[Published June 9, 2023]
Dear Howard University Community,
With Pride Month now underway, I am incredibly proud of Howard University’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity and fostering a sense of belonging across our campus community. By doing so, we reaffirm our responsibility to shape caring, respectful, and resilient learners who see the value of diverse cultures and perspectives.
Over the past year, we have worked to broaden our services and programs in support of our diverse student population. Through the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, students now have a dedicated space for organizations to gather, educate and empower our campus community through understanding and allyship. Our combined efforts ensure that all students can learn, grow, and thrive at Howard. Our work is ongoing, and we will continue to seek ways to amplify the voices throughout our LGBTQ+ communities.
As we look ahead to another year of progress in moving Howard Forward on matters of concern to our LGBTQ+ students, I want to take this opportunity to share a few highlights from the 2022-2023 academic year:
In partnership with Campus Pride, BestColleges.com bestowed the distinction of 'Most Inclusive HBCU for LGBTQ+ students' upon Howard University last summer. The national ranking involved a number of variables, including LGBTQ+ support services, program studies, safe zone trainings and inclusive housing.
On October 19, 2022, our seventh Lavender Reception was held during Homecoming Week, an occasion to honor Howard students who demonstrate their involvement with LGBTQ+ concerns. The room was elegantly decorated in a lavender-color lounge theme and welcomed the program’s founders to campus as part of the celebration. Seven student honorees were awarded scholarships totaling $7,000 from the Lavender Fund. Representatives from CASCADE, Howard’s oldest LGBTQ+ student organization, served as the event's host.
Bison Pride Night was a remarkable celebration during a Bison men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader on January 30, 2023 at Burr Gymnasium. From mini flags and rainbow-color streamers to the “Howard Lives with Pride” t-shirts, students, staff and faculty packed the gym and showed their pride in support of our LGBTQ+ community. An electrifying halftime performance by cast members from the popular HBO Max show Legendary House of Balenciaga was simply unforgettable.
Lavender Graduation was held ahead of Howard University Commencement exercises and celebrated the achievements of our 2023 LGBTQ+ graduates by honoring their steadfast commitment to the Howard community. The room was filled with love and unity as students spoke about their future educational and career experiences and their intentions to stay involved as alumni.
Throughout the year and especially during Pride Month, we invite you to join us in celebrating the unique identities with our campus community. It is through our collective efforts that we reinforce our unwavering commitment to the ideals of inclusiveness and understanding throughout the Howard University community.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Cynthia Evers, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs