College to Offer LGBTQ Activist Scholarships

College to Offer LGBTQ Activist Scholarships
Susan Dutca-Lovell

In an effort to address the lack of LGBTQ inclusion at HBCUs, Spelman College will offer a new scholars program for LGBTQ advocates beginning in fall of 2017. Two sophomores will get the chance to win renewable scholarships for LGBTQ activism/advocacy worth $25,000 each.

During a summit that was held last week in Washington, D.C., representatives from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) addressed "the issue that HBCUs have been slow to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth." According to students, this lack of inclusion has been a deal breaker and they ultimately chose to go to college elsewhere.

Launched with a pledge of $100,000, Spelman College alumna and professor, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., established the Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. Scholars Program and companion lecture series to explore "contemporary issues of race, gender, and sexuality," beginning in 2018. As part of the scholarship program, the LGBTQ advocate scholars 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."

The LGBTQ advocate scholarships also serve as a recruitment tool to show LGBTQ advocates how they can bring "greater awareness and promote a change in the community." Scholarships for LGBTQ advocates "lets struggling youth know that someone out there cares and is willing to provide an avenue to help them succeed." Statistics reveal that 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ and "LGBTQ homeless youth are more disproportionately African American or American Indian, and often from low-income communities, and from poor or working class families." If you're looking to earn scholarships for LGBTQ activism or identify as LGBTQ, check out our extensive list of LGBTQ scholarships here.

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