100 Women We Love: Je-Shawna Wholley

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

A rising star in the social justice movement, Spelman College grad Je-Shawna Wholley spearheaded the first LGBT Pride Week in the Atlanta University Center in 2009. The week’s culminating event, “WERK: The Appropriate Dress Drag Show,” raised awareness about neighboring Morehouse College’s policy banning men from wearing women’s clothing on campus. Her efforts received accolades from the Human Rights Campaign and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), and earned her a meeting with President Obama at a White House reception commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Wholley has also been honored with the 2011 Campus Pride Voice & Action National Leadership Award for her efforts to make the Atlanta University Center a more inclusive environment for Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ LGBT students. “My work consists of helping people find power in their identity,” Wholley explains. She now serves as NJBC’s Programs and Outreach Associate. “It was important for me to lead by example and live a life that was authentic,” she says. “So being out and being successful, articulate, passionate and ambitious all at the same time helped me debunk the myth that if you are LGBT or black or a woman that you are ‘less than’.” –NHM

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