Redemption leads CEO of DC’s newest LGBTQ+ center to a life of service

Redemption led the CEO of DC’s newest LGBTQ+ center to a life of service

New York-based LGBTQ+ organization Destination Tomorrow has a new location on Q Street Northwest in D.C.

Destination Tomorrow’s founder and CEO Sean Ebony Coleman’s path to D.C.’s historic Dupont neighborhood started decades ago while he was in court on counterfeiting charges.

“It was a trying time in my life. I felt all alone,” Coleman said.

The judge left the bench and walked up to Coleman. He shook Coleman’s hand and told him, “I know you did these things because of need.”

“The judge told me that he hoped that this wouldn’t be the end for me and that it would instead be the beginning,” Coleman said. “He told me I was too intelligent to be doing these things and, in the same breath, he gave me 36 months.”

While most people would have focused on the judge’s sentence, Coleman only heard one thing.

“It wasn’t the fact that he gave me three years,” Coleman said. “It was the fact that this person got a glimpse into my life and said, ‘I see who you are. You are too smart to keep doing this.'”

Choking back tears as he thought of that day in the courtroom, when finally someone saw value in his life, Coleman said he had to get his life together.

In 2003, after he was released from prison, Coleman started working for a nonprofit and eventually became the director of programs. By 2009, Coleman founded Destination Tomorrow’s first location in New York, eventually opening a second in Atlanta.

Grassroots organization founded on economic empowerment

Between both locations, Destination Tomorrow has helped more than 80,000 people navigate housing, healthcare, literacy service and career readiness. It has also focused on helping trans-identifying people, including transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people.

“I want to give people the tools to be successful,” Coleman said.

Coleman said that he really relates to those who visit Destination Tomorrow.

“People that come in are just looking to be validated because they’ve never gotten it before,” Coleman told WTOP.  “They’ve never had anyone give them a hug or tell them that they matter. I want people to understand they matter.”

Coleman told WTOP they wanted to bring Destination Tomorrow to 1701 Q Street, NW for many reasons.

“It’s the Nation’s Capital. It’s an election year. I think as many different voices that we can have in this discussion around the importance of voting, and raising the alarm around how pivotal this election cycle is going to be,” Coleman said.

More information on the organization is available online.

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Jimmy Alexander

Jimmy Alexander has been a part of the D.C. media scene as a reporter for DC News Now and a long-standing voice on the Jack Diamond Morning Show. Now, Alexander brings those years spent interviewing newsmakers like President Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney and Sean Connery, to the WTOP Newsroom.

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