CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Campus Pride, in commemoration of LGBTQ History Month and National Coming Out Day in October, released its 2020 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly listing of colleges and universities. This year’s announcement features 40 campuses from six regions of the country who are committed to LGBTQ students and who rate the highest for LGBTQ-inclusion in policy, program and practice.
“On behalf of Campus Pride, I want to commend all the campuses featured among the 2020 ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities for their exemplary commitment and work to make their campuses safer and more welcoming,” said Tom Elliott, Campus Pride board chair. “In times like these, we need to commit to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all students.”
For nearly two decades, Campus Pride has advocated and supported college and university campuses to improve LGBTQ campus life and change institutional policies, programs and practices. The Campus Pride Index (campusprideIndex.org) provides a benchmarking tool to assess LGBTQ-inclusion efforts from academics, to student life, to housing, to recruitment and retention activities. There are nearly 400 colleges who have “come out” on the index and hundreds of thousands who utilize the public search to find LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities annually, the organization shared.
“Today college campuses must ‘come out’ and be visible as LGBTQ-friendly. Students expect inclusive, equitable learning environments at colleges in all regions of the country. And as a basic standard, they demand campuses have LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and services,” said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride’s executive director. “These 40 campuses, across six diverse regions, are leading the charge.”
This year Campus Pride chose to put a spotlight on the regional diversity of the list by highlighting colleges and universities by region. Campus Pride’s work with over 1,400 colleges and universities annually seeks to improve the quality of campus life for LGBTQ individuals and to create safer, more inclusive campus communities. Sixty percent of their work is dedicated to working with colleges in the South, Midwest and campuses within more rural communities.
The “Best of” listing is based on the data provided annually through the CPI related to policies, programs and practice. The research is analyzed by the Campus Pride research team using the proven CPI LGBTQ-Friendly factors and knowledge of the LGBTQ higher education landscape, the leadership remarked.
“Every student deserves to go to a college that is inclusive and a safe space — to learn, live and grow,” said Windmeyer. “Let us commit ourselves to LGBTQ inclusion, coming out and supporting LGBTQ youth in living full, authentic lives.”
The full list can be found online at campuspride.org/2020bestofthebest.