Post submitted by Samantha Master, former HRC Youth & Campus Engagement Manager

Human Rights Campaign staffers Noel Gordon and Samantha Master were named as Black LGBT/Same Gender Loving (SGL) Leaders to Watch by the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s only civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black LGBT people. The list is comprised of 100 Black LGBT/SGL youth (18-30) who demonstrate exemplary leadership and are committed to using their voices and networks to positively impact Black LGBT communities.

Noel, 23, is the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Project Manager and is a recent alumnus of the University of Michigan. His work at the intersections of racial and LGBT justice has been central to building an inclusive and dynamic environment at HRC. In his short tenure, Noel has reinvigorated much of HRC’s resurgence into HIV/AIDS advocacy through groundbreaking partnership with organizations such as Greater than AIDS, and has ensured that gay and bisexual men of color remain visible and central to conversations about HIV prevention, treatment and care.

Samantha Master, 26, is a Black queer feminist activist, advocate and educator. A fourth generation historically Black college alumnae, Samantha has worked extensively within communities of color to help build analyses and organizing around LGBT and gender justice issues. Samantha manages HRC’s Youth and Campus Engagement Program where she works with historically Black colleges and universities to create safer and more affirming environments for LGBTQ students.

According to a 2012 Gallup poll, African Americans are most likely to identify as LGBT, however the culmination of racial and LGBT-based discrimination create unique barriers for Black LGBT people. However, many Black LGBT youth see these barriers as a rallying call for a newer, more intersectional civil rights movement. “Every movement that's ever been successful in this world requires young people to be at the forefront. Young people are among the most radical. They have sound powers of analysis, and they are willing to take action,” said Charlene Carruthers of the Black Youth Project 100, another 100 Black LGBT/SGL Leaders to Watch honoree.

Congratulations to Noel and Samantha on their notable accomplishment!

Filed under: Communities of Color

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