WASHINGTON --  On June 25th, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced a new President will take office in August, Alphonso B. David, an accomplished and nationally-recognized Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual Queer and Same Gender Loving (LGBTQ/SGL) civil rights lawyer and advocate. David will be the first civil rights lawyer and the first person of color to lead the HRC.

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On Thursday, June 13, Zoe Spears (23) was killed in Fairmount Heights, Maryland, a Washington D.C. suburb. Spears is the tenth Black transgender woman murdered in 2019. She was killed just a few blocks away from where Ashanti Carmon, another Black transgender woman, was found dead in March of this year. Both Spears and Carmon were members of a tight-knit community; however, authorities deny any connection between their deaths.

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WASHINGTON -- Saturday, June 8, 2019, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, hosted its annual conference and benefit dinner. This year’s theme “Can We Talk?” promotes dialogue about the impact that  Mental Health issues have in Black communities. On Friday, June 7, actress and activist Taraji P. Henson gave a testimony before the Black Caucus’ Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Mental Health and Suicide. She shared her personal experiences with depression and anxiety, and spoke about the importance of increasing access to Mental Health services in school. 

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WASHINGTON--Last week, we lost another member of the Black Trans Community. Layleen Polanco, a 27-year old Black trans woman, was found dead in her cell at Rikers Island, where she had been serving time for an alleged assault and possession of a controlled substance. Polanco was held in an unit specifically intended to reduce possible violence against trans and gender non-conforming people. She was found unresponsive in her cell and pronounced dead after an hour of revival attempts. The nature of Polanco’s death is still being investigated.

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According to the Human Rights Campaign nearly 80% of LGBTQ/SGL teens report feeling depressed. Data suggests that LGBTQ/SGL youth experience violence and bullying nearly twice as much as children who are or are presumed to be heterosexual. 74% of LGBTQ/SGL students report feeling unsafe, bullied, and harassed in schools throughout the country according to GLSEN. LGBTQ/SGL students are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers.

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