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*Sabrina Sojourner was born on this date in 1952. She is a Black lesbian activist, former politician, and author.
From California, married when she was 18, and having a single son, Sojourner was subject to physical abuse by her former husband before they separated two years later. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, Theatre Arts, University of California, Santa Barbara 1976. Sojourner started working on policy issues in 1991 as the Director of Women of Color and Diversity Programs for the National Organization for Women. While at NOW she lobbied Congress on women's issues and provided technical assistance to NOW chapters on diversity issues.
She left NOW to work as a legislative aide for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). While on the Hill, Sabrina tracked legislation on a variety of issues, including HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and other health issues, education, police brutality, women's issues, and civil and human rights. From 1997-1999, Sojourner was the U.S. Representative to Congress from the District of Columbia, where she was mandated to lobby for full Federal representation and self-determination for the residents of the District of Columbia. She also worked to beat back excessive riders added to the DC Appropriations bill and to regain the voting rights of the DC City Council. Sojourner was the first open lesbian to be elected to the United States Congress. Having been elected by 83 percent of the vote.
During her time in office, in both 1994 and 1998, she won the Bayard Rustin Award for National Advocacy from the National African American Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum. She has also won the Harvey Milk Award for Public Service from the National Gay and Lesbian Health Association and the Lambda Liberty Award from the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. She is a nationally recognized educator in diversity and multiculturalism. As the director of diversity programs and Women of Color Programs for the National Organization for Women, she has developed a variety of programs, workshops, and presentations that focus on building bridges of understanding across differences, including race, gender, and sexual orientation.
As an author, her works are a collection of poems and narratives titled Psychic Scars and Other Mad Thoughts. Sojourner has two decades of experience in management and public policy. She has worked as an elected official, an independent consultant, a congressional aide, and a lecturer. Sojourner has an extensive background in organizational development and management consulting. She specializes in working with private and public organizations to develop appropriate means of addressing key social and organizational issues impacting personnel development. Sabrina also has worked to provide strategic planning and Board development services. As an open member of the LGBT community, she currently lives with her domestic partner Letitia Gomez. Sojourner also served as an author and poet, writing a poetry collection titled Psychic Scars and Other Mad Thoughts.