Mary Anne Adams

Mary Anne Adams, MSW
Founding Director

Board of Directors

Trey Anthony
Simone Bell
Edith Biggers, M.D.
Arlene Edwards, Ph.D.
Barbara Gibson
Jocelyn Lyles
Brooke Smith-Perry, M.Ed.
Tonia Poteat, Ph.D.
Lisa Diane White, MPH.

ZAMI NOBLA (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging is an off- shoot of ZAMI: Atlanta’s premiere organization for lesbians of African descent based in Atlanta, Georgia. ZAMI was in existence for over 25 years and was internationally known for its advocacy work on behalf of black lesbians, social justice organizing and it’s Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund.

In October 1989, a Women of Color Caucus (WOCC) was created by lesbian members of the African-American Lesbian and Gay Alliance (AALGA) to focus on their political, social, economic, and personal needs. In June 1990, WOCC members voted to secede from AALGA in order to become an autonomous entity.

Ever evolving, these women renamed themselves ZAMI — a Carriacou word meaning women who work together as friends and lovers. The name ZAMI also honors the late Audre Lorde, a Black lesbian feminist who was poet laureate for New York state and who wrote the biomythography ZAMI: A New Spelling of My Name.

For most of its existence, ZAMI provided a support base of discussion, information and programming for lesbians of African descent in the Atlanta area. In February 1997, ZAMI narrowed its focus to promote, enhance and sustain the Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund. Then in beginning in Feburary 2001, Zami began to sponsor four monthly support groups, each of which met at the YouthPride Center in Decatur.

In Sept 2011, due to its aging membership, ZAMI shifted its mission to become a national organization focusing on black lesbians 40 years and older. We are beginning with sisters at age 40 because information is powerful and so is co-mentoring. We need and can learn from each other at every stage in our lives.

“We must recognize and nurture the creative parts of each other without always understanding what will be created.”

– Audre Lorde


Find a list of resources to learn more about Audre Lorde, LGBTQ organizations, and find support for dealing with breast cancer.