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What people are saying about the new Executive Director and NBJC

A wide variety of influential African American leaders and civil rights allies also added their voices in support of the appointment of David Johns as the executive director of NBJC:


Angela Rye, CNN Political Commentator and Principal/CEO of IMPACT Strategies, stated: “David Johns is among the most authentic, passionate and purposed voices of our generation. Whether teaching the babies in schools across the country, developing legislation on Capitol Hill, or advancing policy and practice from the White House, David is committed to increasing opportunities and outcomes for Black people. David’s leadership is timely given the Trump Administration’s assault on LGBTQ people, and I am excited to see how his leadership advances both African American civil rights and LGBTQ rights.”


Reverend Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the National Action Network, stated: “As long as there have been black people, there have been gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender black people, and the relationship between civil rights and LGBTQ rights is inextricably linked. As we continue the work of the movement where many of us literally risk our lives daily, fighting for justice and equality for all who deserve, may we never forget to acknowledge and support the need for leaders who understand this important relationship and who are unapologetic in advocating for and advancing the public policy issues impacting our community, holistically. David Johns is a proven leader, policy expert and public advocate. I have worked with him closely and have seen him get his hands dirty and roll up his sleeves to do the work on the ground; traveling from state to state, community to neighborhood, to address the disparities and implement strategies for solutions to advance and protect our rights. I am excited about what his leadership means for the next generation of civil rights leaders and truly look forward to working with him and the National Black Justice Coalition.”


John B. King, Jr., Former U.S. Secretary of Education and current CEO and President of The Education Trust, stated: “In my role as Education Secretary, I worked closely with David to ensure that the Department’s agenda was responsive to and supportive of African-American students and communities. I was always impressed that David’s leadership focused on the experiences of the experts—real students in classrooms all across the country. David is an authentic leader and outspoken advocate whose passion for increasing equity and opportunity through education is palpable. David is an excellent choice to enhance the work of the National Black Justice Coalition going forward because of his deep understanding of the needs of African-American LGBTQ individuals. I am confident that he will use the experiences he has acquired and the relationships he continues to cultivate to benefit African-American LGBTQ individuals and to strengthen our nation.”

Susan L. Taylor, Founder and CEO of National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emerita of ESSENCE magazine, stated: “No one better understands the urgency and dimension of calls to ensure African Americans' and the nation’s embrace of our Black LGBTQ sisters and brothers than David Johns. One of the most gifted and lucid young intellectuals of our time, he speaks points powerfully to the pitfalls of excluding an army of able and willing warriors for freedom and justice, and the leverage that a broad-based, inclusive leadership offers a divided nation struggling to find its moral center. David Johns is the healer and eager teacher needed to lead NBJC as we work to create the new and just world crucial to our survival.”

Download the official press release >

Read more about NBJC Executive Director David J. Johns >

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.