On May 4, members of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) rallied on Spelman College’s campus to protest injustice the LGBTQ+ community at Spelman has faced in recent weeks. The march is in response to a series of notes slid under the doors of LGBTQ+ identifying students at Spelman, and the physical assault of an openly trans Spelman student on the school’s campus. The assault was allegedly carried out by three Spelman students. Spelman, historically known as an all-women college, passed a trans policy that will be enacted in the fall 2018 semester.
Before the march began, leaders of Spelman College’s LGBTQ+ club—Afrekete—spoke with VOX ATL and shared a few words about the significance of the march, and how to sustain the longevity of the march in the AUC and black community.
Rising junior, Joy, tells VOX ATL that the march is an “education moment,” but not the end:
Spelman senior and outgoing Afrekete president Amber, 22, spoke out against the school’s current policies when it comes to LGBTQ rights and protections. Her partner, Theo, was the victim of the assault that sparked the march. Listen to her speak in the video and audio player below:
“I don’t feel like I am being heard.”
“Spelman cares more about their image than the [students] who are here.”
The march moved off Spelman’s campus and wrapped around the front sign of the school facing Lee Street. Students and faculty members held up their signs and chanted for change on their campus. In an effort to get their message heard, the members of the march walked back to Spelman’s campus to the Reynolds Cottage, the President’s house on campus. Protestors, led by the assault victim Theo confronted school president Mary Schmidt Campbell, demanding to know what steps the college is taking. Here is her response:
After the President’s response, the march disbanded.