Sultan Shakir

Executive Director

Pronouns: 

he/him/his

Direct Phone: 

202-567-3151

Bio: 

Sultan is the Executive Director of SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders), an organization that works to support and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC, metro area. Sultan works to expand opportunities for young LGBTQ people through youth empowerment. Prior to joining SMYAL, Sultan worked at the Human Rights Campaign where he served as a director of the DC and Maryland marriage equality campaigns, and in his most recent role, led the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Project, working to make campuses safer and more inclusive of LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Sultan is the son of teachers. He is a graduate of Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, with an emphasis on double bass performance. His earliest thoughts of community organizing were about sharing his passion for classical music with other young African-American males in Baltimore at a time when as many black males were dropping out of high school as graduating. "I decided it was more important for me to change the world than to be an entertainer," he said.

Sultan has been honored with the Community Circle Award by Baltimore Black Gay Pride, named Jewel of the Month by the National Black Justice Coalition, and won the DC Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance Distinguished Service Award.

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