The NBJC Blog

October is a time when we celebrate tenacious resilience.  During this month we highlight the strategies, support and lessons learned to not only survive but to thrive. The untrained eye may think this prolific month is solely dedicated to the soldiers and survivors of breast cancer, but October is so much more. In October, we also celebrate the tremendous contributions that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community has made to American and global history.

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The freedom to exercise our speech, through the right to vote, is the cornerstone of any democracy. This freedom ensures that the people are heard and represented in a nation’s critical decisions. In the United States, the right to vote has been awarded to minorities, but only after centuries of hard fought and tumultuous battles rooted in racism. These battles have propelled our nation forward in its promise to uphold the hopeful phrase enshrined in the Constitution: “in Order to form a more perfect Union.” 

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Over four intense days of sharing, healing and mobilizing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, advocates from the across the nation came together to proclaim one thing -- HIV Is Not A Crime! This national training academy, convened by the Sero project and Positive Women’s Network-USA, provided a space for people living with HIV (PLWH) and our allies to learn more about the real-life impact of HIV criminalization laws that continue to hinder the movement to end HIV/AIDS. The even more promising presence at the conference was the attendance of delegations from Mexico, Canada and Germany, adding an international perspective to this critical issue that perpetuates HIV/AIDS stigma globally.

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Since 2013, April 10th has been recognized as National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) . NBJC joins youth leaders and activists, advocates, families and communities across our nation on this day with the intention of educating the broader public about the unique impact of HIV/AIDS on young people, especially youth of color. Young people today are the first generation to have never known a world without HIV/AIDS, but continue to be disproportionately infected and affected by the preventable disease.

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April 10 is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD)—a day to remind our communities of the dramatic impact HIV and AIDS has on young people, especially African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth who are most affected by this preventable disease.

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National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is observed annually on March 10 to highlight the importance of women and girls taking action to protect themselves and their partners from HIV through prevention, testing and treatment. Sponsored by the Office on Women's Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this year's NWGHAAD theme is "The Best Defense is a Good Offense," and as a proud Black woman, I encourage all of my sisters--transgender, queer, same gender loving, gay, lesbian and heterosexual--to get tested to be part of the solution to fight HIV/AIDS.

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Liberation for Black folks must start with a focus on the issues that hinder the most marginalized in our community. Fueled by movements like #BlackLivesMatter, there is a new generation of freedom fighters that are shifting the conversation—Black millennials. This has led the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, to continue to empower young professionals and emerging leaders, including ourselves. 

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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) joins communities across the nation and world to recognize International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). On this solemn day we honor the lives of our transgender and gender non-conforming (trans*) family who are no longer with us due to senseless acts of hate violence, and also call upon allies to step up and stand in solidarity. 

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