UNC System hate speech forum held

North Carolina News Notes

Charlotte

 

CBPM to hold gala, honors
CHARLOTTE — The Carolinas Black Pride Movement (CBPM) will host its fourth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leadership Honors & Gala Reception on Jan. 24 at the Urban League of the Central Carolinas, 740 W. 5th St. at 7 p.m.

Theme for the event is “The Beloved Community.” Cocktail attire is requested. A buffet-style dinner will be served. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Dancing For Life Women’s Ensemble, actor and playwright Keith Roberts and spoken word artist Melissa Harris will provide performances.

Honorees are: Meredeth Summers and Devian Richmond, co-owners of In the Lyfe, LLC (Audre Lorde Community Leadership Honor) and Santonio Mobley, D-Up popular opinion leader and community activist (Bayard Rustin Community Leadership Honor).

Event sponsor is D-Up and host sponsor is Brother2Brother, Inc.

For more information, call 704-777-8208 or email carolinasblackpridemovement@gmail.com.

Mancini announces recipients
CHARLOTTE — The Wesley Mancini Foundation, which provides funding for projects that foster the inclusion of LGBT individuals as full participants in the Charlotte community and/or that work to seek to eliminate censorship and work to promote and support freedom of expression, has announced its eighth-year grants for 2008:

• Actors Theatre of Charlotte, $4,000.00, to educate the Charlotte community about censorship through its commissioned play, “Southern Rapture,” a fictionalized comedy based on the 1996 culture wars surrounding Charlotte Repertory Theatre’s production of “Angels in America.”
• Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte, $2,000.00, to establish a separate choral group for young LGBT adults.
• The Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte, $2,000.00, to facilitate collaboration between Pride Charlotte and Charlotte Black Gay Pride in summer of 2009.
• Foundation for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (on behalf of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program), $2,000.00, to help fund Outspoken, an LGBT speaker series, which is bringing gay African-American activist Keith Boykin to the university in October 2009.

The Wesley Mancini Foundation was established in 2000 in response to heavy censorship in Charlotte by funding resources, as well as the pervasive attitude among major Charlotte benefactors that gay and lesbian programs were too risky to undertake or underwrite.

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For more information, call 704-375-4275, ext. 11.

Hagan to offer keynote at Gala
CHARLOTTE — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Carolinas Gala has announced that newly installed U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) will offer the keynote address at this year’s dinner.

Gala co-chair Michael Holmes told Q-Notes that the dinner committee had been awaiting comment from Hagan’s offices.

Hagan’s Press Secretary David Hoffman told Q-Notes, “Senator Hagan said repeatedly during her campaign for Senate that, if elected, she would reach out to folks across the state. Sen. Hagan looks forward to speaking at HRC’s event and updating attendees about the work she and her colleagues are doing to help shore up the economy, advocate on behalf of working families and get our country back on track.”

Hagan’s 2008 campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Elizabeth Dole drew national attention. During the Democratic primary, Hagan ran against openly gay, Chapel Hill businessman Jim Neal. Some LGBT activists criticized the Human Rights Campaign for their refusal to endorse Neal during the primary battle. The national organization later endorsed Hagan in her race against Dole.

Holmes said the dinner committee had already received emails addressing concern over Hagan’s appearances. Holmes said the senator’s willingness to speak at the dinner so soon after her swearing in was a positive sign.

Hagan, who was sworn into office on Jan. 6, sits in the Senate seat once held by arch-conservative Republican Sen. Jesse Helms.

The HRC Carolinas Gala is one of the largest HRC-affiliated dinner fundraisers in the nation and was named a “Winter Posh Happening” by OUT Traveler magazine.

The HRC Carolinas Gala will be held Feb. 21 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Radio host lambastes gay groups on air
CHARLOTTE — WBT 1110 AM/99.3 FM talk radio host Keith Larson took several shots at local LGBT organizations on Jan. 15. His targets were the N.C. Pride Band and Lesbian & Gay Band Association, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte, the Charlotte Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Queen City Gay Speed-dating, the Lesbian & Gay Community Center and local community leader, and drag performer, Roxy C. Moorecox.

Larson also spoke on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” asking what it meant to “serve openly.” He said gays wanted a lavender armband or ribbon to signify their sexual orientation. He also poked fun at the praise heaped on Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) by LGBT employees at the U.S. State Department after her testimony at her Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State.

His information regarding the Film Festival was incorrect. The Festival, which was to feature films at the end of this month, was pushed back to early spring.

To listen to the commercial-free broadcast .mp3 audio, visit www.interstateq.com/archives/3297.

Coastal

 

Mountain magic?
WILMINGTON — Annette Warner is looking for a few good folks to take to the trail in Mid-May while enjoying a rustic mini-weekend hiking in the hills.

The trip includes tent camping (no hotels, folks!) with a few creature comforts like showers, drinking water and a bona fide outhouse (latrine).

The only thing that participants would need to bring is food, as the closest store to the site is 10 miles away. The getaway place is located on obscure, private property.

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There is no financial cost for utilizing the facilities, however donations are graciously accepted in the form of food seeds, toilet paper and leftover canned foods, as well as equipment or other things that can be used by future campers.

The site usually has a few hiking packs to borrow and Warner says that she may have one extra, as well as an extra sleeping bag and a tent big enough for four. Campers should consider bringing their own gear to ensure that the experience is enjoyable.

Plans at this time are to leave on a Friday morning, camp and have fun Friday night, hike Saturday and return home Sunday. SUV vehicles are recommended, but nor required. Warner will be brining one that can accommodate a few riders. A convoy is necessary because of the difficulty in finding the place.

To secure a spot or for more information, email awarnerentertainment@ec.rr.com.

Triangle

 

Forum finds support
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A public forum by the University of North Carolina System for those individuals and organizations wishing to provide feedback on a proposed hate speech policy addition to the system’s student codes of conduct was held on Jan. 15 at the Spangler Center.

The forum was held by The University of North Carolina (UNC) Study Commission to Review Student Codes of Conduct as They Relate to Hate Crimes, a commission established last month by UNC President Erskine Bowles in response to post-election racist statements spray-painted in the “Free Expression Tunnel” at N.C. State University following the Nov. 5 election.

The commission, which includes students, staff and faculty from 10 UNC institutions, heard from its constituents who were mostly in support of adopting the policy in addition to the development of a University-wide requirement for diversity orientation for all first-time students. The group will forward its final recommendations to President Bowles no later than March 31. Commission recommendations will take into consideration federal and state Constitutional rights to free speech and will not infringe on those rights.

According to The Herald-Sun, emails sent to the Commission demonstrated that the “issue was complex and emotion for many citizens.”

The newspaper also reported that UNC-Chapel Hill senior Frank Sturges was the person who recommended the inclusion of a hate-crime policy and the diversity training institution. Sturges is one the directors of the week-long diversity conference Carolina United.

Equality NC Board Chair Hunter Corn also expressed his support for the policy. He also commented that the Commission’s formation could also address other issues as well, such as a N.C. State toilet tissue paper noose (which was discovered as a prank and was dismissed). He felt that anything the UNC system could do to rid the campus environment from intimidation was duty-bound.

Seven people who condemned comments proliferated at the tunnel, spoke at the forum saying that they were not in favor of creating a university policy to combat the situation. N.C.’s American Civil Liberties Union Legal Director Katie Parker said that the spray-painted statements were First Amendment free speech protected and would be a way to create censorship. She felt that those who rallied against the negative comments, thus creating a forum for dialogue, demonstrated a better approach to.

A lion’s share of the emails received were varied in the approach that the school system should take, from the necessity of policies and training to that of regulating free speech.

For those who were unable to attend the forum and wish to provide input to the Commission or to secure more information, email study_commission@northcarolina.edu.

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.

2 Replies to “UNC System hate speech forum held”

  1. Hi people… 🙂

  2. Just saying hello to you all .. Still a bit confused about the goings on here, but I guess I’ll keep poking around.

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