Issues

NBJC's Issue Priorities and Key Initiatives

 

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a 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. With a particular focus on federal public policy, NBJC is charged with the mission to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ/SGL bias and stigma. We work to: Give Voice to the lived experience of Black LGBTQ/SGL people; Take Action to eradicate racism and LGBTQ/SGL bias/stigma; and Build Networks with stakeholders, from the grassroots to the national stage, to support the empowerment of our communities.  NBJC works at the intersection of the racial justice and LGBTQ/SGL equality movements by advocating for the unique needs of Black people that are too often ignored or rendered invisible. The following policy priorities must be addressed by elected officials to ensure the health, wellness and ultimate liberation of Black families and communities: Health & Wellness; Family & Relationship Recognition; Criminal Justice; Employment Non-discrimination and Housing.  In addition, NBJC has programmatic investments in the following three areas, which have policy implications: advancing  educational opportunities; empowerment of Black People of Trans* Experience; and supporting LGBTQ/SGL elders.

Strategic Focus: Strengthening & Supporting Black Families

Black LGBTQ/SGL Americans represent a significant subset of the African American community. 3.7 percent of all Black Americans (more than one million people) identify as LGBTQ/SGL (Williams Institute; 2013).  Nearly 100,000 Black Americans are in same-sex relationships (Williams Institute; 2013). Black LGBTQ/SGL people are disproportionately young and disproportionately female, and more than 30 percent of all Black American same-sex couples are raising children (NBJC Facts At A Glance; 2012). The challenges facing Black LGBTQ/SGL individuals and families are compounded, in part, due to the stigma and marginalization associated with the social construction of race/ethnicity and surrounding sexuality and gender identity.

 

Public Policy Priorities & Data Collection

At the root of NBJC’s public policy priorities is advocating for robust, culturally competent data collection to inform public policies that address the vital needs of Black LGBTQ/SGL people crafted and codified in Washington, DC and in state capitals across the nation. Essential to this effort is an accurate US Census in 2020. Census data is critical information used to determine federal, state and local investments. This information determines the distribution of more than $600 billion annually. It is also serves as the basis for the redrawing of both congressional and state legislative districts in the years to come.

The following programmatic focus areas with public policy implications will be central to the advocacy efforts of NBJC:
 
Advance Educational Opportunities

Education is the great equalizer. Accordingly, NBJC is committed to advocating for robust educational opportunities for Black Americans of all ages.  In the PreK-12 public education system, youth who are Black and identify as LGBTQ/SGL too often experience both racial harassment and anti-LGBTQ discrimination. As a result, Black LGBTQ/SGL youth and young adults are at-risk of poor academic performance, entering the school-to-prison or school-to-sex-trafficking pipeline and lack the support required to thrive.  NBJC is committed to ensuring that the environments charged with supporting the cognitive, social and emotional development of Black LGBTQ/SGL youth are equipped to meet their unique needs.

Empowerment of Black People of Trans* Experience

NBJC is committed to highlighting the threats and daily obstacles faced by Black people of transgender experience as well as gender nonconforming people in the US. Limited data show that Black trans* people and gender conforming people face substantially higher threats and violence, deeper levels of poverty and economic insecurity, negative health outcomes and interactions, and more extreme distress than others surveyed (Black Respondents Survey USTS; 2017).  Policies that advance the lives of Black people of trans experience and gender nonconforming must be centered in all efforts to liberate Black people and families.

Champion LGBTQ/SGL Elders

There has been very little research examining the experiences of aging LGBTQ/SGL Americans, which makes planning and preparation for aging challenges. The lack of research on this population leaves many unanswered questions about the unique experiences racial/ethnic sexual minorities face later in life. In addition to not having sufficient data to make informed decisions to support LGBTQ people as they age generally, there are compounded effects for individuals who are both racial/ethnic and sexual minorities. NBJC advocates by bringing voice to the lived experiences of Black LGBTQ elders and working to ensure they are included in all health reform proposals within Congress, the federal government and throughout states.

 

 

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