HRC Blog

HRC Youth & Campus Director in HuffPo: HBCU Students are Key to Advancing Change

Today in an op-ed for The Huffington Post, HRC Youth and Campus Engagement Program Director Sultan Shakir highlighted the organization’s important work to engage and empower LGBT students at Historically Black  Colleges and Universities.

“The year 2000 seems like a lifetime ago, but for those students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who survived a swell of anti-LGBT violence that year, 2000 marked the beginning of a movement,” Shakir wrote. “And that movement lives strong to this day.”

Over the weekend, HRC hosted its 2013 HBCU Leadership and Career Summit, inviting 30 students from 14 states and 22 institutions. The summit is designed to foster an effective group of LGBT HBCU student leaders committed to developing their personal leadership and career skills, and to develop student leaders to advocate for LGBT equality and social justice.

Sultan explained in The Huffington Post:

“The project, founded in the wake of that violence, educates and organizes students, faculty and administrators at HBCU campuses on LGBT issues specific to each institution's needs. It opens campus-wide debate on LGBT issues, often for the first time, and it trains students to lead LGBT advocacy on campus while helping them reconcile the additional cultural challenges that they face at the intersection of their race, their LGBT identity and their religion.

Having honest conversations about these intersections, which sometimes cause internal conflicts in black LGBT students, particularly those from religious backgrounds, is critically important to creating leaders on campus who feel empowered to be their whole selves and emboldened to speak from a complete and authentic voice.”

As young people push to attain the goals of the LGBT community on their campuses, HRC is working to provide tools, facilitate connections with other student activists across the country and empower youth to fight for equality on campus and beyond.

To learn more about HRC’s Youth and Campus work, www.hrc.org/issues/youth-campus.

Read the op-ed in its entirety on The Huffington Post.

You can also check out video from yesterday's "Generation Equality: Entering the Workforce" panel, hosted by CAP Senior Fellow Aisha Moodie-Mills as part of this weekend's HBCU summit.

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