The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) recently decided to stand up for the safety of the organization’s employees, players, and fans by moving championship games out of North Carolina due to the state’s anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. The CIAA is comprised of twelve public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), eight of which are based in North Carolina; each of these institutions is home to a vibrant and diverse community of students, faculty and staff from all walks of life.
The CIAA announcement follows the ACC and NCAA’s decision to stand up for LGBTQ equality by moving championship events out of the state of North Carolina due to HB2. Citing the hostile environment created by the anti-LGBTQ law, the NBA also previously announced it is moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of the state, costing North Carolina an estimated $100 million in All-Star Game related profits.
“The CIAA action to move their championships out of North Carolina affirms the work I do every day as HRC’s HBCU Project Manager -- connecting with LGBTQ students at HBCUs who often feel marginalized or unsupported on their campuses,” HRC Foundation HBCU Project Manager Leslie Hall said. "HRC Foundation’s HBCU Project was on the ground for two-weeks in early spring organizing HBCU students against HB2".
Moreover, the CIAA’s decision sends an important message not only to the legislators who passed HB2, but also to the thousands of LGBTQ students across North Carolina: LGBTQ students matter and their lives and safety are important to the CIAA.
“As a two-time HBCU graduate from both Bowie State University and Howard University, I am thankful that the CIAA acted with courage to stand up for justice and equality,” Hall concluded. “The CIAA made the right decision, for its students, its schools and the HBCU community.”
HRC Foundation’s HBCU Project works with HBCU leaders from across the country to establish more inclusive policies to protect and support its LGBTQ population on campus. In addition, the HBCU Project annually hosts a transformative leadership development summit for HBCU LGBTQ students. The summit empowers students to be change-agents on their campuses and within the broader community. The HBCU project leverages the power of our students to act as frontline leaders in the fight for equality in our most challenging areas.