100 Black LGBTQ/SGL Emerging Leaders to Watch – 2015-16 Inaugural Cohort

In March 2014, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) announced its intent to recruit, recognize and invest in 100 of the most dynamic, creative and bold emerging leaders in the country, who self-identify as Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-confirming and/or same-gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) and were ages 18 to 30 at the time of application. This led to a nine-month process of nominations, recommendations and research on making the pool of candidates as diverse as possible. Hundreds of exceptionally talented, educated and inspiring nominees were considered during the competitive application process. On December 8, 2014, the 11th anniversary of the National Black Justice Coalition, the next decade of leaders were tapped and announced to the country as the 100 Black LGBTQ/SGL Emerging Leaders to Watch! To further present the cohort to the world, a dedicated website—100towatch.org—was designed and unveiled on October 11, 2015, in recognition of National Coming OUT Day.

The 2015-16 inaugural cohort are innovators, entrepreneurs, academics, thought leaders, trendsetters, social justice warriors, pundits and scholars. They collectively represent the next generation of freedom fighters working in their communities to build a brighter tomorrow where justice and equality are guaranteed for all people. These fresh voices are deserving of a higher platform of exposure and recognition for their leadership and desire to help shape the future of our country and world.

National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)

NBJC is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC’s mission is to end racism and homophobia. As America’s leading national Black LGBT civil rights organization focused on federal public policy, NBJC has accepted the charge to lead Black families in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBT equality.

Since 2003, NBJC has provided leadership at the intersection of national civil rights groups and LGBT organizations, advocating for the unique challenges and needs of the African American LGBT community that are often relegated to the sidelines. NBJC envisions a world where all people are fully-empowered to participate safely, openly and honestly in family, faith and community, regardless of race, class, gender identity or sexual orientation.

NBJC Emerging Leaders Initiative

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is dedicated to cultivating exemplary leadership in our community. It is with this proclamation that NBJC has developed the Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Initiative. This program is purposed with identifying young, rising stars (ages 18-30) in the Black LGBT movement as well as providing a platform for standout leaders to use their voice, build networks and take action in their communities. Not only is their perspective a critical one in shaping policies, their active involvement is essential to help grow the leadership pipeline necessary to sustain a vibrant, inspirational equality movement. The 100 Black LGBTQ/SGL Emerging Leaders to Watch public awareness campaign is a key component of the initiative.

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