Feature: 7 People Leading LGBTQ Health

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lgbtq health professionals 7

Jewel Addy

By Vickey Casey

Jewel Addy, Whitman-Walker Health

(Photo by Kristin Horgen)

When Jewel Addy was figuring out her future, she knew that she did not want to work in a big PR firm. She wanted to work with one organization and help them build their brand. She found exactly that and more at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C.

“Out of all the places that I was interviewing with, Whitman-Walker seemed the most fitting for what I wanted to be a part of,” says Addy. “I like the work that we do. I like the people that we serve and I like to feel like I’m making a difference when I’m coming to work.”

The 23-year-old East Coast native, with West African roots, has been with Whitman-Walker Health since her college days. Upon graduating, her internship became a full-time position in June 2015. On December 16, Addy became the External Affairs manager, which allows her to take lead roles in communications planning, media relationships and partnerships, and social media planning and strategy.

Addy has worked to create social spaces for queer women within the community in the form of a program called Women of Whitman-Walker. Here they bring queer women together with artists and authors who understand or share their experience. She also partnered with Tagg Magazine, Capital Pride, and Ladies of Lure during D.C.’s pride weekend, and together they added a queer women centered party to the list of events.

Her work with Whitman-Walker Health is in opposition to her family and culture’s beliefs. “A lot of my elders were not LGBT friendly,” says Addy. “They were actually very much against the gay community and I never understood why that was.” She does not agree with their views. Instead she is, “doing [her] part as an ally to the community to fight the culture I grew up in.”

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