A.J. Singletary was walking down the street in Washington D.C. when he was attacked by a group of three men as they repeatedly shouted homophobic slurs at him.
After the attack, Singletary, who identifies as gay, decided to play a more active role in reducing violence against the LGBT community. He ran and was elected as the chair of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, DC’s LGBT anti-violence task force.
“I really had to practice being able to turn that anger into a passion and then making that passion into a point of change and not just being on the one hand a very angry activist, which is important, but on the other hand, pairing that with a proactive, positive, constructive force for change,” he said.
Singletary, now a student in Northwestern’s joint JD-MBA program, was named a Point Foundation scholar last month for his work with the LGBT community. The Point Foundation is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to supporting LGBT college students. More than 2,100 students applied for the scholarship, and Singletary was one of 23 students selected.
“The Point community is really the reason why I applied to this scholarship,” he said. “The financial help is great and very appreciated, but the network of LGBT leaders in the legal and financial and business sectors are really helpful in providing advice and directions for Point scholars.”
Singletary was recently elected as the co-president of OUTlaw, the LGBT student organization at NU’s School of Law. One of his goals for the upcoming year is to increase awareness of transgender rights.
“Another issue that we work on is helping our students gain experiences, networking with law firms or courts or nonprofits that work on these types of issues,” he said. “We can expose Northwestern law students to a lot of the current issues in LGBTQ rights and how law firms and courts and government and nonprofits are approaching these issues… and to make sure Northwestern law students’ voices aren’t left off the process.”
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