Je-Shawna C. Wholley is a rising star and the newest Senior Fellow at NBJC. She is also an active member of the organization’s Leadership Advisory Council, providing strategic insight on outreach and issues affecting Black LGBT young people.
A recent graduate of Spelman College, Wholley served as President of the LGBT student union, Afrekete, for two years and was credited with numerous accomplishments during her tenure. In 2009, alongside Morehouse College’s Safe Space organization, she spearheaded the first LGBT Pride Week in the Atlanta University Center. The week’s culminating event, themed “WERK: The Appropriate Dress Drag Show,” aimed to raise awareness around the discriminatory nature of the “Appropriate Attire Policy” imposed by Morehouse College. This act afforded her accolades from the Human Rights Campaign and the National Black Justice Coalition as well as the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama at a White House reception commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Wholley has also been honored as the recipient of the 2011 Campus Pride Voice & Action National Leadership Award for her tireless efforts to make Spelman College and the Atlanta University Center a more inclusive environment for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) gay and transgender student body. Additionally, she was instrumental in the research and planning of the historical Audre Lorde HBCU Summit, which focused on the social climate regarding LGBT affairs on HBCU campuses. This was the culminating event to a year-long research project conducted by the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College.
Dedicated to the empowerment of LGBT youth of color, Wholley is currently traveling across the nation to conduct workshops on creating safe and inclusive campuses for all students to thrive.