WASHINGTON — As part of its diversity and inclusion initiatives, the Human Rights Campaign is partnering with the Obama Administration, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in a White House policy briefing for black LGBT emerging leaders on Feb. 24. See www.whitehouse.gov/LGBT .
"People of color face unique obstacles in the fight for LGBT equality," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "HRC is committed to working with LGBT leaders in the African-American community during Black History month and throughout the year in our fight for LGBT equality and social justice."
"Now more than ever before, black LGBT people are taking the lead in the movement for LGBT equality," said HRC Associate Director of Diversity Donna Payne. "The struggle may be different for people of color, but we are all in the fight together. That is why HRC's work in the African-American community is vitally important."
HRC's work in the African-American community includes the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Program which launched in 2000 after a rash of anti-LGBT violence on two HBCU campuses. HRC holds an annual HBCU Leadership and Development Summit focusing on giving students the skills to be authentic leaders on campus and offers career development for entering the work force. HRC also partners with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) as part of its support for HBCU campuses. HRC's partnership with UNCF is an ongoing initiative to address and recommend supportive policy and strategy changes posed by the presence of LGBT students, faculty and staff on HBCU campuses. To learn more about HRC's HBCU program, visit www.hrc.org/hbcu .
In Maryland, staff from the HRC Religion and Faith program helped develop the African American Clergy and People of Faith Coalition, a diverse group of clergy and lay leaders working in congregations and communities to gain support for marriage equality.
As a part of HRC's 'coming out' campaign, a guide to coming out for the African-American community has been published for seven years. The guide includes sections on coming out in the workplace, in your Sorority or Fraternity, and in church. You may view a copy at this link: www.hrc.org/resources/entry/resource-guide-to-coming-out-for-african-americans .
"As both the Black and LGBT communities make progress in the fight for social justice, it is important that we embrace each other. HRC will continue to support the African American community, and embrace our black LGBT sisters and brothers," added Payne.