Black LGBT Health & Wellness Initiative


In 2014, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) launched its Black LGBT Health and Wellness Initiative to intentionally place attention on Black LGBT health and wellness and to ensure these issues become part of the national LGBT-equality agenda. With the anchor funding of support from the  Elton John AIDS Foundation, NBJC created the initiative to address current health crises and disparities in culturally competent wellness programs that target the Black LGBT population. In addition, the initiative works to confront stigma and shame within the Black family, and to raise awareness and combat the health crises impacting the Black LGBT community, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2016, NBJC will focus on the following major projects under the initiative:


Anchor Sponsor & Renewal Funding: Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)

NBJC launched its Black LGBT Health and Wellness Initiative in December of 2014 with anchor support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) to address the current health crises and disparities that impact the black LGBT populace—including the HIV epidemic. With increased support for 2016, NBJC will expand the initiative with a health and wellness tour focused on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to engage students, administrators and healthcare providers on these campuses on issues impacting black LGBT people. In addition, EJAF support will help expand the 100 Black LGBT Emerging Leaders to Watch Campaign and provide key support to NBJC conferences, including OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit, Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Day, and Creating Change: The Black Institute—to facilitate programming that brings attention to HIV and showcases efforts to end the epidemic.

PrEPing Our Future HBCU Tour: Gilead Sciences

HBCUs represent one of the largest collective populations of back people in the country—with more than 300,000 black students in the HBCU system. HBCUs are a critical place for the awareness and expansion of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP—a method of providing another layer of protection to those who are at-risk for HIV and has proven to dramatically reduce new HIV infections. Black gay/bisexual men and transgender women continue to be the most impacted demographic in the domestic HIV epidemic. As HBCUs provide education to a vast number of this population, it is essential that they have the knowledge and access to tools like PrEP to combat the epidemic. In 2016, NBJC will collaborate with NAESM, Inc. and travel to HBCUs in Washington, DC, and five southern states—Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas—in order to educate students, administrators and health care providers about PrEP as a tool to fight HIV in the black community. Other campuses and demographics of the black community will be educated by instituting an interactive PrEP education social media campaign. Both NBJC and NAESM will use their national conferences to also incorporate PrEP education opportunities for community leaders in order to replicate and be innovative in the development of their PrEP community outreach and education efforts.


PACT: Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS

NBJC will utilize its established national reach through its social media platforms, grassroots networks and collaborative partnerships in order to support the CDC’s new program, PACT: Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS, to disseminate HIV prevention messaging and communication within Black communities—particularly among gay/bisexual men and transgender women. NBJC’s efforts will support the implementation of High-Impact Prevention (HIP) that advance the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and maximize the effectiveness and reach of CDC’s Act against AIDS campaigns and other HIV prevention messaging.