NEW YORK — In Response to the Pulitzer Prize wins of Jericho Brown and Michael R. Jackson in Poetry and Drama respectively, David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) released the following statement:
“With all that’s happening in the world it’s important to celebrate a little Black Boy Joy. For those who don’t already know, two Black same gender loving men recently won Pulitzer Prizes (awarded Monday). Jericho Brown, won for his book, The Tradition, and playwright Michael R. Jackson, won for his musical A Strange Loop. Jackson is the first Black writer to win the prize for musical theatre.

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NEW YORK — Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed Feb. 23 while jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood near his home. Currently, no arrests have been made, though two suspects were identified, questioned and released. Citing conflicts of interest, two previous district attorneys recused themselves from the case without seeking charges. This Tuesday, video emerged that stands in stark contrast to the previous statements of the men who shot Arbery, and their claims of self-defense have been called into question. Prosecutor Tom Durden now says that he will present evidence to a grand jury; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed proceedings until at least mid-June.  Justice for Ahmaud Arbery has already been delayed too long.

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WASHINGTON — In response to the tragic passings of Jameela Dirrean-Emoni Barber, 17, and Skylar Herbert, 5, David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, released the following statement:
“We have come to a point in the current crisis where almost everyone knows someone who we have lost, and Black communities know this most of all. Our hearts are with the families of Jameela and Skylar, both gone far too soon, including for reasons connected to the COVID-19 and the cracks in our society that make Black people more vulnerable.

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NEW YORK—In response to J. August Richards’ Instagram Live segment where he said that he was a gay man, and to news that he would be portraying a gay man in NBC’s new show, Council of Dads, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition released the following statement:
“Representation matters, and in today’s global society, diversity in representation that reflects the plurality of our reality is paramount.

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WASHINGTON — In observation of the April 18th anniversary of Nigel Shelby’s death, and in response to news of Jo’vianni Smith’s tragic death by suicide, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, released the following statement:
“A national youth mental health crisis is imminent. While many are able to quickly adapt to the rigid isolation demanded by necessary social-distancing, this time will be difficult for many, especially marginalized children and youth..."

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