America’s journey towards equality for all people has been long and winding, and continues to be. We are diverse. And in too many ways, it’s clear we’re still working to completely honor that.
But there’s also diversity within the diversity, such as LGBTQ+ people in the Black community, and those in the community living with HIV/AIDs, who continue to need advocates in their own fight for recognition, acceptance, and equal rights.
In honor of Pride Month, Giving Assistant is shining a light on The National Black Justice Coalition is just one nonprofit among dozens advocating for this community, by working to protect and advance their civil rights, supporting them in the court systems, working alongside related organizations to amplify their impact on the Black LGBTQ+ community, influencing public policy, and more.
National Black Justice Coalition: Elevating Black LGBTQ+ Voices
What is the National Black Justice Coalition?
Founded in 2003, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is an American civil rights nonprofit working to protect and advance the rights of Black LGBTQ+ people and those in the community living with HIV/AIDS.
Their work is paving the way for a society free of stigma, discrimination, and violence against Black LGBTQ+ Americans, as well as encouraging families, friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens to join the fight and ensure that, on the road to absolute racial justice, the Black LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities receive equal attention and representation.
What does the National Black Justice Coalition Do?
In part, the NBJC boosts the efforts of related civil, human, and LGBTQ+ groups, as well as the efforts of lawmakers, to help make sure the needs and rights of the Black LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDs community receive equal attention. They do this by conducting and providing critical research, as well as extra volunteers and manpower.
The NBJC is also a leader in education, transforming their research into toolkits communities and schools can use to help fight stigma, stop school bullying, and teach others about how to be an ally for Black LGBTQ+ people and those living with HIV/AIDs, sexual health and HIV/AIDs prevention, and how to talk about LGTBQ+ and gender issues.
As of June 2020, the National Black Justice Coalition is working on the following issues:
- Passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation that would “prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or, depending on the version of the bill, gender identity by employers with at least 15 employees.” (Wikipedia). The bill has failed to pass in spite of being presented in almost every meeting of congress since 1994. Today, the NBJC continues to work alongside the ACLU to get it passed.
- Marriage equality, ensuring the associated laws and rights continue to be protected and upheld, and societal acceptance of same-sex marriage continues growing.
- Bullying in schools, an ongoing serious, often life-threatening issue facing Black LGBTQ+ children and teens.
- Supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ensuring Black LGBTQ+ Americans serving our country in the armed forces can serve and live openly and safely, without fear of discrimination or retaliation.
- Holding Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) accountable to provide safe and inclusive spaces for Black LGBTQ+ students.
- HIV/AIDs education for young people in the African American community.
Why Support the National Black Justice Coalition?
Because you notice and are moved by those voices in American culture that have been historically muted or drowned out again and again; because you empathize with those voices; and because you understand those voices are integral to realizing the dream of a genuinely, absolutely safe and equal society for all.
When you give to the NBJC, you give to a nonprofit that, for nearly 20 years, has played an important role in educating communities and influencing American perspectives so that Black LGBTQ+ people can live more openly, with the support and acceptance of their families, friends, and coworkers.
A few more reasons to support the NBJC:
- Because LGBTQ+ Black people and families still struggle to find equal work and housing opportunities. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 32% (that’s nearly ⅓) of American children being raised by Black same-sex parents live in poverty, compared to just 7% of American children being raised by white, married, heterosexual couples, and 13% of children raised by married, heterosexual Black parents. 34% of Black transgender people live in poverty compared to just 9% of cisgender Black people.
- Because Black transgender women “face the highest levels of fatal violence within the LGBTQ community and are less likely to turn to police for help for fear of revictimization by law enforcement personnel.” (Human Rights Campaign)
- Because the Black LGBTQ+ community continues to be more dramatically impacted by HIV/AIDs than any other. One study showed that a Black gay man in Atlanta “has a 60 percent chance of becoming HIV-positive by the age of 30, even though Black gay and bisexual men are more likely to engage in safer sex practices than their white counterparts.” (Human Rights Campaign)
- Because Black transgender people are unjustly arrested, tried, and imprisoned at disproportionally high rates compared to all other racial and ethnic groups.
How to Support the National Black Justice Coalition
There are so many ways to help the Black LGBTQ+ community and those living with HIV/AIDS—some of which we should already be doing anyway. Here are some listed on the NBJC’s site:
- Participate in the 2020 census. This is one of those things you should be doing anyway, but answering the census (which literally takes 5 minutes) helps make sure every area in the U.S. has the right number of representatives, and the right amount of funding, both of which are absolutely critical when it comes to protecting and advancing civil and human rights.
- Learn about Thrive, one of the NBJC’s initiatives to support and empower youth leaders taking a stand for Black LGBTQ+ students in their schools.
- Share the Words Matter toolkit with leaders in your community and schools to help teach people how to create safe spaces.
- Learn about #iamnigelskeeper, an initiative ignited by the suicide of 15-year-old Nigel Shelby, a victim of homophobic bullying in school.
- Learn about the NBJC’s various initiatives to protect voting rights, then call congress at 202-224-3121 to lend your voice.
- Nominate leaders for the NBJC Leaders Initiative, and learn about the leaders they’ve highlighted most recently.
- Learn about the issues facing LGBTQ+ students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and how you can support the work being done to increase the quality and availability of safe spaces, as well as representation.
- Read and share articles about the Black Trans community provided by the NBJC’s Black Transgender Justice Advisory Council.
- Learn about #WeCanBcTheyDid, a way to help share the stories of Black LGBTQ+ people in history during Black History Month, as well as those making history today.
- Consider an internship or fellowship, or encourage someone you know to pursue one with the NBJC.
- Share, share, share. Follow the NBJC online, in email, and share their content.
- Sephora rewards points can be turned into donations benefiting the National Black Justice Coalition.
And of course, donate and volunteer.
Donate to the National Black Justice Coalition
- You can donate directly to the NBJC on their donate page, and email them using the link on their Get Involved page to learn about volunteer opportunities.
- To support the NJBC regularly, you can sign up on Giving Assistant with them as your select nonprofit, then download our browser extension to automatically turn your purchases at eligible brands (like Sephora) into donations for them. Currently Sephora is offering 5% cash back from your entire purchase – which means you can donate your free cash back directly to the National Black Justice Coalition.
What is Giving Assistant?
Our browser extension makes the whole thing even easier: just download it for free, then shop like normal. If cash back, donations, or deals are available, the extension will let you know. No need to visit our site!
Giving Assistant is also free for nonprofits as a fundraising platform. As one of just a few thousand Certified B Corps in the world, we’re committed to doing good in more ways than one.