Former Congresswoman Sabrina Sojourner is the
first open lesbian to be elected to the United States Congress.
Having been elected by a whopping 83 percent of the vote,
Sabrina represented the District of Columbia in the U.S. House
of Representatives, where in her non-voting position she lobbied
not only for statehood for the District of Columbia but also
affected other legislators on a whole spectrum of issues.
Sabrina 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. A widely published author, Sabrina’s latest work is
a collection of poems and narratives titled Psychic Scars and
Other Mad Thoughts.
Sabrina 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 as a lecturer.
Sabrina 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.
Sabrina 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, Sabrina 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.
Sabrina 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.
Sabrina has won many awards for her efforts on behalf of the
community. In both 1994 and 1998 she won the Bayard Rustin
Award for National Advocacy from the National Black 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.
(Coming Out Day Speech)