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Post submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Deputy Communications Director

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation – the educational arm of HRC – will hold its Historically Black College and University (HBCU) LGBT Leadership and Career Summit beginning this Saturday, November 2 and running through Monday, November 4.  The 2013 HBCU Summit is sponsored by PepsiCo, and 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.

At the conclusion of the summit, participants will join the Human Rights Campaign for a lobby day on Capitol Hill, talking to lawmakers about issues important to LGBT people of color, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, immigration reform, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

"HRCF’s HBCU Summit is an effort to help LGBT youth of color overcome the unique obstacles they face on their campuses in the fight for equality,” said Sultan Shakir, director of the HRC Youth and Campus Engagement Program.  “PepsiCo has a legacy of leadership in diversity and inclusion and we are proud to have their support in helping these students raise their voices and gain valuable skills that they will use to advance LGBT equality and social justice.”

“Support for human rights and equality is at the heart of PepsiCo and key to our success.  We’re proud to support the HBCU Leadership and Career Summit,” said Jim Wilkinson, Executive Vice President, Global Communications at PepsiCo. “This is a terrific event that brings together some of the absolute best and brightest young people in the country and provides them with unique opportunities to develop important leadership skills that will allow them to continue to excel in the future.”

In addition to their event sponsorship, PepsiCo will also be providing paid internships to select participants of HRC's HBCU LGBT Leadership and Career Summit, providing a unique experience to learn from one of the world’s most successful global companies.

Summit participants will take part in four days of identity development and leadership training to empower them as black LGBT leaders on HBCUs and in their communities.  Students will also participate in a panel discussion on entering the workforce as LGBT people of color.  The keynote speaker will be Kimberley McLeod, Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Elixher Magazine.

Past participants of the HBCU LGBT Leadership and Career Summit report having an enriching and rewarding experience.  They take this experience with them back to their schools where they help spread the message of equality, enriching the lives of others.  

“The HRC HBCU Summit taught me that being authentic and honest about my life was bigger than just about me,” said Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen, III, an alum of the Summit. “They taught me that confidence in myself had the power to transform my life and the lives of others. Authenticity has the power to transform even a college institution.”

The HRCF HBCU program was launched after a rash of anti-LGBT violence on HBCU campuses across the country in 2000.  The first HBCU LGBT Leadership and Career Summit took place in 2003.  Since then, nearly 200 students have participated in the Summit.  To learn more about HRC’s HBCU program, visit

Filed under: HBCU, Communities of Color

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