Intersections: Supporting Black LGBTQIA+ students

We speak with Dr. David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, NBJC, about the challenges faced by Black LGBTQIA+ students. Most young people at this intersection live in the South among other Black people, not in secular, gay-friendly cities like San Francisco or Hollywood.These young people face economic and cultural barriers to accessing mental health services, Dr. Johns explains how, rather than telling these students what sorts of support they need, adults should ask them. 


00:00-00:44 Intros

00:44-02:50 Definition of Same Gender Loving (SGL)

02:50-07:58 Black young people’s mental health

07:58-13:28 Suicide rates, trauma, white supremacy 

13:28- 19:41 Cultures of mental health and self-care, religious institutions, access to mental health resources

19:41-27:38 LGBTQIA+  youth, Black traditions and religious institutions, supports and challenges

27:38-36:00 Legal protections against bullying and harassment

36:00-39:34 Doing the work that needs to be done in schools

39:34-43:15 National Black Justice Coalition, its work, and policy agenda

43:15-45:27 The Equality Act

45:27-48:13 Where NBJC works, partnerships

48:13-53:12 What school administrators and teachers can do to better support Black LGBTQIA+ students

53:12-55:17 Graduate schools of education

55:17-57:56 LGBTQIA+ and SGL  folks who are older

57:56-59:19 Immigrant students

59:19- Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of this episode. 


  • National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) website
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) website

Soundtrack by Poddington Bear