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April 24, 2012


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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. NBJC's mission is to end racism and homophobia.

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Monumental things are happening within our community and here at NBJC. In this week's E-Digest, NBJC recognizes and celebrates recent achievements of a few notable leaders and research demonstrating advancements at the intersection of race and LGBT equality. From receiving honors to publishing groundbreaking reports, our community members are without a doubt delivering and owning our power. Our presence and impact can be felt through our advocacy, education and empowerment campaigns. That is why NBJC is dedicating this issue to YOU – honoring your commitment, hard work and all that you do.


Highlights in this edition include: NBJC announces new Director of Communications; landmark report examines Black media's depiction of LGBT people; honors and advancement for board members Donna Payne and Kylar Broadus; NBJC Leadership Advisory Council members Mandy Carter and Rod McCullom continue to be trailblazers; and much more.



staffannounceStaff Announcement: NBJC Names New Communications Director  


The National Black Justice Coalition has named Kimberley McLeod as NBJC's new Director of Communications. As the newest member of the NBJC leadership team, she will oversee and coordinate media relations, communication strategies and social media networks.


"Selecting such a highly competent and innovative talent like Kimberley will take the messaging and public face of NBJC to new heights. Her energy, commitment and fresh ideas to boost the visibility and coalition voice already breaking ground, strategically, will add new depth to NBJC's outreach efforts. Having Kimberley join the senior leadership team is a demonstration of NBJC's intentionality and belief in emerging leaders ready to lead today," states Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.


McLeod comes to NBJC after overseeing the Communities of African Descent Media program for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's third largest LGBT organization. In 2011, she trained numerous spokespeople and journalists on effectively and responsibly sharing LGBT stories in both national and local media, including Ebony, theGrio, The Baltimore Sun and The Tallahassee Democrat. McLeod has provided an African American perspective on LGBT issues ranging from hate crimes to marriage equality for various outlets such as Black Enterprise, The Root and Huffington Post Black Voices.


Prior to working at GLAAD, McLeod worked at PEOPLE StyleWatch magazine where her responsibilities included reporting, writing and editing. She has also contributed to various online and print publications. Her work mainly centered around equal rights for LGBT people, feminism, racism and culture has appeared in Time, Ebony, Essence, theGrio, People, InStyle and Clutch magazines.


McLeod graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Sociology and English, concentrating on race, gender relations and journalism. She currently serves as the LGBT Task Force Co-Chair of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and is the creator of, a resource for multidimensional representations of Black LGBT women.


In her free time, she enjoys traveling and discovering the country's finest food trucks with her partner, Charla.


"The unprecedented work NBJC does for our community and our nation is important and needed more than ever," says McLeod. "I am beyond thrilled to join their dedicated team and serve my community in an impactful way." 

eeocEEOC Rules in Favor of Transgender Woman in Title VII Case          

– MetroWeekly    


An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person's gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to a landmark ruling issued on April 20 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The opinion, experts say, could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation. NBJC partnered with the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on a groundbreaking study that found 32 percent of Black transgender people lost a job due to bias and 48 percent were not hired for a job due to bias.


reportpublicREPORT: Public Opinion and Discourse on the Intersection of LGBT Issues and Race     


A new report by the Opportunity Agenda takes a close look at the roles ethnic and new media are playing today in both perpetuating and challenging negative stereotypes of LGBT people of color. The report includes four studies, including "Coverage of LGBT Issues in African-American Print and Online News Media: An Analysis of Media Content." Key research findings include that pro-LGBT spokespeople predominate in both the African-American and Latino print media by a wide margin; the storylines in all three types of media tend to focus on LGBT-specific issues like marriage equality, homophobia, and the "down low lifestyle"; few articles place LGBT people and issues within a broader societal context. This groundbreaking study reveals that while we have come a long way, we still have work to do. The good news is that now equipped with invaluable information, we have a clear sense of opportunities to increase visibility and as a result, equality. NBJC is proud to have contributed to this report. NBJC thanks the Opportunity Agenda for this landmark report.



condemnnomNBJC Condemns NOM's Racially Divisive Tactics



After the release of internal strategy memos of the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which called for the use of race as a means of stripping the freedom to marry from loving and committed same-sex couples, NBJC joined the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and others to condemn the organization's wedge-strategy. Both CNN's Anderson Cooper and MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts highlighted NBJC executive director Sharon Lettman-Hicks' remarks about the NOM's secret memos. Watch the news segments on NBJC's YouTube Channel.


CNN: NOM's Racially Divisive Anti-Gay Tactics Exposed 

CNN: NOM's Racially Divisive

Anti-Gay Tactics Exposed



MSNBC: Anti-Equality Memos Exposed 

MSNBC: Anti-Equality Memos Exposed

nombackfireNOM's Race Baiting Backfires: Minority Groups Stand Together Against Bigotry   

Huffington Post   

As discussion of NOM's divisive strategy spreads further, it appears that the organization may actually have the exact opposite effect on the public discourse around equality: it is bringing communities together in solidarity against bigotry. By having their wedge-based plan exposed for all to see, and in such stark terms, NOM has stirred a sense of commonality among the very minority groups they sought to divide. Being demonized for crass political expediency, it turns out, is something that many groups can relate to.

trayvonjusticeGays Come Out for Justice for Trayvon Martin

– Washington Post


On April 2, 23 groups representing the varied concerns of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people issued an open letter in support of Trayvon's family and their quest for justice. The letter was signed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition, Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality, Freedom to Marry, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, to name a few. It marks an important moment in a necessary alliance that needs more tending.




trayvonOP-ED: To Help the Trayvons of the World, We Need Intentional Allies    

– The Advocate


 While I am heartened by how community members and high-profile figures like NAACP president Ben Jealous and Reverend Al Sharpton have mobilized to garner public attention around this injustice, organized marches and obtained almost 2 million signatures in just one week, I am troubled that a petition calling for a fair investigation for openly gay Florida A&M (FAMU) student Robert Champion, Jr. who was hazed to death could not get even 900 signatures in over two months. It is no secret that justice drags her feet when the lives of our black boys and girls are at stake. The nationwide cries of outrage, however, are even more muffled when it is a life of a black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person on the line, as if the double layers of oppression further tints our lens for fairness and urgency.


yestrayvonYes, Travyon's Death Is an LGBT Issue. No, LGBT Politics Aren't Limited by White Privilege 

– Colorlines


To accuse organizations including the National Center for Transgender Equality, UNID@S, Immigration Equality and the National Black Justice Coalition of "bandwagon posturing" is to assume that the people who make up these organizations have no stake or interest in dismantling systemic racism. I know this much is true: LGBT organizations belong in the conversation about racial profiling. 



osagyefoConversation with Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Author of Gods, Gays, and Guns: Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy

Hosted by LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent


Friday, April 27, 2012


7:00 PM


Casa Frela

47 West 119th Street

New York, NY


For more information, contact Dr. Wilhelmina Perry at

safeschoolsObama Endorses Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Non-Discrimination Act    


The White House recently announced that President Obama is endorsing the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), two bills pending in Congress to address bullying and discrimination faced by students across the nation. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment. A study released by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) revealed that at least a quarter of Black LGBT students have missed at least one full day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable, compared to just 6.3 percent of all Black youth and 3.5 percent of all white youth. NBJC applauds the Obama Administration for supporting these two critical bills that will bring our schools closer to be nurturing, affirming environments where all our students feel safe and obtain the skills necessary for success.




bayardprocBerkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore Presents Bayard Rustin Proclamation   


Openly gay civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin was recognized with a proclamation by Tom Bates, the Democratic 74-year old highly-popular mayor of the City of Berkeley, California, to commemorate his 100th birthday. The proclamation was presented by Berkeley City Councilmember and NBJC board chair Darryl Moore at the Berkeley City Council meeting. "Bayard Rustin is best known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement, but he was also hugely involved in the labor movement, international human rights and was a stalwart of the LGBT community," says Moore. "He really was an incredible person who has changed our world in ways that we have not properly recognized nor appreciated."


mandycarterMandy Carter Gives Keynote Address at Inaugural Lesbians of Color Symposium     


On March 3, Mandy Carter, NBJC Co-Founder and Leadership Advisory Council Member, delivered the keynote address at the Inaugural Lesbians of Color Symposium, a one day conference featuring a series of workshops and panel discussions on spirituality, activism, women's health and wellness, and gender expression,facilitated by regional and national advocates of color.  Co-hosted by Hispanic Black Gay Coalition and Harvard Law School Lambda, Carter opened the conference with her reflections on community organizing, coalition-building, the importance of allies and the difference between justice and "just us."


Mandy Carter: Keynote Presentation LOCS 2012

donnawinsDonna Payne Wins Woman of Excellence Honor From National Action Network    



On Saturday, March 31, the National Action Network's Women's Auxiliary awarded Donna Payne, Human Rights Campaign Associate Director of Diversity and NBJC Co-Founder and Board member, one of the ''Women of Excellence'' at the group's 16th annual awards ceremony. Rev. Al Sharpton founded the civil rights organization in 1991.  His daughter, Dominique Sharpton, presented Payne with the award. During her acceptance speech, Payne took the opportunity to call out groups such as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for attempts to drive a wedge between the African American and LGBT communities.


gladreleaseGLAD To Release Transgender Family Law Guide for Attorneys   


Transgender people have unique needs and vulnerabilities in the family law context. Any family law attorney engaged in representing transgender clients must know the ins and outs of this rapidly developing area of law. That is why Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is releasing Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, a practical guide for attorneys interested in becoming effective advocates for their clients. Available next month, the book also serves as a valuable resource for any transgender person who is forming, expanding, or dissolving a family relationship. Kylar Broadus, professor, attorney, activist, and NBJC Board member, contributed to the publication with a chapter on the legal recognition of a transgender person's name and sex.


For more information about the book, visit:


ifonlyPOV: If Only – Collision at the Intersection of Justice and LGBT Equality    


In CherryGRRL, an online lesbian magazine, community organizer and NBJC Board Vice Chair Michelle Brown examines how the Trayvon Martin case illuminates the intersection of race and sexuality. "Race, class, hate and fear all crashing at the intersection of civil rights, LGBT equality and our humanity," she writes. "To borrow from President Obama, if I had a son (a daughter, a child) they'd look like Matthew Shepherd, Sakia Gunn, Tyler Clementi, Robert Champion, and yes, Trayvon Martin." Brown goes on to highlight how victims of bias-motivated hate crimes are wrongfully blamed and the importance of standing for justice.

 endaWhite House Defends Obama's Not Ordering LGBT Worker Protections

-Huffington Post  


[White House Press Secretary Jay Carney] maintained that Obama is committed to ensuring equal rights for the LGBT community but that, in this case, he prefers a legislative solution. "The president is committed to lasting and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections, and we plan to pursue a number of strategies to attain that goal," Carney said. "Our hope is these efforts will result in the passage of ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which is a legislative solution to LGBT employment discrimination."




harrisperryBeing Transgender in America – Melissa Harris-Perry      



MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry dedicated more than half of her show to discussing the everyday challenges LGBT Americans face when trying to participate fully in their communities. Perry, who hosts the self-titled Sunday morning political-talk show, interviewed author Kate Bornstein, Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Mel Wymore, a candidate for the New York City Council to talk about gender identity and expression as well as the need for greater understanding acceptance and awareness about transgender people.


traninjusticeFight Against Trans Injustice Rages On        

– Huffington Post   


CeCe [McDonald] is an African-American woman from Minneapolis, Minn., and she is currently incarcerated, facing two counts of second-degree murder. On June 5, 2011, CeCe and a group of her friends, all of whom were LGBT youth of color, were walking in South Minneapolis when a group of white adults began screaming racist and transphobic slurs. According to reports, CeCe stood up for herself and her friends, stating that they would not tolerate hate speech. Then one of the white adult women smashed her glass into CeCe's face. The broken glass sliced all the way through CeCe's cheek, lacerating a salivary gland. A fight ensued, resulting in the death of one of the attackers, Dean Schmitz. CeCe was the only person arrested.


paigeCommunity Rallies After Transgender Woman's Murder         

– CBS Chicago    


Community groups are rallying for answers after a transgender woman was found shot and killed on the [Chicago's] West Side earlier this week. Paige Clay, 23, was found shot and killed Monday morning. Her body was found in an alley behind the 4500 block of West Jackson Boulevard in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, according to Harrison District police Lt. John Andrews. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said she suffered a gunshot wound to the face. The manner of death was a homicide.


ebonyEbony Magazine Spotlights Lesbian Mom in Mother's Day Special

The May 2012 issue of EBONY features a beautiful two-mommy couple. In "She Calls Us Both Mom," award-winning blogger and NBJC Leadership Advisory Council member Rod McCullom profiles Washington, D.C.-based lesbian mom, Renee Perrier, 42. Perrier shares the everyday challenges and gifts she, her partner, Karen, and their daughter Amaris, 3, experience as a family.   

Get your copy of EBONY – on stands now!   


Tweet this message of support to the magazine:

I'm joining @NBJContheMove in thanking @EBONYMag for shining light on LGBT families in their May 2012 issue!


anthologyNew Anthology Tells the Stories of Black and Latino LGBT People   

The Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HGBC) recently celebrated the release of its first anthology publication. The anthology highlights 21 experiences of Black and Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals of color. Shout It OUT: Coming Out Black and Brown

narrates these experiences through poetry, prose, letters and personal reflections. It also includes stories about gay men in the Caribbean, the Latina revolutionary and an individual's battle with the church.


eggrollWhite House Invites LGBT Families to Easter Egg Roll     


Thousands of families gathered for the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll – including LGBT families from as far away as Utah and as nearby as Maryland. NBJC was honored to have two of our families, the Mims and Mosby-Redmonds, present at the event. Micaela Redmond and JaChel Mosby are engaged (after being together for 5 years) with a 10-year-old daughter, Taylor, and reside in Dallas, TX. The couple, one month away from their wedding, enjoyed this family time and break from wedding planning. Wives Aleia Mims and Antoinette Mims are a family consisting of two mommies and a precocious 3-year-old named Amaya from Northern NJ. It was fun to see the parents' competitive sides come out during the Easter Egg Roll with each family not so subtly encouraging their daughters to "win!" In the end, it was all fun and games.


View photos from the event 



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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.