Students Host First Queer Solidarity Brunch at Morehouse College

Students Host First Queer Solidarity Brunch at Morehouse College

MC Safe Space Welcomes the Freshmen Class with Brunch
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On August 20, 2016 in the African American Hall of Fame, Morehouse College Safe Space organized and made history with the very first Queer Solidarity Brunch and the launch of ADODI Scholarship at Morehouse College. As the only gender/sexuality diverse collective at Morehouse, MC Safe Space executive board wanted to make sure their brothers, 'bristas,' and sisters were affirmed and represented holistically in a safe space that proactively their individuality and identity.

Students from the Atlanta University Center, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and other Atlanta colleges were all in attendance. For many years, Queer, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Gender nonconforming and Transgender students of color have been pushed to the margins when entering and returning to their respective institutions of higher learning, many of these negative factors have historically tried to erase and marginalize LGBTQ students of color.



The Queer Solidarity Brunch and the launch of the ADODI Scholarship were a seminal clap-back to the heteropatriarchy that has worked; serving as a statement of solidarity from the Safe Space Executive Board and General Body Members to the incoming First year Class of 2020. MC Safe Space’s Adodi Scholarship fund is aimed at supporting and amplifying the radical scholarship of college students in the Atlanta area who identify as queer, bisexual, transgender, gay, Lesbian and gender non-conforming.

In addition to Safe Space members and the incoming Freshmen class, a wealth of community sponsors for the event were also in attendance at the brunch, noting The Gentlemen’s Foundation as a platinum sponsor for the Adodi Scholarship. The additional sponsorships from community partners such as NAESM (Gold Sponsor), AID Atlanta (Bronze Sponsor), The Counter Narrative Project( Silver Sponsor), and Lambda Legal (Bronze Sponsor), helped foster an environment that promoted education on external resources for LGBTQ college students and youth in the Atlanta area.

In a riveting opening statement by Morehouse Safe Space’s President Ramon Johnson, who delivered a thorough reflection on the founding and mission of Safe Space, noting an administration in the sesquicentennial year of Morehouse College’s founding. Johnson delivers the inspiration of the Queer Solidarity Brunch, reaffirming the groundwork that Safe Space has continued to lead in liberating identity.

“When you show up in a space that was historically built to affirm your blackness but fails to affirm your other identities, you must make space. In many cases, historically black institutions struggle to grapple with queerness. It’s as if our historically black institutions have forgotten how “queer” it was and still is for us black folks to obtain an education in a white supremacist and heteropatriarchal society.



Making space for queer identities to flourish on these sacred campuses has been a slow and tough process. There are many narratives both told and untold regarding the traumas experienced by queer folks in educational institutions. Unfortunately, there are not enough images and narratives detailing the resistance to the dominant culture and institutional accountability that queer students and activists have done. Narratives that show the resilience queer people of color possess on these campuses. We have always existed on these campuses.

Dominant culture has tried to erase our work and our stories but we must leading this movement. I want to see more images of care free queer and trans people of color making strides to build resource centers, improving campus policies, and making curriculums more progressive. We must answer the call of our beloved ancestors : Keiron Williams, Essex Hemphill, and Marlon Riggs by picking up their tools to dismantle the walls that continue to divide and oppress us.

It is also important for administration and employees of the college to be about the business of doing this work. Queer student activists are students first and we must maintain a balance. Too often, we get so involved in campus affairs that we end up doing the work administration, faculty, and staff are supposed to be doing. Sometimes members of administration turn around and try to take credit for the fruits of our labor… our FREE labor.

Before embarking on my journey at Morehouse, I never thought I would be doing the work I do now. I never thought I would be in a place of self-love and acceptance of who I am. Safe Space helped me get to that place of healing and has helped many of us current students and alumni since its inception. Learning to love yourself while dominant culture tells you otherwise is hard work but it is necessary. Loving the body, you have, and owning all of your identities is resistance. Resistance helps to unlearn the ways in which we are taught to be afraid of each other, not trust each other, to be ashamed of our desires, and to dislike ourselves.

Expanding room for others helps us to achieve the collective liberation of our people. It allows us to have an affirming “safe space” for our beloved brothers, bristas, and sisters.”



Alongside the Adodi Scholarship fund, Safe Space PR Manager, Kylan Kester, announced a call to fund the future initiatives of the organization, acknowledging upcoming plans for the return of Morehouse Pride Week, an event that garnered Safe Space a 2016 Georgia Voice Best of Atlanta nomination in the “LGBT Event of the Year category.” Safe Space also announced a vision for Morehouse Pride Week that will take the event to an entire new level of art and activism, emphasizing the importance of additional support from the community to bring this vision to life.

At the brunch, Morehouse Safe Space also discussed their collaboration with the Bayard Rustin Scholar program in the upcoming 2016-2017 academic year. With plans to revitalize the activism and community engagement component of the program, Morehouse Safe Space announced an additional objective of developing the Bayard Rustin portrait fund at Morehouse, a fund initiated to create a portrait in honor of the late Bayard Rustin; a civil rights leader and organizer whose narrative was silenced amongst the prevalent homophobia and heteronormativity found in the spaces that MC Safe Space continues to challenge and deconstruct.

Morehouse Safe Space took out time to acknowledge their community sponsors, all of whom are valuable resources to the LGBT community, which included The Gentlemen’s Foundation, NAESM, AID Atlanta, The Counter Narrative Project and Lambda Legal.

Following Morehouse Safe Space member Edrion Williams’ riveting performance of “For My Own Protection” by Essex Hemphill, the audience also welcomed the keynote speaker, Toni- Michelle Williams. Toni - Michelle Williams is a phenomenal Trans-Activist of color who serves as the Leadership Development and Program Coordinator of the Solutions Not Punishment (SNAP) Coalition. In a powerful address, Williams delivered a message to the incoming class on the pertinent value of loving oneself in a world where our bodies are continuously devalued and dehumanized. Having Toni Michelle Williams serve as the first keynote speaker of Safe Space’s Queer Solidarity Brunch was amazing. Too often, we as cisgender men forget to affirm and advocate for the lives and rights of various Black femmes, transwomen, and Gender non-conforming folks who experience violence everyday.

Having Toni Michelle Williams deliver the keynote address also served as a perfect segway to address the ways in which many institutions like Morehouse struggle with gender, and gender identity. In an effort to combat heteropatriarchy and mens violence against women, black femmes, queer, and transgender people of color.

Safe Space will be starting a petition and continue organizing to enhance the number of tangible resources available to LGBTQ students.

The Queer Solidarity Brunch, which was a preeminent success for Morehouse Safe Space, was only one of many events that the organization looks forward to executing for the academic year. With a number of upcoming events and community engagements, MC Safe Space looks forward to reclaiming and amplifying the narratives of Black and Queer millennials to liberate identity.

Interested in knowing what else Morehouse Safe Space has in store? Follow the organization on social media and make your interest known at the first general body meeting on September 1, 2016 at Morehouse College.

Cover Image Credit: @jayrayisthename

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

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10 Ways To Start Your Days Off Right By Bringing A Little Joy And Positivity Into Your Morning

"Listen to the birds sign a sweet morning song."

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I'll be the first to admit, I'm not exactly what you would call a "morning person." That being said, I think it's high time I bring some joy into my mornings. I mean, life is beautiful, and by not enjoying mornings, I think I'm missing out on a potentially enjoyable part of life.

So if you want to start enjoying your mornings like me, here are ten things you might want to try doing to start your days off right.

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2. Drink a fresh cup of coffee (or tea).

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3. Smile when you wake up.

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Start your morning with a good old-fashioned smile. Look in the mirror, look at how wonderfully made you are, and take a moment to smile and take that in.

4. Try to stay off of social media when you first wake up.

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I know, it’s all too easy to become glued to your phone these days, BUT I think that’s a few moments of time away from it, and away from social media, can be a good way to stay positive in the mornings.

5. Journal your thoughts going into the day.

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Take a pen, pencil, and a piece of paper, and take a moment to write down your thoughts, feelings, emotions, or anything else on your mind going into a new day.

6. Put on clothes that make you feel happy.

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Put on whatever outfit makes you happy, whether that’s a cute sweater or a t-shirt. Wear something that makes you feel good.

7. Watch the sunrise.

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OK, so I know you might not be able to do this every morning, but I think that watching the sunrise is the perfect way to start any day. What could be better than taking in all of these wonderful creations?

8. If you can, sit outside and enjoy our planet.

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On that note, take some time to sit outside and enjoy the early morning and the world around you. Start your morning off with some time to really just sit back and take it all in.

9. Spend some time reading something you enjoy.

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Grab a good book, a magazine, or whatever it is you might like to read. Take some time to clear your mind, and then fill it with lots of good writing.

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Hopefully you can try one of these tactics to brighten up your morning, and in turn, maybe even brighten up your whole day. We live in a wonderful world, and I think that it's time we start to recognize that.

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