Thank University for Supporting Gay and Lesbian Students

NCCU

Target: North Carolina Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White

Goal: Thank University for providing essential resources to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students

College campuses across the nation provide myriad support services for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. Programs include gay-straight alliances, LGBT student unions, field-specific LGBT organizations, and LGBT-inclusive fraternities and sororities. Several universities also provide LGBT “resource centers,” common focal points for LGBT activism, inclusive community-building efforts, and sexual health information, among other functions. Many major public and private universities, such as Penn State and Cornell, are renowned for their programs, providing helpful models of “best practices” for other institutions.

America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), however, continue to lag behind their peers in establishing and promoting such programs. North Carolina Central University (NCCU), located in Durham, recently became the first HBCU in the state and just the second nationally to establish an LGBT resource center, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). HRC, which sponsors the HBCU Leadership and Career Summit for LGBT student leaders at HBCUs, notes that such programs are important for supporting the social, educational, and health needs of LGBT students. While providing a social forum for LGBT students and allies, these resource centers also coordinate community service and awareness projects for local, national, and international causes.

Thank NCCU for its leadership in promoting LGBT inclusivity and ask NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White to push for similar programs at other HBCUs nationwide.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chancellor Debra Saunders-White,

College campuses across the nation provide many essential services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. Gay-straight alliances, field-specific LGBT organizations, and LGBT-inclusive fraternities and sororities are increasingly common fixtures at many higher education institutions. LGBT student resource centers, a relatively new phenomenon on campuses, move beyond the usual social functions of LGBT clubs and organizations: they are focal points for LGBT advocacy, sexual health information, and research on LGBT-related issues.

While these resource centers gain momentum nationwide, North Carolina Central University recently became the first HBCU in North Carolina (and just the second in the United States) to establish such a program. As LGBT-related concerns dominate media coverage and political agendas, NCCU implicitly recognizes the realities facing America’s LGBT youth: alienation, isolation, and the widespread lack of objective information for students in distress. Members of your community, LGBT or not, now have a powerful tool for promoting inclusivity, thoughtful discussion, and awareness.

Thank you, Chancellor, for your University’s powerful example and encourage leaders of other colleges and universities to follow your lead.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Image Credit: Ildar Sagdejev via Wikimedia Commons

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51 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
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