WASHINGTON, DC This week, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) announced two new senior level hires, Victoria Kirby York, MPA, and Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond. Their leadership and experience will further drive the organization's mission to empower members of the LGBTQ/SGL community; combat racism, transphobia, homophobia, and biphobia; end stigma and provide education around what it means to live with HIV; and address issues specific to people living at the intersection of being queer and Black.
"I am excited about the passion, talents, and treasures that both Victoria Kirby York and Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond will bring to the work and the legacy of NBJC," said David J. Johns, Executive Director of NBJC. "Victoria and Kia are established leaders who have demonstrated both a love for and commitment to improving life outcomes and opportunities for Black trans, queer, and non-binary people. The communities that we serve and the country that we work to strengthen will benefit as a result of their efforts."
Victoria Kirby York, MPA, will serve as NBJC's Deputy Executive Director. She will manage the organization's operational policies and efficiencies, strengthen its grassroots constituency engagement efforts, and lead the programmatic staff. Mrs. Kirby York is a notable figure in both the LGBTQ and broader progressive movements, with prior leadership roles at the National LGBTQ Task Force, in gubernatorial and presidential campaigns in Florida, youth education nonprofits, and the private sector. She currently serves as a board member for the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation and has previously served on the boards of the Center for Black Equity and the Next Generation Leadership Foundation. She was a member of the Human Rights Campaign's National Diversity & Inclusion Council, the National Black Justice Coalition's Leadership Advisory Council, and was, notably, the first openly gay member of Howard University's Board of Trustees.
"As our nation grapples with police accountability, racial inequity, and a patchwork of civil rights laws that leave us behind, NBJC feels especially called to this moment. I am honored and humbled to be able to serve our people, support our staff and David Johns' phenomenal leadership," said Victoria Kirby York, incoming Deputy Executive Director.
"With an epidemic of Black transgender women being murdered, over incarceration of our people in women's prisons, and over representation of our youth in suicide and homelessness statistics driven by practices not rooted in love or Christ; now, more than ever, the Black LGBTQ/SGL community needs to be at the legislative drafting and decision making table in both Black and LGBTQ civil rights movement spaces all across this country. I look forward to engaging our community and its leaders to ensure we are shaping the agendas and policies that impact us most," continued Kirby York.
Kia Darling-Hammond, Ph.D., will serve as NBJC's Director of Research and Educational Programs. In this role, she will lead the organization's efforts to ensure that policy, practice, and the space in between (praxis) account for the diverse experiences of, and unique contributions made by, Black trans, queer, and non-binary people, both in and out of schools. Before joining NBJC, Kia worked with a wide range of partners, from national efforts such as the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus Suicide Prevention Taskforce to educational institutes and nonprofits, including Bank Street College of Education, Stanford Schools Corporation, Lean In, and NEO Philanthropy. Dr. Darling-Hammond developed an intersectional Bridge to Thriving Framework for activists, scholars, youth, and others to advance the shared project of building universal thriving.
"In the work of advancing equity and justice, our communities are too-often overlooked, even as they spearhead the most revolutionary efforts, shape culture, and innovate around making a way out of no way. I am excited to join NBJC's brilliant team in highlighting our folk across ages and geographies, while advancing an agenda to raise awareness, increase capacity, advance policy and research, and expand thriving possibilities," said Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond.
To learn more about NBJC's executive board and staff, visit www.nbjc.org/about .