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Emancipation Campaign Launch & Inspirational Message from Je-Shawna Wholley

This Friday, July 18, marks the end of my tenure here at NBJC. In two-and-a-half years, I have grown tremendously, serving first as a Senior Fellow, then as a Programs Associate, and most recently as the Programs Manager for theEmerging Leaders Initiative & Special Projects. I could not have asked for a better opportunity as my first career move after graduating from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. I knew then that I wanted to work for and with my community, and NBJC afforded me that opportunity. My time at the leading civil rights organization for the Black LGBTQ and same-gender-loving (SGL) community has prepared me to continue the legacy of being unapologetically Black and queer, and holding those around me accountable. I leave here ready to pursue my Masters in Gender and Women's Studies, with an intersectional movement-building lens. I leave here connected to a network of bright, passionate and inspirational community members. And most importantly, I leave NBJC feeling a part of something bigger than myself. As I retire from my official role at NBJC, I will continue to spread the word about the important work happening within these walls. I will continue to invest in myself by investing in an organization that serves with me in mind. Today, I ask that you do the same.


For the next 90 days, NBJC will embark upon a vigorous empowerment campaign to highlight the defining moments of our movement and rally our constituents to provide the support it needs to continue fighting for equity and equality on behalf of the Black LGBTQ/SGL community. The launch of the Emancipation Campaign is our way of breaking free from the sole reliance of foundations and turning to our community for uplift and self-sufficiency.


Times are harder now more than ever. The financial landscape is shifting and those living and fighting at the intersection are going to be caught in the crossfire as the powers that be contemplate whether to fund racial justice or LGBT equality. Over 85% of non-profit funding comes from public and private foundations. This means that individuals like you and me are only accounting for 15% of our organizations' lifeline. We have to do better if we want to lead our organizations in the right direction. We must VOLUNTEER more, take ACTION more, and GIVE more! The time is NOW!



As I move on to continue this work in other ways, I ask that you ensure that NBJC can continue to build networks through programming such as Emerging Leaders Day, which brings together hundreds of young people who understand the importance of political access for our community. I ask that you support NBJC so that we can continue to take action against injustices such as the murder of Marco McMillan and Black trans women across this nation.


However, before I leave my official post within the organization, I have one final CALL TO ACTION–MAKE A PLEDGE TODAY. Sacrifice one latte, one cocktail or one concert ticket to ensure that the legacy built within these walls 10 years ago is not lost. The time is now for us to decide how this movement will end 25, 50, 75 or 100 years from now. Will we make a conscious decision TODAY to make the investment in ourselves, or will we stand by idly and watch as the greater LGBT movement continues to progress, while leaving those that are both Blackand LGBTQ/SGL behind to fend for ourselves?

I choose to plant my seed today. Will you follow me?

Support NBJC's Emancipation Campaign by making a donation and thenspreading the word.

Want to become an Ambassador of our campaign? Contact Venton Jones, Events and Operations Manager, for more details at or 202-319-1552 ext. 101



 Je-Shawna Wholley

Programs Manager

Emerging Leaders Initiative & Special Projects

National Black Justice Coaltion

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.