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NBJC Hosts OUT on the Hill Issue Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill to Engage Congress About Issues Impacting Black LGBTQ/SGL People


Washington, DC – Today marks the 29th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, a day the world celebrates courageous individuals who share their truth and talk about what it means to be a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) community. As we celebrate all it means to be Out & Proud, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ/SGL people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, is honored to host its annual OUT on the Hill Issue Advocacy Day (IAD) on Capitol Hill.

IAD brings together advocates, thought leaders, community members and allies to advance a policy and advocacy agenda that is unapologetically focused on the intersectional needs of Black people.  IAD is as an important opportunity to discuss the policy concerns of Black LGBTQ/SGL people with Members of Congress. This year’s theme, #BlackLiberationNow: Reclaim. Re-imagine. Resist., reflects our understanding of the important role that intersectional policy plays in facilitating the liberation of all Black people.

“The future of our children, communities and country depends on what we do today.  This is why it is so important for NBJC and our partners to be on Capitol Hill now to discuss our lived experiences and policy opportunities to address the most pressing challenges we face,” said David J. Johns, NBJC Executive Director. “The federal government continues to dismantle critical programs that so many communities depend on, including the Affordable Care Act, funding for the 2020 Census and the Community Development Block Grant, which could be used now to provide much needed disaster relief, including to the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In addition, federal policymakers continue to rollback protections for LGBTQ and SGL people, which limits our capacity to live our best life, provide for our families and strengthen our country.  There is no time like the present to engage those elected to do the work of representing the American people to ensure this important work happens.”

NBJC understands the need to highlight intersectional public policies that advance social justice, equality and equity for all, especially the most marginalized members of our society. These discussions are rare on Capitol Hill, but are essential to ensuring that all Americans reach their full potential, which requires ending discriminatory practices and leveraging federal resources to fill critical gaps.  

NBJC is working in partnership with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Black AIDS Institute, Black Youth Project 100, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Center for Transgender Equality, PFLAG National, Howard University’s C.A.S.C.A.D.E., and OutLaw and Campaign 9:30 at the University of District of Columbia. During IAD, NBJC, partner organizations and supporters will meet with Congressional leaders to highlight legislative and policy priorities that include the following core areas of advocacy:  Health & Wellness (Focus on Healthcare, Education, Voting Rights & Immigration); Criminal Justice Reform (Focus on Racial Profiling, Disparate Sentencing & Bail Reform); Nondiscrimination Protections (Focus on the Equality Act); and Robust & Inclusive Data Collection (Focus on Census 2020 & Other Government Surveys).   

Johns added: “We cannot afford to sit around while elected leaders act without regard for the most vulnerable Americans, which includes many Black LGBTQ/SGL people. We must hold lawmakers accountable for what they choose to do because the lives of so many depend on it.”

Throughout the day, IAD participants will be tweeting about their experiences on the Hill and using the official hashtag of IAD, which is #OOTH2017. Please follow the hashtag for more information on IAD.

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.