In recognition of the tremendous service that NBJC has provided to LGBT communities, we have been nominated to become a Community Grand Marshal for the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration. NBJC is one of 5 nominees in the running for this prestigious award.

We need YOUR votes to secure the honor of becoming the 2007 Community Grand Marshal!! Here’s what we need you to do to vote us to victory:

Anyone, anywhere may submit a ballot during community polling, including people outside the United States. Ballots may be obtained in one of three ways:

1.) Online at

2.) Inside issues of the Bay Area Reporter (SF/Oakland Bay Area) in the March

3.) At a community polling site in the Bay Area

Ballots that are not submitted at a polling location may be mailed to the San Francisco LGBT Pride Offices (so long as no more than two ballots are mailed in each individual envelope) at:

ATTN: Grand Marshal Polling
1800 Market St., PMB #5
San Francisco, CA 94102

Ballots may also be hand-delivered to the Pride Offices Monday – Friday from Noon to 5 p.m., but these ballots must be delivered by the individual who filled out the ballot. In other words, ballots may not be hand-delivered on behalf of another person(s).

Polling is set to close on March 31, 2007. No ballots received or postmarked after that date will be counted in the final tabulation.

There is no on-line voting; however, a "PDF" version of the official ballot form will be available at for those who wish to print and mail it in. All ballots must include the name and address of the voter so as to prevent individuals from submitting multiple ballots.

Envelopes mailed into the office may not contain more than two ballots from two distinct individuals. Votes will be tallied and submitted to the Board for finalization at their May meeting.

Please vote NBJC to victory!!!


Newly out-as-gay former NBA player, John Amaechi will make a special guest appearance at the National Black Justice Coalition’s, 2nd Annual Black Church Summit reception on Friday, March 9, 2007 at 7:30pm. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn at 400 Arch Street in Philadelphia. The event is open to the public. Please RSVP to hedavis @

Amaechi will speak about his closeted-gay experience in the NBA as well as his eventual spiritual and sexual reconciliation. Amaechi will also entertain questions from the audience about his life experiences, his newly published book, and his future.

The next morning on Saturday, March 10, the Black Church Summit will officially convene with scholar, theologian, and radio personality, Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and motivational speaker, activist and church pastor, Rev. Deborah L. Johnson of Santa Cruz, CA.

The Summit will be held at the historic Mother Bethel AME Zion Church at 419 S. 6th Street in Philadelphia.

From 9:00am- 5pm, the entire day will be filled with workshops, keynote speeches, as well as a lively debate about homosexuality and the Black Church between Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Bishop Harry Jackson, Chairman of the High-Impact Leadership Coalition.

Some of the topics covered during the summit will include how to build effective HIV ministries; how to create gay affirming congregations in order to end spiritual homophobia; how to interpret scripture in regards to homosexuality; plus a special youth mentoring track focusing upon Black youth 25 years old and under.

In addition, two different church choirs and soloists will provide spiritual inspiration and entertainment for some 300 people expected to attend the Summit from across the nation. "This will be a monumental weekend for Black church communities from across America and the world" says H. Alexander Robinson, NBJC Executive Director/CEO.

"The strategies learned at the Summit will be taken back to individual churches and effectively implemented within their local communities. We are very proud that NBJC is able to host this event becoming the instrumental catalyst for such dynamic cultural and socioeconomic change" Robinson added.

To register for the 2nd Annual Black Church Summit, visit The cost is $75.


She dazzled on the red carpet at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last month where she added three more Grammy nominations to the dozen she has already garnered since 2001.

Two time Grammy Award winner India Arie told the LN that she is honored that she has been added to headline the Dinah Shore Weekend’s White Diamonds Party in an exclusive concert on Friday, March 30th.

“I’m always excited to perform, and when it is for something that people care about so much, it makes it feel even better,” says Arie. ”To be chosen as one of the headliners is an honor.”

Arie touched the hearts and souls of the music world in 2001 with her platinum plus debut Acoustic Soul. Women were especially drawn to her music which featured themes of self-acceptance and womanhood. She was praised as “one of the freshest talents to come out of 2001” and dubbed “the new neo-soulstress” by Newsweek Magazine. She was nominated for seven Grammys for the album, and had the distinction of having the most total Grammy Award nominations of any single artist that year. Subsequently, she went on to win 2 Grammys in 2003, as well as 3 NAACP Awards.

But Arie has not allowed the recognition to go to her head. She told the LN, “A world renowned professor, actress and playwright said to me ‘you’ve been a world-wide phenomenon living in Atlanta?’ I asked myself, ‘wow, am I a world-wide phenomenon?’ It’s funny because I am at the point in my career where some people see me that way. But I don’t see myself that way because I am still taking it one day at a time.”

She was born in Denver, Colorado on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, which inspired her mother to name her “India.” Both of her parents were talented: Her mother, Joyce, was a singer and clothing designer and is now her stylist and her father is a former ABA basketball player. After her parents divorced, her mother moved her two children to Atlanta, Georgia where Arie was raised and educated.

Her musical aptitude was apparent from an early age. She sang in church on a regular basis and played several musical instruments before picking up a guitar and beginning to write her own songs. She enrolled in the Savannah College of Art and Design after finishing high school  but left to pursue playing her music fulltime. She co-founded a collective for artists in Atlanta and their independent compilation led to performances at Lilith Fair tour stops. By the time she was spotted by a music scout in 1999, who introduced her to Motown Records CEO Kedar Massenberg, she had developed a loyal audience on the Atlanta music scene.

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