Media Center

Media Releases

Huntsville, Alabama-- On April 18, 2019, 14-year-old Nigel Shelby died by suicide after constant homophobic bullying for being gay. This Monday, June 10, Nigel Shelby’s mother Camika Shelby will announce that she is retaining nationally renowned civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump, Esquire and Jasmine Rand, Esquire, to investigate the circumstances involving her son’s death, the bullying he experienced at Huntsville High School, and his school administrators’ role in his decision to take his life. Crump and Rand are best known for their work as nationally renowned civil rights attorneys who represented the family of Trayvon Martin. 

Read more >

Chynal Lindsey is now the eighth Black transgender woman killed this year and reported by the news. This tragic event is especially difficult since last month’s murder of our sister Muhlaysia Booker. While many are celebrating Pride Month, Black women and girls are being murdered  across the country and too few people are acknowledging this reality and trying to stop these deaths.

Read more >

WASHINGTON -- This past weekend, Muhlaysia Booker, a young Black Transgender woman, was found murdered in Dallas, Texas. In April of this year, she was filmed being horribly beaten in public. Another Black Trans woman, Tamika Michelle Simone, was pronounced dead this weekend after suffering gunshot wounds in north Philadelphia.

Read more >

WASHINGTON -- Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. In response to the news and Trump’s reported opposition to the Equality Act, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement:
“Every day, members of the Black community face discrimination as a result of who we are and how we show up in the world. There is much more work to do to ensure that each of us are spared from discrimination and spared from attacks on our constitutional rights and the passage of the Equality Act is a critical step in the right direction.

Read more >

WASHINGTON, DC – Over the weekend it was reported that Nigel Shelby, a high schooler in Huntsville, Alabama, died by suicide. In response to the tragic news, National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director David Johns released the following statement:

Read more >

WASHINGTON, DC – Every student has a right to an educational experience where they feel safe, engaged, and supported. However, the fact remains, that for too many students, especially Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving students (LGBTQ/SGL) find college campuses and K-12 schools to be hostile and unsafe spaces, which makes it challenging to learn and develop the skills, experiences, and credentials needed to succeed in the global 21st century labor market. Black transgender and gender nonconforming people face unique and sometimes disproportionate challenges, including hate crimes that make it harder for them to succeed in school and in life.

Read more >

WASHINGTON -- Later yesterday, the House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing on the Equality Act, which would extend existing civil rights protections to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex. David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement in response to the hearing:

Read more >

WASHINGTON, DC-- This morning, news broke that the charges against Jussie Smollett for allegedly orchestrating a hate crime have been dropped. In response to the news David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement:
 
“While many have taken it upon themselves to stand as judge and jury by rushing to dismiss brother Jussie Smollett’s allegations of a hate crime, it is important to remember that Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same-gender-loving people people experience acts of hatred and bias more than other groups of people. While there are still details about the case that we may never know, it is an important reminder that we should never rush to judgement, especially people in power.

Read more >

WASHINGTON, DC-- Today, the Equality Act was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.  The Equality Act would extend existing civil rights protections to include on the bases of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex. After months of advocacy in support of the Act, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement:
 
"The National Black Justice Coalition applauds the introduction of the Equality Act. For far too long, too many Black Americans have lacked access to basic legal protections won by the Civil Rights Movement because of who we love, or how we show up in the world. In the absence of clear and consistent federal protections, Black LGBTQ and Same-Gender-Loving (SGL) people remain among this country’s most marginalized. 

Read more >

WASHINGTON -- After Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) introduced the PrEP Assistance Program Act, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition released the following statement:

“The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is proud to support the PrEP Assistance Program Act introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) today, because it supports the critical mission of creating a world where Black people, including Black people living with HIV/AIDS can live healthy, full lives. The PrEP Assistance Program Act will increase funding for programs and resources to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases while also providing resources for counseling and outreach to high-risk populations.

Read more >