The National Black Justice Coalition: three years of working for change
Today marks the third birthday of National Black Justice Coalition, a group of black LGBT citizens and allies dedicated to the struggle full equality for all by fighting racism and homophobia. The organization envisions a world where all people are fully empowered to participate safely, openly, and honestly in family, faith and community, regardless of race, gender-identity or sexual orientation.
The organization was launched back in 2003 in response to black pastors who were trying to garner support in the black community for the Federal Marriage Amendment — as you know, with so many blacks cowering in the closet because of the bile coming from too many pulpits, it was a welcome out gay voice of opposition and strong visibility. The group is committed to working with black candidates and officials at the state, local and federal levels to address LGBT issues openly.
Some of the accomplishments and goals of the NBJC:
* the organization hosted the first Black Church Summit dedicated to discussing gays in the church;
* it’s the first and only organization focusing on gay civil rights that is a member of the National Black Leadership Forum;
* NBJC has launched a Political Action Fund to encourage voter support for initiatives and policies to establish racial justice and equality for LGBT Americans and to oppose anti-gay ballot initiatives.
It’s an uphill battle, but there are notable LGBT equality advocates in the black community who have gone on the record in their support. That “coming out” process needs to continue.
The organization will host its second annual Black Church Summit next year on March 8-10 at Mother Bethel AME Church in Philly. It will feature Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Rev. Deborah L. Johnson, Pastor of Inner Light Ministries in Santa Cruz, CA.
Congrats to all the good folks at NBJC who are working hard to make a difference.
Founder Keith Boykin has a post up on the organization’s third anniversary, along with an excellent interview with NBJC CEO H. Alexander Robinson that’s worth a read, particularly for insight on the concept of “same-gender-loving” in the black community versus “gay.”