LGBTQ Inclusive Campuses
The movement by the Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the US to make their campuses LGBTQ inclusive is gaining more popularity by the day. This follows the actions taken by majority of the HBCU leaders for this purpose. The HBCU leaders are moving to adopt measures aimed at providing a more inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, staff and faculty at all HBCU University. Since their founding, HBCUs have led movements toward access to education and opportunities for personal growth for their students, which is even more important now that the rights and protections of transgender students have been rescinded under the Trump administration.
This is a trend that has been seen across several HBCU schools in the US. As part of the move to make HBCU campuses more LGBTQ inclusive the leaders will have to adjust student record systems to enable students to indicate a preferred name to appear on campus records along with their legal name.
This will give more students from the LGBTQ community to join higher institutions in the US without the fear of discrimination. When we take a closer look at this new development. We get to see that University facilities offices in the HBCU schools also will begin converting single-stall restrooms into gender-neutral facilities and incorporating gender inclusive-restrooms in new and renovated buildings, which is aimed at making the campuses friendlier for LGBTQs. Historically Black colleges and Universities have to do a much better job in tending to the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students, according to the head of one of the nation’s largest civil rights organizations, whose mission is to eliminate racism and homophobia.
Eliminate bias judgements
In 2014, Sharon H. Lettman-Hicks, executive director and chief executive officer for the National Black Justice Coalition (NJBC), challenged HBCU college presidents to be more proactive in helping to eliminate bias against the LGBT community on their campuses. Most of the HBCU leaders have hid to the advice and are now doing more than just mere talk. HBCUs like Bowie State University and Alcorn State University that have created safe zones and resource centers for their gay students. The HBCU University’s efforts are similar in that they will also consist of training opportunities for faculty and staff to help them understand how to make the campus more inclusive to support the initiative by the HBCU leaders across the country.
It is imperative to note that the presidents and executives of 14 HBCUs met recently at the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ organization. Howard University, which is a strong HBCU school, will be joining forces with the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization that serves the LGBT community, on cultural training methods that can be tailored to the Howard community. In similar developments, Fayetteville State University has made its bathrooms gender neutral. Although the leaders of most HBCU universities are taking the action more seriously now, there is still more that needs to be done in order for HBCU schools to be more inclusive.