborhoods. A strong proponent of education, Pugh engages the city's youth as a teacher and mentor. President Pugh is a member of the Detroit Public Schools Reading Corps where he dedicates time each week to increase the reading performance of 2nd and 3rd grade students. He has adopted the Fredrick Douglas Academy where he implemented the Male Leadership Academy – a weekly forum that increases students' exposure to strong male leadership. Pugh is a faithful member of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church and serves with Hartford Men United where he mentors at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center.
Pugh completed the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School's Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in July 2011. In addition, he is the recipient of many honors, awards, and citations including Michigan Chronicle's Men of Excellence award. Most recently, he was honored with placement on Crain's Detroit Business' "40 under 40." In addition, Pugh has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Instinct magazine.
President Pugh's board responsibilities include the Michigan Municipal League; the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; the Detroit Transit Corporation: the Detroit Election Commission; the Detroit Employee Benefits Plan; the Democratic Municipal Officials, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy; the Detroit Neighborhood Forums; the National Black Justice Coalition; and TechTown. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
Bishop Tonyia Rawls is the Founding Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte (UFCC), and in April 2008, was consecrated as one of the first women bishops in the Los Angeles-based Unity Fellowship Church Movement’s (UFCM) history. She is prelate of the denomination’s Southern Jurisdiction and Vice President of the National Board. In the role of Vice President she oversees day-to-day business operations. She also guides the work of the National Office of Communications.
In addition to her work as a spiritual leader, Bishop Rawls is also Founder and CEO of The Freedom Center for Social Justice (FCSJ). Locally, the FCSJ has aided at-risk high school Charlotte-Mecklenburg students through tutoring and career development efforts. Nationally, the FCSJ launched an initiative that supports Transgender people of faith and allies. TransFaith in Color Conference is held at the Hilton Hotel in Charlotte, NC and is attended by people of varied races, faith traditions and walks of life. This effort is designed to help empower, support and mobilize transgender people, allies and activists as they work to build more welcoming and inclusive houses of worship, organizations and communities. The Freedom Center is also a partner in many local and national social justice efforts.
Bishop Rawls is a graduate of Duke University and sits on the Governing board of the North Carolina Council of Churches were she serves on the Business and Finance committee. She is also a founding member of Black Clergy United Against AIDS, Founding member of the Clergy for Equality Interfaith Alliance that stands in support of LGBT rights in North Carolina, and is a part of the advisory council for Equality North Carolina and the Human Rights Campaign. Bishop Rawls is a noted national speaker, has been a reviewer for the Journal of African-American Studies and is published in Black Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies (Released 2010).
Jeffrey D. Richardson is Director of the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Affairs. Before obtaining this role, Richardson was the Director of National Programs for The Center for Progressive Leadership, where he managed programs designed to develop progressive leaders to work in national politics, policy-making, and advocacy.
As Director of the GLBT Office, Richardson provides outreach and constituent services to the GLBT communities. The District of Columbia has one of the largest and most diverse GLBT communities in the nation. And in the spirit of One City, Richardson leads collaborative efforts with these constituents, the community at-large, and the government.
Richardson has been a respected and credible voice for the GLBT community in his position as President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club. He also served as a Program Officer with the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, where he managed a grant-making portfolio of a half-million dollars in funding for anti-truancy, drop-out prevention and family engagement initiatives.
Richardson obtained his Master's Degree in Social Work from Howard University and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Northeast Washington.
Valerie Spencer has worked in the arena of social services, concentrating on service delivery as it relates to transgender persons, for nearly two decades. Over time, she has held positions within the federal government, health departments, universities, community groups, conferences and community-based organizations around the country.
Spencer's roles and responsibilities have ranged from capacity building to national advocacy to keynote speaking. The directive she gives herself is simple: make the complex comprehensive. She believes trans issues fall into areas more commonly ignored by mainstream society, such as sexism, poverty and spirituality.
Spencer's latest work in progress, Transcend Empowerment Institute, is a holistic organization addressing empowerment and self-esteem on a social, cultural and holistic basis for trans and LGBT communities as a whole. A graduate of Antioch University Los Angeles, Spencer is an intuitive presence of our time that remains devoted to solution-focused holistic strategies.
Rev. Roland Stringfellow earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Indiana University. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Ministry from Grace Theological Seminary and in 1990 became a licensed minister in the Baptist Church. In 2005, Rev. Stringfellow was ordained with the Metropolitan Community Church and in 2006 he earned his Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion with a certificate in Religion and Sexuality. In 2011, Rev. Stringfellow became licensed with the United Church of Christ and The Fellowship churches, a predominately African-American denomination with an outreach to LGBT individuals. He has worked as a pastor in Indiana and California. In addition to all his work within church contexts, Rev. Stringfellow also worked in the field of education in a variety of capacities – teacher, guidance counselor, college advisor, and vice principal.
Currently, Rev. Stringfellow is continuing his work in creating dialogues on the topic of LGBT equality with church congregations and in religious institutions in his role as the Director of Ministerial Outreach with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Sexuality on the campus of Pacific School of Religion. In 2010, Rev. Stringfellow began working with the Los Angeles-based California Faith for Equality as the Director of their African-American Faith Community Project (the "Umoja Project") working with pastors and lay leaders in the Black church to provide pastoral care for gay and lesbian members of their congregations. In June 2011, Rev. Stringfellow was elected to become a Grand Marshal in the San Francisco Pride Parade.
Elder Kevin E. Taylor started in ministry at Inner Light Unity Fellowship Church (UFC) in 1993, after several years of community activism in Washington, D.C. with such organizations as DC Coalition of Black Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals and Whitman-Walker Clinic. At Inner Light UFC, he sang on the Voices of Praise and served on other auxiliaries, until he was called into the ministry, where he served as Deacon, Student Clergy and Minister. He studied World Religions, Metaphysical Spiritual Science and Homosexuality in the Bible.
In 2000, he moved to New York City, where he worked with Liberation in Truth UFC until Archbishop commissioned him to charter Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick.
In 2007, Elder Taylor was elevated to the post of Elder in the Unity Fellowship Church Movement. He oversees the National Office of Communications of UFCM and all of the multimedia outlets for UFCM, including the national website and printed publications.
Elder Taylor, who is also a noted author, celebrated his 11th year as pastor January 2012, after the 2011 release of his latest books Envy (the sequel to his 2006 bestselling novel Jaded) and Get Off Your Ass and Do Something.
Beverly Tillery is the Director of Community Education and Advocacy for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people living with HIV. Tillery coordinates Lambda Legal's education and outreach work that actively engages the LGBT community and its allies in our ongoing fight for equality and justice.
Tillery has dedicated the past twenty years of her career to fighting all forms of oppression and working for social and economic justice through community-based direct action organizing, labor organizing, human rights and political advocacy and popular education. Prior to joining the staff at Lambda Legal, she coordinated the Immigrant Worker Rights Project at the New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health. Tillery also worked as the Outreach Coordinator at Amnesty International where she developed a national field organizing program, and at the Service Employees International Union where she led organizing campaigns to help healthcare workers form a union. She has designed and facilitated hundreds of trainings and workshops on a variety of subjects including organizing skills. She has also served as the President of the Board of the National Organizer's Alliance, a national organization of social justice organizers.
She lives with her partner Roz Lee and their daughter Stella in Manhattan.
Rev. George Walker has worked extensively in social justice and philanthropic causes for his entire professional career. A gifted trainer, facilitator, motivational speaker and thinker on social issues, he has addressed gatherings regarding youth leadership, volunteerism, community renewal and diversity and inclusion. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Rev. Walker to serve as a member of the Presidential Advisory Board of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He was selected to serve as a German Marshall Memorial Fellow for the spring of 2010 where he traveled to five countries in Europe representing the U.S. and learning about transnational partnerships on a variety of issues. He is also a “21st Century Leadership Fellow” of the Pipeline Project, which provides support to senior leaders in LGBT nonprofit organizations.
Walker is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A. History) and The Divinity School, Duke University (M.Div.). He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC). Professionally, he has served as development director for the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS). Prior to working at ACS, Walker served as a major gifts officer at the Human Rights Campaign, deputy operations director for the Center for Community Change, and associate director at the Peace Development Fund. He volunteered with the U.S. Peace Corps in Guayaquil, Ecuador from 1994 to 1996. He is a recipient of the Franklin H. Williams Award for service for former volunteers who have returned and continued to stay active in bringing volunteerism back to their communities.
Walker was recently tapped to lead a new effort within Victory Fund and Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships where he is overseeing efforts to increase programmatic partnerships that lead to more opportunities for leadership advancement and diversity goals among corporate, foundation, and other nonprofit partners on behalf of LGBT public leaders. Prior to this role, Walker served as the Vice President of Leadership Initiatives at the Victory Fund and Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute, the nation’s leading organization that identifies, trains and supports openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political candidates, campaign staff and officials.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee he lives in Washington, D.C. with his family.
Gregory T. Walker is the founder of The Brothers' Network, Inc., a cultural organization of postmodern men of the African Diaspora. Since its inception, The Brothers' Network, Inc. has blazed a new path for Black men in the Philadelphia region to explore evolving masculine identities through dialogue, discourse, arts and culture. Walker also serves as Executive Editor of thebrothersnetwork.org, a movement-building social network platform and blog.
During the 2011 primary cycle, Walker served as Campaign Manager for a citywide campaign, overseeing all aspects of the highly competitive race and establishing a strong narrative and frame for a political newcomer for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
In 2010, Walker was elected by the citizens of the City of Philadelphia to serve as Democratic Executive Committeeperson for a four-year term representing the Fifth Ward, Ninth Division. Walker was then elected by his fellow committee people to serve as a Vice Chairman of Democratic City Committee. Walker is the first African American man to serve as Co-Chair of the Liberty City Democratic Club, Pennsylvania's most influential LGBT Democratic organization.
Walker, a Connecticut native, has also held leadership roles at New York City's Bellevue Hospital Center in Finance and Ambulatory Care. He later moved to San Francisco to assume the role of Regional Director /Program Director with the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, where he managed HIV prevention interventions and evaluation, direct services and oversaw the development of a prevention social marketing campaign in the San Francisco Bay Area. Walker has had consultancies with the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education (CARE), the Black Gay Men's Leadership Council and the LGBTI National Health Summit.
Walker is a member of the Executive Board of Center City Crime Victims Services and is also the Philadelphia Regional Coordinator for International Men's Day 2011-2012. He also serves on the national planning committee for the upcoming BOLD conference for LGBT people of color.
A resident of Philadelphia since 2006, a member of the NAACP and the National Notary Association, Walker has served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Square West Civic Association in Center City Philadelphia.
Lauren Waters, a 2010 graduate of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC—came to know the work of NBJC during her senior year of college in her role as co-president of B.R.I.D.E (Belles Recognizing Individuality Diversity and Equality). Her mission at Bennett College and with B.R.I.D.E was promoting acceptance—within one’s self as well as community acceptance and respect. Under her leadership, the campuses LGBT organization was “committed to making Bennett College for Women a more positive and affirming place for LGBTQ students as well as their straight allies.”
While in college she conducted research on the mental and emotional health concerns faced by young African-Americans making decisions about coming out in the black community. Her research focused on family, church and community responses to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people—and how those responses influence decisions about if, when and how to come out.
As a result of her research she was invited to the White House in February of 2010 to watch President Obama sign the HBCU initiative, there she met the dynamic Sharon Lettman-Hicks and the family we call the National Black Justice Coalition. From that event at the White House, she was able to leverage her networks and started her career in LGBT advocacy with the Human Rights Campaign. Sticking to her roots, in her capacity she served as the coordinator for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities program.
While with HRC, Waters was able to reinvent the African-American coming out guides; which now shine light on all aspects of being out in the Black community, including Greek Life. She also aided in the new and improved HBCU conference, now titled the HBCU leadership and career summit- which focuses heavily on being out in an authentic space, and approaching leadership through a personal lenses. As Waters transitions into her next endeavor she continues her fight to give Black LGBT youth a space at the table.
Je-Shawna C. Wholley is a rising star and the newest Senior Fellow at the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). As an active member of the organization's Leadership Advisory Council, she provides strategic insight on outreach and issues affecting Black LGBT young people.
A recent graduate of Spelman College, Wholley served as President of the LGBT student union, Afrekete, for two years and was credited with numerous accomplishments during her tenure. In 2009, alongside Morehouse College's Safe Space organization, she spearheaded the first LGBT Pride Week in the Atlanta University Center. The week's culminating event, themed "WERK: The Appropriate Dress Drag Show," aimed to raise awareness around the discriminatory nature of the "Appropriate Attire Policy" imposed by Morehouse College. This act afforded her accolades from the Human Rights Campaign and the National Black Justice Coalition as well as the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama at a White House reception commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Wholley has also been honored as the recipient of the 2011 Campus Pride Voice & Action National Leadership Award for her tireless efforts to make Spelman College and the Atlanta University Center a more inclusive environment for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) gay and transgender student body. Additionally, she was instrumental in the research and planning of the historical Audre Lorde HBCU Summit, which focused on the social climate regarding LGBT affairs on HBCU campuses. This was the culminating event to a year-long research project conducted by the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman College.
Dedicated to the empowerment of LGBT youth of color, Wholley is currently traveling across the nation to conduct workshops on creating safe and inclusive campuses for all students to thrive.
Antonio Williams studies Journalism at Norfolk State University and hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Spending her primary and secondary education years within the Performing Arts and Magnet programs, Williams has an endless love and appreciation for education, musical theater, and all other aspects of the performing arts. She currently serves as Vice President of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society and is privileged to hold a position on the President's Student Advisory Network (PSAN) under the leadership of Norfolk State University's fifth President Dr. Tony Atwater.
Williams has also been appointed to The LGBT Center of Hampton Roads Youth Advisory Council which opened in June 2011. Her most significant leadership position was as President of LEGASI, which serves as NSU's Gay-Straight Alliance organization. Under her two year leadership, the organization's membership significantly increased. With the support of various university administrators, the University received grant funding to implement the Trevor Project and the Safe Space Program in 2011. In the spring of 2011, LEGASI hosted the first LGBT Pride Weekend at Norfolk State University, becoming the only HBCU in Virginia to successfully host such an event. The organization continues to implement social and educational programs that persistently eradicate the negative stereotypes and misconceptions of the LGBT community.
Williams is known for her bubbly personality, optimistic attitude, and her undeniable passion and fight for human and LGBT rights.
After graduating from Cahokia Senior High School in Cahokia, Illinois in 2002, Darryl Lamont Wilson, Jr. served four years in the United States Navy where he was stationed in Sesabo, Japan and served as the Executive Assistant for Commander T. Varner aboard the USS ESSEX LHD 2.
Wilson now calls Houston, Texas home where he is currently serving as the third Executive Director of Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc. the first premiere fraternity for gay men. Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity has, over the past 26 years, developed educated men who put their individual and collective talents and skills to work to promote human kindness, positive relationships among fellow gay men, and a moral standard of the highest ideal.
A graduate of the Houston Design School and recipient of his Wedding/Event Certification from the Academy of Wedding Professionals Institution, Wilson is an active member of The International Special Events Society (ISES), and serves as board member for the Urban Souls Dance Company based in Houston, Texas. He has for the last 3 years been the CEO/Owner of D 'Concierge Events, an event planning company based in Houston, Texas.
One of Wilson's greatest achievements was being honored in 2001 with the Martin Luther King Service Humanitarian Award from the Martin Luther King Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. As a member of the National Black Justice Coalition Leadership Advisory Council, he plans to continue to build a professional and positive image and brand for the LGBT community by assisting the community through health awareness, education, political empowerment, history and heritage, and global awareness so our community will continue to be the driving force to empower young gay and lesbians in our society.
Earnest Winborne is the producer and director of NoMoreDownLow.TV. NoMoreDownLow.TV is a groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind, monthly, lifestyle and entertainment series dedicated to dispelling myths and stereotypes about same gender-loving people in the African American community.
Winborne named the series "No More Down Low" as a response to the negative implications J. L. King's book, On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of 'Straight' Black Men Who Sleep With Men, had on the Black gay community. The show features people who are open and honest about who they are and those who are contributing to their communities in the fields of entertainment, sports, politics, health, music, and social activism.
NoMoreDownLow.TV segments are told from an African American LGBT point of view and show that you can live a successful life – out of the closet – at work, at home and even in a church.
Winborne has worked as an associate producer with The Oprah Winfrey Show and as producer and field director for The View. For the last 15+ years, Winborne has covered the red-carpets events for Extra, Access Hollywood and E! News.
Winborne currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Corey Yarbrough is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition. As a native of Norfolk, VA, Yarbrough graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Justice Studies and a concentration in Global Justice and Policy. As his capstone project, he analyzed the relationship between the LGBT and African American community in a report entitled "The Missing Link: Incorporating Black LesBiGays into the Movement for Racial Equality." After graduating, Yarbrough completed the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship with the Congressional Hunger Center.
Under the program, he worked with Pittsburgh communities to develop effective responses to the barriers food stamp eligible households face in applying and receiving food stamps. Afterwards, he worked closely with the National Coalition for the Homeless to expand the organization's civil rights agenda. In doing so, he sparked national attention to violence against individuals experiencing homelessness and launched a national campaign to register homeless and low-income individuals to vote.
Upon moving to Massachusetts, Yarbrough worked as a community organizer with Stand for Children and Program Manager for Let's Get Ready. He currently serves on the Executive Board for the Massachusetts Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth.