Mission and History
MissionThe Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative or YBGLI is a national movement of young Black men addressing issues disproportionately affecting their peers. The Initiative has a particular focus on HIV prevention, care and treatment. YBGLI is a collection of committed young Black gay, bi, same gender loving and other men who have sex with men (MSM) from around the country. YBGLI is an initiative of the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition or NBGMAC.
HistoryIn August 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Estimated HIV Incidence in the United State, 2006-2009 highlighting an alarming 48% increase in new HIV cases among young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) ages 13-29. In response to this data, The National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC) brought together five dynamic young black gay leaders to strategize and address the need for increased peer-based community mobilization and activism in the HIV epidemic. In October 2011, NBGMAC in collaboration with HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), supported an educational webinar addressing the HIV epidemic among young black gay, bisexual (bi), Same Gender Loving (SGL) and other men who have sex with men (MSM) under the age of 30. Six months later in spring of 2012, the young leaders committed to maintain momentum by raising the bar and participating in exploration of future opportunities by engaging in two strategy sessions facilitated by an external consultant. As an outgrowth of these substantive planning sessions, a proactive short-term plan prioritizing three key drivers—leadership, mobilization and policy efforts was designed and adopted under the collective effort appropriately named The Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative (YBGLI). YBGLI is a national movement of young black men addressing issues disproportionately affecting their peers, with a particular focus on HIV prevention, care and treatment. The Initiative is a collection of committed young black gay, bi, SGL and other men who have sex with men (MSM) from around the country. These individuals represent a wide cross section of people engaging with pertinent issues and policies surrounding the targeted population. YBGLI is led by a diverse organizing committee (OC) comprised of YBMSM leaders, all under the age of 30 with professional backgrounds in research, community mobilization, policy and advocacy. With expertise in a number of defined areas, the organizing committee endeavors to expend abilities and talents of young black gay, bi, SGL and MSM to bear against the face of the HIV epidemic.
The Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative (YBGLI) stands unapologetically in our truth as Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men who value leadership, respect, equity, progress, and responsibility.
We commit to acting on these values through:
- Prioritizing the needs and experiences of Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men in everything that we do.
- Supporting all Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men in their journey toward self-love and –acceptance.
- Promoting the idea that we are not a monolith – the breadth and depth of experiences is worthy of validation and recognition.
- Rejecting institutions and ideologies that would force us to choose between our race, our gender, and our sexuality.
- Working alongside the Black and LGBT civil rights movements, to make sure that Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men, are visible, represented, and in positions of power and influence.
- Standing in solidarity with Black women and girls, whose liberation is intimately wrapped up in our own.
- Doing the work each and every day, with or without recognition, because time is of the essence.