100 Women We Love: Jama Shelton

We are thrilled to present the 2013 list of 100 Women We Love – Including…

Jama Shelton may be the country’s foremost leading authority on LGBT youth homelessness. Having served the community for over a decade as everything from social worker to a program evaluator to a professor at the Hunter and NYU Schools of Social Work—and having been a homeless youth herself—Shelton brings a truly comprehensive understanding of the issues facing both homeless LGBT youth and their service providers. She’s putting those skills to work: In her extensive leadership at the Ali Forney Center, she played an integral role in building the nation’s most expansive housing program for LGBT youth. This year, Shelton completed her Ph.D. in social welfare and started a new job as Director of the Forty to None Project, a program of the True Colors Funded co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, which works to end homelessness among LGBT youth. “It’s really important to me that my work is informed by and inclusive of voices that are not often heard by people in power. As my career develops, I am most proud of my ability to stay true to this guiding principle,” she says. “In my new role as director, I intend to highlight the voices of LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness, carving out a space for them in the national landscape.” –QW

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