Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Thursday, December 07, 2006
National Black Justice Coalition Turns Three
If you don't know about the work of the National Black Justice Coalition, now it's time to learn... and support. The organization celebrates three years of social justice and coalition building work. fs.
WASHINGTON, DC – The nation's Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights group, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) will celebrate its third anniversary on December 8, 2006.
Originally formed to respond to a group of Black pastors who were attempting to drum up support in the Black community for a Federal Marriage Amendment to ban lesbians and gays from getting married, NBJC has now developed into the nation's leading authority on gay civil rights within the Black community.
Today, NBJC is a civil rights organization that is dedicated to empowering Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.
Since December 2003, NBJC has been instrumental is bringing visibility and a voice to a group of people who are often silenced and marginalized. From hosting the first Black church summit dedicated to discussing gays in the church featuring the Reverend Al Sharpton to organizing a summit of Black LGBT leaders to address critical issues, to working with Black elected officials; NBJC has broadened the discussion on gay civil rights in the African-American community.
NBJC also produces a quarterly magazine, Nyansapo, which features news, commentary and articles relevant to the Black same-gender loving community that is mailed to thousands of its constituents four times a year.
To date, NBJC is the first and only organization focusing on gay civil rights that is a member of the National Black Leadership Forum. In addition, NBJC enjoys a broad coalition of support including the NAACP, Urban League, Black AIDS Institute, and the California Legislative Black Caucus.
Started as an organization comprised of mostly working board members, NBJC is now headquartered in Washington D.C. with a full staff.
This year NBJC successfully launched its Political Action Fund. The Fund encourages voter support for initiatives and policies to establish racial justice and equality for LGBT Americans and to oppose anti-gay ballot initiatives. In addition, through the NBJC Political Action Fund, NBJC educates the public on African-American candidates at the state, local and federal levels seeking public office on their positions on LGBT issues.
NBJC founding president Keith Boykin is pleased that NBJC has blossomed into a staple civil rights organization.
"I had no idea three years ago that NBJC would grow into what it is now," he says. "NBJC was a voice that was needed in Black America and I am proud that we have accomplished so much in such a short time."
"Without NBJC, millions of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people would go without representation and that's not right." explained H. Alexander Robinson, NBJC Executive Director/CEO. "NBJC is just as significant to Black gays as the NAACP is to Blacks."
NBJC co-founder Jasmyne Cannick said, "While NBJC has accomplished a lot, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. Anti-gay legislation passed in seven of eight states in November and we're headed into a presidential election where Blacks will again be pitted against one another on the issue of marriage for gays. NBJC will be there and we will be speaking up and out on behalf of our constituents."
The board of NBJC includes members: Samiya Bashir of New York, Kylar Broadus of Missouri, Jasmyne Cannick* of California, Zandra Conway of Georgia, Maurice Franklin* of New York, Donna Payne* of Washington D.C., and board president Earl Plante of Washington D.C.
NBJC is located at 700 12th Street, N.W., Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005. NBJC can be reached at (202) 349-3755, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.nbjc.org.
NBJC membership levels begins at $35.
NBJC is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is able to do the work it does through the generous support of its members, donors, and corporate sponsors.
For a more information on NBJC and a complete list of accomplishments, please visit www.nbjc.org.