Spelman College Creates Scholarship Program For Student Who Advocates for LGBTQ


Spelman College, this week announced a new scholarship program for its students, those who advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and a companion lecture series to explore contemporary issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Levi Watkins Jr. Scholars Program

The Levi Watkins Jr. Scholars Program “will call attention to the importance of making visible the courageous and significant work of LGBTQ scholar activists within and beyond the academy, especially at HBCUs,” Spelman professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall, who is the cousin of the founder of the Spelman Women’s Research and Resource Center, said in a news release. The students will be awarded renewable $25,000 scholarships.

The lecture series will bring a variety of scholars, activists, and organizers to the campus, located near downtown Atlanta. Guy-Sheftall launched the scholar’s program and lecture series in May with a pledge of $100,000. Two Spelman sophomores—“self-identified LBGTQ advocates”—will be awarded renewable $25,000 scholarships to be announced this fall.

Read more about Beverly Guy: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/spelman-professor-beverly-guy-sheftall-creates-scholarship-in-honor-of-dr-levi-watkins-jr-300490200.html

“The College is grateful for this generous gift from the Levi Watkins Jr./Beverly Guy-Sheftall Charitable Trust,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. said. “As an institution that upholds a supportive student experience, this gift will present new opportunities for critical conversation on race and sexuality with distinguished scholars and thought leaders, and provide a platform to recognize campus LGBTQ advocates and their scholarly achievements.”

Spelman college was one of four HBCUs to a partner with Human Right and The New Black* the largest LGBT advocacy group in the United States—on the Empowering Equality on HBCU Campuses pilot project. Through the initiative, Spelman College has been awarded funds to support diversity and inclusion efforts on their campuses through screenings of The New Black. Empowering Equality at HBCUs provided $4,000 in grants to students and faculty at these schools to use the film to make their campuses safer and more welcoming for LGBT people.

*The New Black—a film that explores the intersections of race, faith and justice—to start conversations that lead to positive change around LGBT rights. After I received countless requests from students and others at HBCUs to screen the film on their campuses, it became clear that there were many students who hoped to use the documentary as a tool to push for progress on LGBT issues at their schools.

Spelman college is one of the first HBCUs to consider admitting a transgender woman! Read more:

HBCUs are a Black of diversity and black excellence, they’re also a place where everyone should feel comfortable being themselves while obtaining a higher education. Kudos to Spelman, I can’t wait to see other HBCUs create more breakthroughs.


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