On April 18, 2019, 15-year-old Nigel Shelby died by suicide after constant homophobic bullying for being gay. Nigel Shelby’s mother Camika Shelby has retained nationally renowned civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump, Esquire and Jasmine Rand, Esquire, to investigate the circumstances involving her son’s death, the bullying he experienced at Huntsville High School, and his school administrators’ role in his decision to take his life. Crump and Rand are best known for their work as nationally renowned civil rights attorneys who represented the family of Trayvon Martin. Camika Shelby is working with the National Black Justice Coalition to raise awareness about the often unmet mental health needs of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) students in schools and to disrupt the stigma that too often prevents Black people from discussing the beautiful diversity that has always existed within Black communities.
Over the coming weeks you may notice ordinary people doing the extraordinary work of helping to raise awareness about Nigel Shelby by posting across social platforms using #IAmNigelShelby and #MyBrothersKeeperMeansNigelShelbyToo. Two important goals for this campaign is to raise awareness about the unique challenges Black LGBTQ/SGL students face in schools and to remind everyone that in the same way we care about our brother Trayvon Martin we should care about Nigel Shelby too. We encourage you to post a video and images raising awareness, disrupting stigma, and encouraging other young people to talk about the challenges they sometimes face alone and in silence. To purchase your own #IAmNigel shirt visit @LongLiveNigelShelby via Instagram.
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.