HBCUs Challenged to Address LGBT, Diversity Issues - Higher Education: ATLANTA — 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.
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.
“The public eye is on HBCUs,” she said during a keynote address at the 2014 HBCU Student Success Summit sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). “We have to stop otherizing our LGBT community.”
Lettman-Hicks said that the 2011 hazing death of Robert Champion, a gay 26-year-old Florida A&M (FAMU) marching band drum major, forced a public spotlight on a spate of recent incidents that point to a “hostile” environment for gay and lesbian students on HBCU campuses.