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NBJC names Michael J. Brewer to leadership team

WASHINGTON -- The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) has named Michael J. Brewer as NBJC's new policy and programs manager.

As the newest member of the NBJC leadership team, he will provide highly skilled program management, policy development and conference planning, officials said.

"Michael's breadth of experience, undeniable enthusiasm and innovative leadership will help develop and implement strategies that will maximize the synergies among NBJC's programmatic areas. His professionalism, command of LGBT policy concerns, and dynamic personality will help cultivate existing and new relationships with organizations, key leaders and policymakers. Having him join the leadership team is a continued testament of our commitment to and confidence in emerging leaders equipped to lead our movement for full equality," said Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, NBJC executive director and CEO.

Brewer joins NBJC after serving as the deputy director of operations and legislative aide in the office of Congressman Larry Kissell (D-NC).

A burgeoning political voice, Brewer has served as a member of the National Black Justice Coalition's Leadership Advisory Council, LGBT coordinator for the Democratic Party of Georgia, co-chair of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's LGBT Advisory Committee and advisor to Georgia state Sen. Vincent Fort's (D-Atlanta) 2010 re-election campaign. As a first-time campaign manager, Brewer helped re-elect Georgia state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (HD-39) to her fifth term in July 2010, winning 74% of the vote in a primary challenge.

Having previously served as chief-of-staff to Rep. Morgan and field organizer at the Equality Foundation of Georgia, Brewer recently relocated to Washington, D.C. A fellow with both the highly-regarded New Leaders Council (NLC) and People for the American Way's (PFAW) nationally-recognized Front Line Leaders Academy, he was recognized as one of Out magazine's "Out 100" in 2008, and has also been featured in various media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and Vibe magazine.

Brewer is a graduate of Morehouse College with a bachelor of arts degree in political science.

"I am thrilled to be joining the staff of the National Black Justice Coalition. Under the dynamic direction of Sharon Lettman-Hicks and her incredibly accomplished team, I've witnessed NBJC evolve into a beacon of empowerment and leadership for those who live at the intersection of racial bigotry and injustice based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression," Brewer said.

"I'm proud to join such a stalwart cadre of justice-seekers and equality-advocates for black LGBT people, and I look forward to expanding my commitment to the organization and the communities we serve in this new, exciting endeavor," he said.

Under the transformative leadership of Lettman-Hicks, the National Black Justice Coalition has undergone unprecedented growth and restructuring. Since taking her current post in October 2009, Lettman-Hicks has done a dramatic programmatic and organizational overhaul.

NBJC has already seen the fruits of her labor, with a recent grant of $300,000 over two years from the Ford Foundation and partnerships with the Department of Justice, Color of Change and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Along with its recently launched Leadership Advisory Council (a 40-member strong coalition of exemplary black LGBT thought leaders connecting some of the most authentic advocates in our community to the NBJC leadership), the NBJC team is now comprised of Director of Communications Kimberley McLeod, who joined the organization after serving as the Communities of African Descent Media Field Strategist at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); MarQuis Fair, executive assistant to the executive director, who comes with over 10 years of executive assistant experience from the corporate and non-profit arenas; Rodney Nickens Jr., senior policy fellow, who joined NBJC last summer, after organizing around LGBT justice issues with the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition in Los Angeles and, simultaneously, working on his master's thesis; and Je-Shawna Wholley, senior outreach fellow, a Spelman graduate and Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campus organizer extraordinaire.

"It has been a dream come true to bring this group of talented and innovative young people together to form a cohesive leadership team," Lettman-Hicks said. "This is just the beginning. This is the future of NBJC. This is the future of the black LGBT movement."