News & Opinion | Press Exclusive
GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organizations hired actor and activist Julian J. Walker earlier this week as Associate Director, Communities of Color & Media.
In his role, Walker will ensure GLAAD’s Communities of Color & Media department creates, reports, trains, and partners with locally based initiatives throughout the country with a focus on the South.
He will be joining DaShawn Usher, (Director – Communities of Color & Media) on GLAAD’s team to create programming that will actively rouse discourse and shape narratives that should ultimately lead to cultural and social change.
Walker is a noted actor, having portrayed roles on Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Blackbird”, Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners”, as well as BET’s hit series “Being Mary Jane".
Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, Julian Walker is a graduate of Hinds Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. He has also marshalled his way through the literary world with his body of work, “A Year Without You” being featured on NBC News Best Black Queer Books list in 2020.
In addition to joining the GLAAD team, Julian Walker is also the Deputy Director for Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI). MOBI is a series of curated social events, with focus on creating meaningful connections for queer people of color to see their holistic selves.
Not only a gem on paper and on screen, Julian Walker has spent the last eight years partnering with various community leaders and organizations in hopes of creating safe spaces for people of color (POC), as well as, members of the the LGBTQ+ community.
“Early into my career I realized the importance of community support,” said Walker.
“Valuing the voices of those often forgotten or seen as unusable. If it wasn't for the love, encouragement, and support I've received across the world, I wouldn't have the hope, faith, and belief today that I too deserve to be here. Aside from my beautiful journey in television and film, working closely with community leaders has offered a level of peace that I can't explain. I'm looking forward to the spaces we'll continue to create, the voices we will continue to amplify, and the opportunities for community advancement on the horizon. Always remember: your individuality is your superpower; so continue to soar – trusting and believing you ARE deserving.”
GLAAD’s purpose is a clear and resolute one: to “rewrite the script for LGBTQ acceptance.”
As a media outlet they hope to “tackle tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke the dialogue that leads to cultural change.” One can effectively determine that in the 30 years since their inception, GLAAD has certainly been on the forefront of driving cultural and social change surrounding the acceptance, visibility and conversation of the LGBTQ+ community.
The organization was founded by a small group of journalists in 1985 as a direct response to the marginalized and defamatory coverage in New York City surrounding the onset of the HIV & AIDS pandemic in the 80s.
Within less than 10 years of its inauguration, GLAAD was noted among the 100 most powerful entities in Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly in 1992. In 2013, GLAAD opted to discontinue its use of their long time acronym “Gay and Lesbian Alliance And Defamation” in favor to promote and reflect the organization’s inclusiveness of bisexual, transgender and other individuals along the queer spectrum.
Gayes, let's show Julian Walker some love on his Instagram: @julian.walker and wish him all the best on his new journey with GLAAD!