HRC Attends White House LGBT Black History Program With HBCU Students
March 9, 2011 by Michael Cole-Schwartz, Director of Communications
This post comes from Lauren Waters, HRC's Diversity Student Assistant:
On February 28, 60 LGBT HBCU students, leaders and advisors gathered at the White House for a Black History event. It marked the first time that LGBT African American students were invited to celebrate Black History Month at the White House. Unfortunately, Black LGBT history is not as part of mainstream Black History celebrations.
The administration hosted this event acknowledging that there are many African American LGBT leaders in the world, including at the White House. Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett, started the event with a robust welcome addressing the President's support of LGBT issues. The program covered speakers from the Office of Policy and Research -- Dr. Raphael Bostic; HHS, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health -- Dr. Garth Graham; Office of Political Affairs -- Karine Jean-Pierre; and White House Office of Public Engagement – Brian Bond and Kalpen Modi. The event highlighted African American allies and LGBT leaders in the White House, their obstacles faced in coming out and their work in African American communities for the Obama Administration.
Students had a rare chance to network with some of the White Houses’ senior staff and express their opinions and needs. The students and leaders were supported by HRC’s HBCU Program, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and National Black Justice Coalition. The event empowered students and leaders to understand that being African American and LGBT does not mean you can’t succeed. You are expected to succeed!
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