Race and sexuality in the South

USC to host panel discussion

Charlotte’s Bishop Tonyia Rawls will be among several panelists at a discussion on race, sexuality and power in the Bible Belt South tonight, Oct. 27. The event takes place at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and is co-sponsored by SC Equality.

The Columbia event is the second in a two-part discussion series. The first took place in Charlotte last week. Panelists will discuss the barriers race and religion pose to LGBT equality and the LGBT movement, especially in the Deep South. Also on the agenda will be discussions on California’s Prop. 8, criminal justice, gender expression, religion and other timely issues as a way to highlight the importance of using a race, power and sexuality analysis to build community and movements, according to a press release.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Todd Shaw, a professor at USC and president of the South Carolina Black Pride Movement. With Rawls, panelists will include Dr. Kimberly Simmons of USC, community organizer Robert-John Hinojosa and Russell Patterson of Brother’s Circle.

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Starting at 6:30, the event will be held in Room 107 at Currell College on the University of South Carolina’s Columbia Campus near 1400 Greene St.

Funded in part by a grant from the Arcus Foundation, the panel is a component of SC Equality’s “Opening Doors” initiative. The purpose of Opening Doors is to begin differing forms of open-ended dialogue with those connected to the African American and other faith-based communities about issues of LGBT equality and civil rights.

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