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NBJC Announces New Directors to Lead Organization's Efforts

Tuesday February 21, 2017

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, has expanded its staff and promoted current staff talent with the announcement of two new directors to lead key divisions of the organization's efforts.

Nakisha M. Lewis, a respected thought leader in the field of philanthropy, has joined the organization as the Director of Programs and Institutional Development. Isaiah R. Wilson, who has been with NBJC since January of 2014, has been promoted to Director of External Affairs. Both positions will play an integral role in the future direction and capacity of NBJC to be responsive to the rights and needs of Black LGBTQ and same gender loving (SGL) people in our nation.

"We are thrilled to welcome Nakisha Lewis to the senior leadership team at NBJC, where she will apply her extensive background in program planning and leadership development, and expand NBJC's portfolio in the areas of race, gender, and educational equity," said Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, NBJC's outgoing Executive Director and CEO,. "Her background in philanthropy, working to invest in grassroots organizers and communities-especially people of color-will be an asset to NBJC's mission. We have big plans for Nakisha and look forward to her many talents as we grow our capacity to serve our communities more effectively."

Prior to joining Team NBJC, Lewis worked at the Ms. Foundation for Women as the Program Officer and Senior Strategist for Safety, where she created the first philanthropic portfolio to focus exclusively on cisgender and transgender Black women and girls. She is co-creator of the Philanthropic Action for Racial Justice -- an effort to organize Black philanthropic practitioners around a shared vision for racial justice and investment in Black communities that centers the needs and experiences of Black women, youth and LGBTQ people.

Lewis is a writer, speaker and lifelong community organizer -- most recently working to develop the #SheWoke Committee -- the catalyst for the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, established in 2016. A passionate activist, she helped to establish Black Lives Matter NYC following the "Black Life Matters Freedom Ride" to Ferguson, MO in September of 2014.

"I've been an admirer of NBJC for years and am humbled by the opportunity to serve my community in this new capacity," said Lewis. "I am committed to supporting the most vulnerable in our Black LGBTQ family, and in my new role, I look forward to working with my colleagues as we continue to serve as a catalyst for change. I believe that these times call for bold leadership, and I am thrilled to join an organization that will allow me to utilize my experience and passion in our movements for justice, equality and empowerment."

Isaiah R. Wilson has been promoted as Director of External Affairs, where he will serve as the chief advocate within the organization to develop sound public policy solutions that empower Black LGBTQ/SGL people in our nation. His experience -- serving as a congressional staffer and working on issues important to working class and marginalized communities -- has prepared him to continue to support the advocacy and programmatic efforts of NBJC. In his new role, Wilson will be integral to the organization's efforts to rapidly respond to the diverse needs of the community at the intersection of racial justice and LGBTQ equality.

"I have tremendous respect for Isaiah's talent and loyalty. Over the past three years, he has deepened NBJC's footprint on intersectional issues and has demonstrated true leadership, passion and exceptional skills to move NBJC's advocacy agenda forward. He represents NBJC within networks and alliances catering to public policy platforms, and is a spokesperson for the organization. I consider Isaiah as a confidant and surrogate," stated Sharon Lettman-Hicks.

"As a passionate believer in the gifts, talents and visions of Black LGBTQ and same gender loving people to make a difference in our nation and world, I recognize how crucial the work of NBJC is to our present times," said Wilson. "I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my tenure at NBJC to serve my community and work to address the systemic and societal challenges we face as a people. My commitment to the mission of empowerment at NBJC has never been more solidified as we face new leadership in Washington and throughout our country."

Lettman-Hicks added, "Isaiah and Nakisha are going to bring a new passion and urgency to the work of NBJC and our movement for justice. I am confident in their abilities to take NBJC to the next level and move our community closer to owning their power and transforming this nation for the better."

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC's mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ bias and stigma.

For more information, visit www.NBJC.org