Fayetteville State University is one out of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities selected to receive $3,000 grants to advance LBGQT inclusion, resulting in the screening of the film The New Black to advance on campus LBGQT inclusion. The film The New Black premiered March 21 in the Bronco Cinema. Doors opened at 5:30 p.m. with the screening at 6:00 p.m. followed by a panel discussion.
Dr. Brent Lewis, director of Cultural Programming and the Safe Zone Office stated: “[This funding] will truly enhance and build upon the LGBTQ work we are currently doing at FSU.”
He also stated: “Showing The New Black on a HBCU campus such as FSU, provides a safe space for the campus community to discuss LGBTQ concerns in the Black community in an open forum. I believe receiving this grant along with the opportunity to show this film will benefit our campus in many ways. It will benefit LGBTQ students as those that come will get a better understanding of the LGBTQ community. I think it will impact the faculty and staff who attend in addition to the heterosexual students of color on our campus (both out and in the closet) with knowing there are others who have similar experiences and who are living in their truth, or show up in all spaces as their authentic identity.”
Shameka Johnson, Spectrum president stated: “We have decided to host this event on our campus because we want to create a dialogue within the cross section of our LGBTQ community as well as the campus population at large.” She also stated that “receiving this grant will impact our campus because it will give us the funds to help reach more LGBTQ+ students and create a safe environment to learn and be, and educate students who may not be a part of the community and have questions.”
Shontae Halsey, Spectrum secretary/historian stated: “The New Black film is included in our first annual FSU Pride week, promoting scholarships, inclusiveness, community engagement, and celebration. The funding will provide us the opportunity to promote our event, cover logistical fees, and serve food and beverage as we host this event in the university cinema.”
She also stated: “Our event will be open to all interested parties, including members of Spectrum, a host of other student organizations, faculty, family, and the Fayetteville community at large. We will also specifically invite religious leaders and university leadership.”
Dr. Emily Lenning, Spectrum faculty advisor, stated: “We are so thrilled that HBCUs are working to meet the needs of their LGBQ students, and we are grateful to The New Black for creating a platform for further progress. “This grant sends a message that what Spectrum is trying to do on our campus vitally important and in line with national level conversations about what it means to be Black and Queer in the United States.”
Spectrum president Shameka Johnson stated “We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to reach more students and help more LGBTQ+ Broncos.”