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Wisdom Awards – 2021_

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NBJC was proud to present the Legendary Elders Wisdom Awards on May 16th, 2021, at 12pm ET. This signature event provided our community with an opportunity to celebrate the process of aging while sharing the wisdom accrued by our elders through a virtual event. Our inaugural awardees included:

  • Mandy Carter, civil rights movement and original Poor People’s Campaign activist; co-founder of NBJC, Southerners On New Ground, and Equality North Carolina; one of the first Black, openly gay/same gender loving elected member of the DNC; and national steering coordinator for the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. 

  • Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop of the largest Black LGBTQ+ clergy network, the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; Pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ; national HIV/AIDS advocate; and Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and voice of Walter Hawkins’ well-loved song Thank You
  • Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, co-founder of the earliest national Black LGBTQ+ organization, National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays (NCBLG), former Vice Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches and pastor of several MCC churches, one of the earliest executive directors of a city-wide LGBTQ+ commission (Philadelphia); and HIV/AIDS advocate. 

  • Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, who co-led the Stonewall Uprising, which is credited as being the formalized beginning of the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement; led the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project; is a criminal justice and HIV/AIDS advocate; and is the focus of a documentary about her life called Major!

  • Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, founder of Spelman College’s Women’s Research and Resource Center, leader of the first national study of LGBTQ+ inclusion and campus climate at HBCUs, trans-inclusive policies at single sex HBCUs; and founder of the first ever endowed Black Queer Studies program.

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.