Post submitted by Samantha Master, former HRC Youth & Campus Engagement Manager
Months after Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) alumnus Brian “B-Daht” Williams—a local radio DJ and PA announcer at the school—launched into a defamatory, anti-LGBT tirade on Twitter after discovering that openly gay student Aaron McCorkle was running for Mr. WSSU, the university has finally decided to terminate Williams' relationship as an announcer.
"We are looking for the best person and best fit for the job," said Kevin Manns, an assistant athletics director at WSSU. On Wednesday in a news release, the school announced they were accepting applications for Williams now-vacant position.
"Mr. Williams termination sends a strong message that hate and intolerance has no place at WSSU, and those that seek to use their public platform to demean LGBT people should be removed from that platform," said Sultan Shakir, Director of Youth and Campus Engagement.
Following the initial incident, HRC wrote an open letter to WSSU offering them organizational support in training and educating their faculty and staff in LGBT competence.
This is certainly a step in the right direction for WSSU, however there is still much more work to be done to create a safer and more inclusive environment for all students, including LGBT students. This work includes providing LGBT cultural competency training to faculty and staff and expanding the university non-discrimination policy to include gender identity and expression.
HRC hopes to continue to be a resource to WSSU and all other HBCUs as they look for additional ways to support LGBT students.