HBCU Leaders Aim to Make Campuses More LGBTQ Inclusive

 

HBCU presidents and executives convened a summit to develop more strategic ways to turn their campuses into safe spaces for students that identify as LGBTQ.

 

“We’re committed to creating safe spaces for LGBTQ students,” says Dr. Makola Abdullah, president of Virginia State University. The university’s efforts are similar in that they will also consist of training opportunities for faculty and staff to help them understand how to make the campus more inclusive.

 

The presidents and executives of 14 HBCUs met recently at the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ organization. Working with the campaign’s HBCU Project, the participants hope that the summit ultimately will result in the stronger implementation of the mission of HBCUs in their support for both LBGBTQ students and faculty.

The timely gathering of HBCU leaders shows the importance and dire necessity of policy development so that student rights are protected in spite of recent government drawbacks. Strongly rooted in tradition, HBCUs have taken a significant step toward more diversity on their campuses with this summit. Via diverseeducation.com

The summit on LGBT inclusion hadn’t even wrapped for the day. Still, Walter Kimbrough was already mulling over an idea to bring back to his campus.

Kimbrough was among the officials from historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, who on Wednesday attended a day-long event hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, the influential LGBT rights advocacy group. The effort brought leaders together to talk about “inclusive practices and policies and share best practices for expanding equality” on college campuses, according to a statement.

HRC hosted its first ever HBCU Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Briefing for University Presidents and Senior Executives. The summit is a day-long meeting of high profile HBCU leadership to discuss LGBTQ inclusive practices and policies and share best practices for expanding equality on their campuses. “Historically Black Colleges and Universities continue to be at the forefront of social change for our community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin). “Facing unprecedented attacks by the Trump-Pence regime on marginalized Americans of every background, the HBCU Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Briefing is one of the vital ways we continue to connect in new and unique ways to stand as a united front against those who oppose equality and justice for all. HRC is honored to host senior leadership from these sixteen esteemed institutions.” More from HRC, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and The Washington Post.

The summit meant that leaders of HBCUs could come together and get an idea of “where we are as an institution” when it comes to LGBT issues on their campuses, said Makola Abdullah, president of Virginia State University, when asked about the biggest takeaways from the day. Officials could also compare challenges they’ve encountered and possible solutions, which meant they could work through issues together.

“Then, the third takeaway is that there is an important place for young, black, LGBTQ students, and the challenges that they go through, and how do we as HBCUs begin to position ourselves to be on the cutting edge of that work, I think is also important,” said Abdullah.Via washingtonpost.com

This post first appeared on AdvancingDiversity.com



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