HBCU Agents of Change: Howard’s Krystal Leaphart

Krystal Leaphart is a passionate leader and emerging champion for intersectional racial justice. Krystal serves her communities at the margins of organizing, advocacy, and facilitation; she has extensive experience working and volunteer with civil rights organization, civic engagement nonprofits, and community service organizations. She currently serves as the Special Assistant and Policy Associate at the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women, or NOBEL Women. Originally established in 1985 as a national organization to increase and promote the presence of black women in government, NOBEL Women in recent years has expanded its vision to serve as a global voice to address a myriad of issues affecting the lives of all women. She served as the Chief of Staff for IMPACT, a nonprofit that fosters civic engagement, political involvement, and economic empowerment for young professionals of color.

Krystal is originally from Detroit, Michigan. She moved to Washington, DC to pursue a degree in Sociology from Howard University. While on campus, Krystal was active with several campus organizations and movements including the Women as Change
Agents (WACA), Elect Her, Bethune Annex Debate Team and she served as President for the Howard University Chapter of the NAACP. While President, she led the chapter in protest around the execution of Troy Davis, the murder of Trayvon Martin, and helped register thousands of students to vote in the 2012 election.

In addition to her on campus activism, she held FIVE undergraduate internships with the NAACP Washington Bureau, the Office of U.S. Congressman John Conyers, the Public Policy Department for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, DC Office of Human Rights, and Operation Understanding DC. Krystal is a veteran student activist and always ready, willing, and able to assist current Howard students and their activist pursuits.

While working in the community, she began to do work with black woman and girls advocacy efforts. Krystal served as a mentor lead with the Dreamgirls, now EmpowerGirls program with the YWCA National Capital Area. As a Lead, she went above and beyond to facilitate conversations with middle and high school girls around racism, diversity, black women in civil rights, and privilege.

While working with the mentoring program, she was invited to serve on their Young Women’s Leadership Council. As a chair of the advocacy committee the council, she is also the co-chair for the advocacy board committee. In this work, Krystal brings her expertise in intersectionality, racial justice, and safety for black women and girls. This work has also led to Krystal getting involved with Aya Incorporated, a two-tier professional development mentorship program based in Southeast DC and Howard University.

As a facilitator and speaker, she has spoken about anti-black racism, elements of civil rights movements, and the plight of black women and girls. Recently, Krystal was named as an inaugural Boss Girl by the Pace Center for Girls in Florida. She received this award because she is committed to community advocacy and intersectional organizing. In September 2017, Krystal served as Campaign Lead for the March for Black Women. She organized youth and college-aged DC students. Recently Krystal was honored by the Safety Pin box team; she accepted the #BlackWomenBeing award. This award is given to black women or femme activist leaders in the community.

Krystal is motivated by her family, friends and black women and girls that have been involved in civil rights work.

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