Over the weekend, hundreds of Black LGBT people and allies descend on Atlanta, Georgia for the sixth annual State of Black Gay America Summit. The theme of the Summit “Embracing Our Collective Power to Influence Change,” reflected the conference’s approach to address the concerns of Black LGBT people including HIV prevention and the need for volunteers in vaccine research; to the specifics of the Affordable Care Act; to how much money it costs to run an effective campaign in Atlanta and Georgia. The keynote speaker for the conference was Je-Shawna Wholley, a recent Spelman graduate who now lives in Washington, D.C. and is a senior fellow at the National Black Justice Coalition. “Embracing our collective power to influence change must be made by building coalitions and being sincere in the work people do,” Wholley said during the address. Author and TV commentator Keith Boykin was also featured during the Summit.
Je-Shawna Wholley was a recent participant in GLAAD's 2012 People of Color Media Institute in New York.