Make Duke Divinity School a hospitable place for LGBTQIA+ students of color

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We are Duke Divinity students. We are demanding an affirming environment for black trans women, black gender-nonconforming folks, and black queer women, knowing that our liberation is bound up in theirs. In this, we know that our classmates who are trans women, black and brown queer femme and women, and other marginalized folks under the umbrella of LGBTQIA+ at this school must always be at the forefront of our work and as such, we take their needs seriously.

On February 28, we protested at the Dean's State of the School Address to present a "State of the School Address according to LGBTQIA+ students." There, a group of LGBTQIA+ students and allies stood together to testify to the brutality enacted on our LGBTQIA+ siblings and colleagues at this school. We also presented clear demands that will begin the process of making DDS a place where all are truly welcome. (You can view a video of this action above.)

At the core of our politics are the following demands:

1.  The beginning of the hiring process to appoint a black trans woman or gender non-conforming theologian

2.  The beginning of the hiring process to appoint a tenure-track trans woman theologian

3.  The beginning of the hiring process to appoint a tenure-track queer theologian of color, preferably a black or indigenous person, who will specifically teach queer theology courses

We want to see systemic change and explicit support for students of color and LGBTQIA+ students. We want a specific, detailed, and measurable action plan from the Dean’s office outlining how and when each demand will be met.

We've had a number of people express encouragement since the action we took last week, and now are looking for people to publicly show their support by signing this petition. Signing is an indication that you affirm the above statement and the list of demands that guide our initiative. When you sign, please indicate your affiliation to Duke Divinity School (student, faculty, alumni, supporter, etc). Your signature will help afford our movement more credibility and urgency in the eyes of the administration, so we can start to see changes really happen. Thank you for your support! 

In love,

LGBTQIA+ Divinity School students and allies