DETROIT, MI – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), officially launched its Words Matter: Gender Justice Matters toolkit, this weekend, at the 2019 NAACP Convention in Detroit, and will continue discussions during its “Strategy Session: Organizing at the Center of Black,” to highlight the Black community’s role in ending violence and abuse against Black women and girls, both cis and transgender, Black LGBTQ/SGL people, Black gender nonconforming people, and Black trans men.
The goal of the Words Matter: Gender Justice Matters toolkit is designed to facilitate uncomfortable and, at times, difficult conversations that give voice to the consequences behind violent speech, othering and unchecked language used to perpetuate violence, hate and oppression.
“Negative words reinforce stereotypes, marginalize the most vulnerable among us, and support harmful ideas about race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, socioeconomic status, and other factors,” said David J. Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition. “This specific toolkit is designed to call out and end the violence that Black women and girls—both cisgender and transgender—experience simply as a result of who they are and how they show up in the world.”
The toolkit was launched as part of a fireside chat hosted by NBJC Executive Director David J. Johns and featuring Miss Lawrence from “Fashion Queens” and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and National Director for Youth and College Division, NAACP Tiffany Dena Loftin.
“I am proud to be part of this discussion and happy to support the National Black Justice Coalition as they launch of the Words Matter: Gender Justice Matters toolkit,” said Miss Lawrence. “Regardless of our how we identify or what intersections we represent, all Black people are still part of the collective Black community and it is important for each of us to recognize that we’re in this together in spite of our diversity.”
“In this hateful, political era, we have to work that much harder to protect each other and stand up for what’s right. Protecting our basic rights to thrive in this world as Black people requires us to push past the insidious ways white supremacy works to divide us so that we can empower one another and ultimately get liberated,” said Tiffany D. Loftin.
The NBJC fireside chat and Words Matter toolkit launch also highlighted the urgency of addressing mental health needs in Black communities, responding to increases in death by suicide among Black LGBTQ/SGL students, and related policy priorities. The toolkit was released on the heels of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Resistance—a significant event for the LGBTQ/SGL community where the courageous actions of Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender woman, who refused to allow the police to terrorize LGBTQ/SGL people at the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, anchored a movement that endures.
The Words Matter: Gender Justice Matters toolkit is the second toolkit released this year by the NBJC. The first was the Words Matter HIV Stigma Toolkit a resource to help families and loved ones engage in life affirming conversations.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.