Summit explores inclusivity

ATLANTA — The “Facilitating Campus Climates of Pluralism, Inclusivity, and Progressive Change at HBCUs” (historic black colleges and universities) summit was held on April 29 at Spelman University. Attendees included students, staff, faculty and LGBT community advocates from across the U.S.

This was accomplished as a result of a grant received three years ago from Arcus Foundation which was bestowed upon the college’s Women’s Research and Resource Center.

According to Cascade Patch, the advocacy project was the first time a range of HBCUs convened to engage in dialogue about lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender issues on Black college campuses.

Discussed were ways to institute sexual orientation and gender identity training modules for faculty and staff orientation. The news organization added that activities on campus calendars that are designed to increase awareness, promote critical dialogue and engage scholarship about LGBT people and communities were also recommended.

North Carolina Central University (Durham) and Bennett College (Greensboro) was two of the participating universities.

Summer event welcomes hero

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Daniel Hernandez, Jr., the student intern credited with saving the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) after the Jan. 8 shooting attack in Tucson, Ariz., will serve as a guest keynote and receive an honorary National Voice & Action Leadership Award at Camp Pride on July 19-July 24, in Nashville, Tenn., at Vanderbilt University.

Hernandez, who is an openly gay college student at the University of Arizona and serves on the City of Tucson Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues, was thrust into the national media spotlight following the January tragedy. Though he’s publicly rejected the label “hero,” his student leadership, service to his local LGBT community and work with Rep. Giffords has inspired young, LGBT students across the country.

The Voice & Action National Leadership Award will be given to Hernadez on the final evening of camp where he will also deliver a keynote to the camp participants. The award focuses on the work of undergraduate college students who are creating positive change for LGBT and ally issues within their communities.

Campus Pride’s Summer Leadership Camp is a one-of-a-kind leadership program that brings together over 60 LGBTQ and allied young people from across the country for five days of student leadership development, campus organizing techniques, conflict management, social justice advocacy, diversity education and more.

Registration for Camp Pride is limited and still open. Cost is $895. This year Camp Pride will also conduct an Advisor Bootcamp, special track for advisors. Students and advisors can register online for Camp Pride or learn more about the Unsung Heroes Scholarship honoring Frances A. McDaniel and other award opportunities at campuspride.org.

Divas share their stories

CHARLOTTE — Four alumni from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” have headed out to college campuses nationwide to share their stories of acceptance and discrimination.

These Divas of Diversity, through a partnership between Hope’s Voice and Campus Pride, help to narrow the gap in learning about issues surrounding discrimination, as well as providing a plan to implement once they have left. Drag 101 and/or Diva for the Day are workshops that participants can select to gain better understanding.

During the event, colleges can choose between Bebe Zahara Benet, Pandora Boxx, Shangela or Shannel as the program spokesperson. It is topped off with a drag show performance.

Donations for bookings are accepted and help benefit Campus Pride, as well as other charities.

Hope’s Voice provides workshops to battle against discrimination to forge acceptance.

For more information, visit campuspride.org or hopesvoice.org.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' former associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director.