DaShawn Usher, Director, Communities of Color

A photo of Abdool CorletteDaShawn Usher (he/him/his) is an award-winning advocate, published researcher, and celebrated leader within the LGBTQ+ community and HIV prevention field. DaShawn is currently the Communities of Color and Media Director at GLAAD with more than 14 years of extensive experience in LGBT research, program development and design, campaigns, and health communications. He was featured in OUT magazine’s 2017 OUT 100 list for his efforts in community organizing. DaShawn has been listed on the 2017 and 2018 DBQ Magazine’s LOUD 100 People of Color list, recognized by NYC Pride as a 2018 Community Hero, and received the 2019 Fighter Award by Heir Productions.

DaShawn is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where he majored in Mass Communications/Public Relations. While at MTSU, DaShawn worked at Nashville CARES as the Young Brothers United Coordinator serving LGBTQ+ youth of color. Following Nashville CARES, he ventured into research that focused on the LGBTQ+ community with the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (RFCUNY). He continued his research experience with the New York Blood Center’s Project ACHIEVE through clinical (HIV vaccines and Injectable PrEP) and behavioral research, with a focus on Black men who have sex with men (MSM). More recently, DaShawn served as the Senior Manager, Community Mobilization at GLSEN working towards building capacity across the volunteer network for safe and inclusive schools.

DaShawn is also the founder and Executive Director of Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI), a series of curated social connectivity events for gay and queer people of color to see their holistic self while promoting community, wellness, and personal development. MOBI has engaged more than 4,500 people in New York City, Newark, N.J., Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL. MOBI’s wellness initiatives are featured in over 50 media articles ranging from Cassius, Nylon, TENz, NBC News, Out, BLEU, The Root, HIVEqual, to PBS Newshour.

DaShawn is a proud mentor to some of the brightest emerging minds around the country and continues to learn and grow from his mentees, colleagues, and community.