Socially loud! Can you hear us?


June 2017 E-Digest: HBCU Impact!



  A Newsletter for NBJC's HBCU LGBTQ-Equality Initiative



Welcome to NBJC's e-newsletter that tracks our efforts at America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).


Since 2010, NBJC has made advocating for and working to empower HBCUs a key mission through our HBCU LGBTQ-Equality Initiative. NBJC's programmatic and advocacy efforts are rooted in strategies to strengthen the bonds of HBCUs in support of their LGBTQ population, directly confronting the bias and stigma that too often inhabit these historically Black institutions. 

We are honored to present the third edition of our HBCU e-newsletter for the 2016-2017 academic year to update supporters on our work at these important institutions. In this issue, you will find updates on: NBJC’s PrEPing Our Futures Tour and NBJC's LGBTQ-Inclusive Cultural Competency Trainings. In addition to the work of our Initiative, you will also receive an opportunity to learn about NBJC’s partnership with the Consortium of Higher Education for LGBT Resource Professionals and North Carolina Central University for their annual Day-long Summer Institute being held on Saturday, June 17, and hosted for the first-time at an HBCU. 


We hope that you enjoy this timely newsletter as we wrap up the Spring 2017 semester and share our plans for the year ahead!

In love and solidarity,



  NBJC's 2017 "PrEPing Our Future" Tour

The  “PrEPing Our Future” Health and Wellness (H&W) Tour was created to initiate culturally competent activities rooted in decreasing the impact of the HIV epidemic and other health disparities for Black LGBTQ communities at HBCUs. NBJC launched the 2017 PrEPing Our Futures Tour in southern states, including: Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The five tour-stops to date in 2017 include: Prairie View Agricultural & Mechanical University; University of the District of Columbia; North Carolina Central University; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. 

During this past academic school year, NBJC brought its resources and programmatic efforts to improve the health and wellness of the Black LGBTQ population at HBCUs. NBJC partnered during Pride Weeks and National HIV/AIDS Awareness Days, and with campus student health services and public health departments to take action within HBCU networks. Through this effort, NBJC has been able to integrate targeted PrEP messaging with informative programming, workshops and trainings at HBCUs that cater to the Black LGBTQ population, and enhance efforts on the ground. While on tour, NBJC mobilized a number of HBCU stakeholders on these campuses, including administrators, faculty, student leaders and health service providers. During these comprehensive workshops, NBJC focused on both LGBTQ cultural competency and health and wellness issues impacting Black LGBTQ people.

During the upcoming fall semester, NBJC will launch its National PrEP Ambassadors (PrEP'ed for Success campaign), which is a peer-education led initiative consisting of trained college students who provide information on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to their peers on-campus and in their local communities. This national peer-education leadership program at HBCUs will empower Black youth and provide them with an opportunity to enhance their public health expertise around subject matters related to safe sexual practices and STI prevention, specifically HIV/AIDS.



PV Spectrum is the LGBTQ student organization at Prairie View Agricultural & Mechanical University and currently the only LGBTQ-specific resource on campus. NBJC kicked off the 2017 ”PrEPing Our Futures Tour” in Prairie View, TX on March 6, 2017 with a health and wellness workshop. The workshop provided an in-depth analysis of the unique challenges of Black LGBTQ people, particularly focused on the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and key tools, like PrEP, to eliminate new HIV infections. “NBJC kicking off Prairie View A&M University's OUT on the Hill pride week with the Black LGBTQ Health & Wellness workshop was fantastic! Having the National Black Justice Coalition present during our week was received very well and the information provided was much needed. We are excited to have NBJC return to Prairie View A&M University in the near future” said Ms.Evie Myers, Special Advisor to the President for Internal Affairs and International Initiatives, and PV Spectrum Advisor.

The visit also had a focus on improving the capacity of HBCU stakeholder to be more culturally competent of their LGBTQ population on their campus. Trinice McNally, NBJC’s HBCU Program Manager, and Venton Jones, NBJC's Program Officer for LGBTQ Health and Wellness Initiatives, also met with over 20 PVAMU Stakeholders, including the Vice President for Administration/Chief of Staff, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, and Director of Title IX Compliance. "NBJC made it comfortable for us to express ourselves and informed us of the safe ways to protect ourselves ahead of time. It was meaningful and motivating to know that NBJC makes it their mission to inform college students, especially African American students, of the growing STD rates," said Noah Perkins-Deal, PV Spectrum President.

The University of the District of Columbia's (UDC) National Women & Girls HIV Awareness Day was held on March 10, 2017. The purpose was to raise awareness of the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls. NBJC partnered with UDC’sCampaign 9:30, which is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded initiative that focuses on awareness related to HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention, to present their 5th Annual National Women & Girls HIV Awareness Day Tea. UDC has hosted a tea for the last five years that brings women and girls from the DC together. The theme for 2017 was “The Best Defense is a Good Offense,” and was intended to serve as an opportunity for the UDC campus community to earn how HIV affects women and girls in the United States and how women can protect themselves from HIV/AIDS through PrEP.

Trinice McNally, NBJC’s HBCU Program Manager, served as the Mistress of Ceremony for the awareness day tea, followed by a panel of several local DC organizations like SMYAL, Us Helping Us, Red Pump Project and The Women’s Collective. These individuals were also honored because of their advocacy in their communities. 


NBJC partnered with The LGBTA Resource Center, Student Health & Counseling Services, Project S.A.F.E &Durham Knows for their first “PrEP'ed for the Next Step” event on March 21, 2017. Over 120 students participated in a scavenger hunt-like game, where they were challenged to win mini games or participate in the Act Against AIDS Photo Campaign. Participants actively learned about HIV/AIDS, PrEP, Prevention/Testing and sexually transmitted infections and had an opportunity to win an iPad. Durham Knows also tested over 50 students for HIV/AIDS during the “PrEP'ed for the Next Step” event and during the tour, NBJC also met with the new Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Students, and Dean of Students to reintroduce NBJC’s acumen to new Student Affairs leadership and  discuss how NCCU can continue to lead in diversity and inclusion in the south. NCCU will be opening an LGBTQ-inclusive housing option in the fall of 2017, and looks forward to ensuring that their climate is nurturing, affirming and inclusive for their LGBTQ population.

Later that evening, NBJC presented at a Welcome Wednesday, a bi-weekly program hosted by the LGBTA Resource Center on hot topics and current issues. This  dialogue was centered on dismissing myths associated with women and HIV/AIDS and also how PrEP can also be used to prevent HIV/AIDS in both cisgender and transgender women. The “real talk” also discussed stigma and bias in African-American families around sex and how to have conversations about consent, protection and accessing treatment.Jennifer Williams, LGBTA Resource Center Coordinator, stated that “NBJC’s help with our event was impactful. It served to further the discussion about PrEP in our community and on our campus”.


NBJC traveled to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) to partner with Uniquely Defined, UMES LGBTQ Student organization, to kick-off  their “LGBTQ Pride Week” with a Black LGBTQ Health & Wellness workshop on April 10, 2017  in Princess Anne, Maryland. NBJC provided an in-depth analysis of the unique challenges of Black LGBTQ people, including the state of health and wellness for the Black LGBTQ populace. The workshop educated the UMES community about comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment with a particular focus on young gay and bisexual men and transgender women. “We chose NBJC because they primarily focus on the health & wellness of Black LGBTQ people. We don’t have the access to the resources they provided and the information learned was incredibly impactful,” stated Benjamin Webster, president of Unique Defined. Before the workshop, NBJC had an opportunity to meet with the Somerset County Health Department as they were doing HIV/AIDS rapid testing as a part of the Health & Wellness agenda for Pride Week. NBJC looks forward to cultivating a meaningful relationship on-campus with administrators to support their efforts to become a welcoming, affirming and nurturing campus.


FAMU Spectrum serves as the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Gay-Straight Alliance and is advised under the auspice of FAMU’s Student Health Services Department. Tanya Tatum, who serves as the director of Student Health Services, invited NBJC to FAMU to facilitate a Black LGBTQ Health & Wellness Workshop on April 19, 2017. Leon county’s rate for sexual transmitted infections remains among the highest in the state of Florida.

NBJC now has an office in Tallahassee, Florida and looks forward to continuing to assist FAMU Student Health Services and FAMU Spectrum with their LGBTQ Resource Center on campus. 



The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is the only public university in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., and is the only urban land-grant historically black university in the country. UDC is no stranger to advocacy for their LGBTQ students and have had TAG (The Alliance Group) active on campus since the mid 2000’s. TAG serves as the official LGBTQ student organization and works with Campaign 9:30 and local community organizations to spread awareness and create safe spaces for LGBTQ students to find community at UDC. In April, NBJC facilitated a two-day cultural competency training for the Office of Student Development & Success, where over 40 administrators were trained.


UDC is committed to ensuring that they are fostering a campus that is welcoming, affirming and inclusive for their LGBTQ population. During the training, the Division of Student Affairs developed institutional goals and defined next steps for UDC in their commitment to LGBTQ equality on both campuses. Jay Morrow, UDC Web Master and TAG advisor, added in reference to the training: “The cultural competency training was very beneficial to breaking down educational barriers for people who realized that they weren’t culturally competent on LGBTQ issues, but after the training their knowledge base increased 10-fold. I also enjoyed that the training was centered from a Black lens.” Chereen Leid, Project Coordinator  of Campaign 9:30, added “the cultural competency training that NBJC delivered at our university was incredible. It gave our staff and faculty members a greater insight on the unique needs of a lot of our students, and it gave them a renewed perspective on how they can create a positive, welcoming and inclusive space for all of their students. I highly recommend this training!”

Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Affectionately known as “The Mecca,” it also produces more African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. CASCADE (Coalition of Activist Students Celebrating the Acceptance of Diversity and Equality) is the LGBTQ student organization for LGBTQ students at Howard University and is the oldest LGBTQ student organization at an HBCU.

NBJC was invited to facilitate a series of LGBTQ-Inclusive Cultural Competency training at HU for three days in April. During NBJC’s visit to Howard, the entire President's Cabinet and Division of Student Affairs were trained. Howard President Dr.Wayne Frederick and Vice President of Student Affairs Kenneth Holmes are both committed to ensuring that Howard University is a culturally competent campus that effectively serves its LGBTQ population. The university also aims to open an LGBTQ Resource Center this year. Gaelle Amazan, who serves as Howard’s Intercultural Affairs Coordinator & CASCADE Advisor, has led the effort to advance LGBTQ equality on the campus and stated: “The partnership between NBJC and Howard University has been instrumental in ensuring that we are demonstrating our commitment to serving our LGBTQ student population."



Day-long Summer Institute

The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals partnered with NBJC in planning and facilitating this year’s Day-long Summer Institute. The Institute will focus on supporting queer and trans people of color on college campuses and is intentionally hosting the event at an HBCU for the first time–North Carolina Central University. This professional development opportunity is available for higher education professionals to build networks across the region and country, discuss emerging trends in LGBTQ-centered policies for student services, and share knowledge and struggles in the work of supporting LGBTQ students on college campuses.The institute is appropriate for all experience levels and professional roles.



  HBCUs: Why We Do This Work at NBJC!

HBCUs were founded primarily in theSouth to educate African Americans that were denied an opportunity to learn due to institutionalized segregation and oppression. Throughout their evolution, HBCUs have strengthened their identities in solidifying their commitment to social justice and continue to produce prolific leaders in Black America. According to theU.S. Department of Education, 75 percent of all doctorate degrees awarded to Black people, 75 percent of all Black officers in the U.S. military and 80 percent of Black federal judges got their undergraduate degrees at an HBCU. The legacy and continued importance of HBCUs to our nation and world is undeniable.

More often than ever, HBCUs have been in the news as the Trump Administration publicly courted the leadership of these institutions in February, promising to make them a key priority of the new Administration's higher education agenda and issuing an executive order to show support from the federal government. However, this executive order was overshadowed by offensive comments of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling HBCUs “pioneers” of school choice, neglecting the racist history that birthed these institutions of higher learning and forced African Americans to attend segregated schools. In May, NBJC signed onto an organizational statement of 21 organizations who work to advance human rights for people of color and working class people across the United States in support of rescinding Secretary Devos’ invitation and honorary degree. TheBethune-Cookman Class of 2017 chose to publicly engage in an active protest at their commencement ceremony as a direct outcome of the decision made to abdicate the rescinding of the invitation for Betsy DeVos to serve as their commencement speaker. To add insult to injury, President Trump himself made headline news by releasing a signing statement on a package to fund the government through the end of this fiscal year that implied that certain federal funding for HBCUs may be unconstitutional, which was laterclarified by the Administration.

With these concerning developments from the Trump Administration, our community must stay alert and move to action in support of HBCUs. With more than 300,000 students, mostly Black and of African descent, and continued financial woes at these historic institutions, the need to advocate and work to empower HBCUs is more important than ever. HBCUs represent the best of Black America and is a significant branch of our African American family tree. NBJC will continue to work to empower HBCUs by collaboratively working with their leadership to improve the overall capacity to provide their students and community—especially the Black LGBTQ populace—with a 21st century education in a secure, welcoming and affirming environment. 



For more information on how NBJC can visit your campus during the Fall 2017 semester, please contact Trinice McNally, NBJC’s HBCU Program Manager,



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.