HRC The New BlackHRC and The New Black have launched Empowering Equality at HBCUs, an initiative that provides $4000 in grants to students and faculty at HBCUs who want to use the multi-award winning documentary The New Black to advance LGBT inclusion on their campus.

The New Black—a documentary by veteran filmmaker Yoruba Richen—chronicles the myriad ways African American Marylanders engaged questions of identity, religion, and equality during Maryland’s Question 6 campaign—a referendum that would (dis)allow same-sex marriage in a state where African Americans make up an overwhelming bloc of the electorate.

Richen unflinchingly dissects the myth of Black homophobia and exposes the real conversations that are happening on street corners, in pulpits and in Black communities around LGBT justice.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to connect with students and faculty at HBCUs who want to use The New Black to spark dialogue and action on their campus,” said Samantha Master, HRC’s Youth and Campus Engagement Assistant who is featured in the film. “The film shows the power of young LGBT people of color committed to creating an intersectional civil rights movement.”

Dr. Yvonne Welbon, associate professor at Bennett College and Outreach Director for the film, agrees, “HBCUs have always been leaders in terms of social justice issues. Screenings of The New Black may offer HBCUs another way to participate in current dialogues happening around inclusivity and equality.”

"To be Black, gay and religious pushes the envelope of civil rights and social justice in America," says Dr. Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. "How refreshing it is to see a film that cuts through all the rhetoric and hype about race, sexuality and religion in the U.S. The New Black is a gem - it presents the complexities within African American communities that are engaged in grappling with a vitally important civil rights issue."

Proposals are being accepted until May 30, 2014. Click here to learn more about the initiative and to submit a proposal.

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