The NBJC Blog

On this Veterans Day, our nation once again pauses to honor those who have served in our military and those currently serving. As the proud son and grandson of former Marines, I am forever inspired by the history and resiliency of Black veterans and servicemembers. For many Black veterans, including my family, the service was a pathway for both professional development and a means to lift their families out of poverty. These American heroes not only served honorably in defense of country, but they confronted and continue to overcome societal ills like racism and bias. This is especially true for Black transgender servicemembers who currently face a hostile Trump Administration that has publicly committed to banning them from openly serving. This in spite of the fact that many U.S. allies already allow open service for transgender people.

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Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), is 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, is proud to partner with Out2Enroll, a national initiative to connect the LGBTQ community and allies with the new health insurance coverage options available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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October is a time when we celebrate tenacious resilience.  During this month we highlight the strategies, support and lessons learned to not only survive but to thrive. The untrained eye may think this prolific month is solely dedicated to the soldiers and survivors of breast cancer, but October is so much more. In October, we also celebrate the tremendous contributions that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community has made to American and global history.

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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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Over four intense days of sharing, healing and mobilizing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, advocates from the across the nation came together to proclaim one thing -- HIV Is Not A Crime! This national training academy, convened by the Sero project and Positive Women’s Network-USA, provided a space for people living with HIV (PLWH) and our allies to learn more about the real-life impact of HIV criminalization laws that continue to hinder the movement to end HIV/AIDS. The even more promising presence at the conference was the attendance of delegations from Mexico, Canada and Germany, adding an international perspective to this critical issue that perpetuates HIV/AIDS stigma globally.

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Since 2013, April 10th has been recognized as National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) . NBJC joins youth leaders and activists, advocates, families and communities across our nation on this day with the intention of educating the broader public about the unique impact of HIV/AIDS on young people, especially youth of color. Young people today are the first generation to have never known a world without HIV/AIDS, but continue to be disproportionately infected and affected by the preventable disease.

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April 10 is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD)—a day to remind our communities of the dramatic impact HIV and AIDS has on young people, especially African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth who are most affected by this preventable disease.

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National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is observed annually on March 10 to highlight the importance of women and girls taking action to protect themselves and their partners from HIV through prevention, testing and treatment. Sponsored by the Office on Women's Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this year's NWGHAAD theme is "The Best Defense is a Good Offense," and as a proud Black woman, I encourage all of my sisters--transgender, queer, same gender loving, gay, lesbian and heterosexual--to get tested to be part of the solution to fight HIV/AIDS.

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