Diversity Richmond supports LGBT programs at VSU with grants, thanks to the leadership of Chevelle Moss-Savage, who serves as Outreach Coordinator within the University Counseling Center.
As a result of our cooperative efforts over the past two years, several initiatives have become on-going programs. First, Diversity Richmond enabled Ms. Moss-Savage to attend the Camp Pride LGBT leadership training through CampusPride.org at Vanderbilt University in 2014. This year, Ms. Moss-Savage served as a Faculty Mentor at Campus Pride this summer at University of NC at Charlotte and a VSU student received training and gained leadership experience there, too.
This year, VSU became the first Historically Black College and University in Virginia to host a Lavender Ceremony (first begun at the University of Michigan in 1995) to honor LGBT graduating seniors and allies. Over fifty attended this event initiated by VSU's LGBTQIA* Advisory Council with Ms. Moss-Savage's support and guidance. Also, Diversity Richmond enabled Rainbow Soul (VSU's LGBTQ Student Organization) to hold a Pride Ball, at which students could share experiences and support each other. More than eighty attended the event.
The goal set by Chevelle, LGBTQIA Advisory Council (eight members meeting monthly), and the University is to support diversity among students with disabilities, identity issues, spiritual beliefs, and queer identity. To this end, a dress code that maintained gender-specific identity ended. A Safe-Zone network identifies LGBT allies and programs across the campus. Ms. Moss-Savage, who graduated from Virginia Union University (VUU), obtained her masters in clinical counseling from Lincoln University in Philadelphia. Through her job she trains LGBT allies and conducts other workshops and training on campus during the year.
"Let her step to the music which she hears, however measured or far away." ~ Thoreau
*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Ally
Guy Terrell is a volunteer writer for Diversity Richmond. He is also writes poetry and is working with Jack Trammell on a non-fiction book.