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NBJC Expands Health & Wellness Initiatives with New Leadership Role


Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, is proud to announce the expansion of its Black LGBT Health and Wellness Initiative with the creation of a new leadership role—Program Officer for LGBT Health and Wellness Initiatives. Venton C. Jones Jr., MSHCAD, NBJC’s former Events and Operations Manager, will take on this new role to foster and expand the health and wellness sector as an institutional priority for the organization. As the Program Officer for LGBT Health and Wellness Initiatives, Venton will lead NBJC’s advocacy and programmatic efforts to improve the overall health and wellness of the Black LGBT, queer and same gender loving population in our nation.

“I am delighted that Venton will continue his tenure at NBJC in this new role, which is a top priority for our organization,” said Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “Venton was a critical voice in the development of this portfolio. Institutionally, we are prepared to address the unequal and unequitable conditions that Black communities have historically endured in the health care sector of society. In addressing the health and wellness of the Black LGBT population—including the HIV epidemic—NBJC will bring voice and take action to ensure that our constituents are recognized and receive culturally competent care. I am confident that Venton will do a phenomenal job in leading our efforts.”

With the support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, NBJC created the Black LGBT Health and Wellness Initiative in December of 2014 to address current health crises and disparities in culturally competent wellness programs that target Black LGBT people and families. This overlooked community represents multiple populations that demonstrate higher health disparities and a need for swift and strategic action. By integrating targeted messaging with informative programming catering to Black people who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL), the NBJC Black LGBT Health and Wellness Initiative works to provide opportunities for outreach and education, testing and treatment to improve the overall health outcomes for Black and LGBTQ/SGL people. Venton will lead this effort at NBJC to strategically and innovatively bring voice and visibility to Black LGBT health and wellness concerns.

“As a passionate advocate for marginalized and underserved communities, particularly the Black LGBT community, I am honored and eager to continue the imperative work of implementing policy solutions which provide more resources to Black LGBT people and our families,” said Venton C. Jones Jr., Program Officer for NBJC’s Health and Wellness Initiatives. “Critical to this work is ensuring that all Americans, especially those communities who face syndemic challenges, have access to quality and affordable health insurance. This is the first step in addressing health disparities impacting our community.”

Venton C. Jones Jr. represents a new generation of national leaders committed to advancing equality and social justice for the African American and LGBT communities. Prior to joining NBJC, Venton worked extensively in the areas of non-profit administration, public health communications and community organizing. He has served as an expert consultant on mobilizing LGBT communities of color, HIV/AIDS and other health disparities for a number of agencies and government entities throughout the United States, including the White House. He has been featured in a number of publications and other media outlets, including JET magazine, Poz magazine and BET. Venton received his Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health from Texas A&M University and his Master of Science degree in Health Care Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington.  Most recently, Venton was selected to serve on the Board of Trustees for AIDS United next year.

“AIDS United is thrilled to have Venton join our Board of Trustees in 2016.  His immense experience tying social justice, health, and community organizing together will undoubtedly bring valuable perspective and insights to our Board. We look forward to Venton’s leadership as AIDS United pursues our mission to end AIDS across the United States,” states Michael Kaplan, President and CEO of AIDS United.

In his new role at NBJC, Venton will work to address health disparities that disproportionately impact Black LGBT people, including HIV/AIDS. Central to his work is educating and moving to action public policy leaders and other key stakeholders on the critical challenges that hinder the Black LGBT community from achieving holistic health. This includes working towards public policies that foster a more culturally competent health care system for Black LGBTQ/SGL people.

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.