Aisha Moodie-Mills Becomes an Advocate for Same-Sex Marriage
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Change Agent

Skill set: Being analytical is a key component at work. You need to understand how a bill becomes a law and how public policy is created and interpreted beyond just legislation. Moodie-Mills cites, for example, getting protections for LGBT employees. “Generally, it is going to be the black trans woman who is going to be discriminated against the most in the workplace or fired, which is legal in 28 states. We have been working more than a decade to get Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. But in the meantime, the Obama administration has internal policies to provide protection to federal employees in the workplace.” Storytelling, however, may be her greatest strength. “You have to be able to explain to decision-makers about who is really being affected by policy. You have to make it relevant to real people and tell the stories of real people’s lives to illuminate policy. That is what changes hearts and minds, and also drives policy change.”

Major accomplishment: Her wedding day. Moodie-Mills and her wife were among the first same-sex couples to receive a marriage license in D.C. in 2010. The media coverage elevated the couple to celebrity status and role models in the black and LGBT communities. They talk about political policy and culture issues on their blog, threeLOL (www.three Moodie-Mills also takes pride in her appearances on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show. “It was the first network to really address black LGBT issues [such as the NAACP’s support of marriage equality]. We were able to create visibility where there hadn’t been. There is no such thing as special LGBT rights. No one is asking for anything more than everyone else already has. It is about equalizing.”