Human Rights Campaign Awards Scholarships to New Generation of Theologians

by HRC Staff

Winners of Scholarship and Mentorship Program for Religion and Theological Study announced.

Washington -The Human Rights Campaign - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization - today announced the winners of the inaugural Scholarship & Mentorship Program for Religion and Theological Study. The program, part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Religion and Faith Program, provides a sustained investment in the next generation of religion scholars working on LGBT issues, and will change the national conversation about LGBT people and religion.

The LGBT Dissertation Scholarship provides a stipend of $15,000 for a doctoral student with an expressed interest in furthering LGBT religious and theological study. In addition to financial assistance, the scholarship provides one-on-one mentoring opportunity with a respected scholar.

The Summer Institute is an intensive five day institute for 14 participants studying LGBT issues at the master's and doctoral level. This year the Summer Institute will be held at Vanderbilt University School of Divinity. Students will work with prominent scholars of religion, public theologians, and media experts to explore how their scholarship can fuel a new dialogue on LGBT equality and religion in their schools, seminaries, congregations, and communities.

"HRC's Scholarship and Mentorship program has the potential to transform in profound and lasting ways the training ground for theologians and students of religion," said Harry Knox, director of HRC's Religion and Faith Program. "By providing these extraordinarily talented students a chance to network with each other and to envision their scholarship as serving the widest possible marketplace, we cultivate a new understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity and religion and effectively counter the repressive environment in which so many students are currently trained."

"The depth and range of scholarship exhibited by these students is simply startling. The breadth of backgrounds and the diversity of projects speaks to a stirring in our schools of divinity, religious studies programs and seminaries for new understandings of LGBT people and religion," said Dr. Sharon Groves, deputy director or HRC's Religion and Faith program. ##

Visit to learn more about HRC's Scholarship and Mentorship Program. Names and biographies of the winners of the inaugural Scholarship & Mentorship Program for Religion and Theological Study follow:

Thelathia Young, Winner of the Inaugural Dissertation Scholarship

Her dissertation, "Black Queer Ethics: An Investigation into the Ethical Norms of Kinship and Family," is a work of Christian social ethics that investigates moral norms of kinship and family that foreground the intersection of race, gender and sexuality. Ms. Young is finishing her doctorate this year in Ethics and Society at Emory University's Graduate Division of Religion.

HRC's Summer Institute
Class of 2010

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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