David J. Johns’s Movement for Black LGBTQ+ Inclusion
September 21, 2020
David J. Johns
David J. Johns is an activist, thought leader, and executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition—a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black members of the LGBTQ+ community, including people living with HIV/AIDS. After a storied career in the White House and in the U.S. Senate, David is using his voice to call for bold, structural reform to American democracy. “It's the foundation for our social contract, our ability to truly live and achieve the American Dream.”
David is fighting for structural democratic reform because he knows from experience how when it comes to issues that disproportionately impact Black LGBTQ+ people—health and wellness, criminal justice, housing discrimination, family and relationship recognition, and more—meaningful change cannot be made while operating in a broken democratic system that wasn’t designed for them.
In 2013, David was appointed as the first executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans by President Obama and served until the last day of the Obama Administration in January, 2017. His service has since led him to the cause of doing away with the ‘Jim Crow relics’ of modern American institutions by reshaping our democracy—this time, with Black LGBTQ+ people seated at the table.