North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has been a pivotal example of the work many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have undertaken to create safe and inclusive environments for their LGBT students. Last Friday, NCCU celebrated the one-year anniversary of their LGBT resource center. Part of the commemoration included a lavender graduation, an over 20-year old tradition started at University of Michigan to celebrate LGBT students.
NCCU made history last year as the second HBCU in the nation to open an LGBT resource center. They are now one of three HBCUs to have such a center.
Throughout the year, NCCU has held their first LGBTQA Pride Week, participated in the LGBT Emerging Leaders Day at the White House, and hosted a variety of campus dialogues on LGBT issues.
HRC has maintained a relationship with NCCU in a variety of ways, most notably through the HBCU Leadership and Career Summit. “From the summit, I took the skills, knowledge, and tools that helped me to become a more effective leader and advocate…This summit was what I needed to go back to my university and make a difference. Upon returning to school I was able to help develop and work as the first graduate student in the LGBTA Resource lounge,” said LaKesha Winley, a 2012 HBCU summit alumnae.
HRC congratulates NCCU’s LGBTQA Center on a successful year, and looks forward to working with them during the upcoming year.
To learn more about HRC’s work with HBCUs and to apply for the 2014 HBCU Leadership and Career Summit, click here.