Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, is proud to announce the expansion of its Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) LGBT-Equality Initiative  with the creation of a new leadership role—Program Manager for HBCU Initiatives.

Trinice J. McNally, MS, an alumna of Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU), will take on this new role working to foster inclusive and supportive climates for LGBT, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people at our nation’s HBCUs. As the Program Manager for HBCU Initiatives, Trinice will bring her background as a former student affairs professional advancing LGBTQ/SGL equality through institutional change at both B-CU and North Carolina Central University, and as a HBCU student leader and #100toWatch cohort member. She will lead NBJC’s advocacy and programmatic efforts to promote the development of culturally competent administrative, faculty, students and staff support services for the LGBTQ/SGL population at HBCUs.

Trinice headshot“NBJC is overjoyed to welcome such an innovative, passionate and steadfast advocate like Trinice to expand our impact and outreach to HBCUs ,” said Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, NBJC’s Executive Director and CEO. “Central to NBJC’s mission is to educate and expand the knowledge of African American communities about the issues impacting the lives of Black LGBT people in order to accord dignity and respect to all Black people and families. Trinice is fully equipped to strategically lead our efforts to empower HBCUs to serve their LGBTQ/SGL population with the tools to foster affirming, nurturing and inclusive campus climates.”

HBCUs develop many of the future leaders of Black America as part of its core success story. With more than 300,000 students, mostly Black and of African descent, there is no data available to establish how many of those students self-identify as LGBTQ/SGL. In addition there are minimal support structures and policies for LGBTQ/SGL people within the 100+ HBCUs focused, primarily, on advancing Black America. Trinice will lead the effort at NBJC to bring voice and visibility to the lived experiences of the LGBTQ/SGL population at HBCUs and work to address how these institutions can be at the forefront when exploring the dichotomy of race, sexuality and gender.

“Being afforded the opportunity to lead NBJC’s HBCU Initiatives is simply ‘happiness made tangible’ as an HBCU graduate and someone committed to the advancement of LGBTQ/SGL people of color,” said Trinice J. McNally. “I am thrilled to be serving NBJC and the many students, administrators, faculty and staff at our nation’s HBCUs. I look forward to crafting and providing the tools our HBCUs need at the intersection of racial and LGBT equality to create institutional inclusion of LGBTQ/SGL and gender nonconforming people on these campuses.”

Trince comes to NBJC after serving as the Coordinator of the LGBTA Resource Center at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham, North Carolina. NCCU is the second of three HBCU’s in the nation to have an LGBTA resource center and the first in the state of North Carolina. Before her service at NCCU, Trinice initiated a two-year research study through the Masters of Science Transformative Leadership Program at B-CU in 2012, where she collected research on the study of best practices and resources needed to create inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ students at HBCUs. As a result of the study, Trinice was afforded the first-ever position as the Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives, specifically responsible for developing LGBTQ inclusive programs that empower LGBTQ students at B-CU. This new position made Trince the first openly queer woman employed at a Florida HBCU with the explicit mission of achieving LGBTQ equality through higher education.

In her new role at NBJC, Trinice will lead the organization’s efforts to provide culturally competent tools that address the critical challenges hindering the LGBTQ community from being welcomed and supported at HBCUs. Central to her work is educating and moving to action HBCU leaders and other key stakeholders in the HBCU network on an agenda that fosters greater opportunities, access and affirmation for the LGBTQ population on these campuses. Through the expansion of NBJC’s 2016-2017 Health and Wellness Tour of HBCUs, Trinice will assist NBJC in building tools for HBCUs to respond with vigor to the health and wellness issues that impact LGBTQ people, disproportionately like stigma, bias, employment discrimination, hate crimes, intimate partner violence, and HIV/AIDS.