Black Student Association, Gay-Straight Alliance to discuss civil rights

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    Two organizations will partner to discuss controversies that have arisen during the fight for civil rights, the president of the Black Student Association said.

    Olivia Stribling, BSA president, said her organization chose to partner with the university’s Gay-Straight Alliance for the topic discussion, titled Proud vs. Pride.

    “It is a discussion about the historic civil rights movements and the current gay rights movement and whether or not they are comparable,” Stribling wrote in an e-mail.

    President of the Gay-Straight Alliance, Juan Martinez, said the GSA planned to analyze the clash that has been created between groups that fight for civil rights.

    Professor of social work Linda Moore said historically there has been a clash among the black and gay communities. One aspect that has created a wedge between the two groups has been the black community’s lack of acceptance of the lifestyle of the gay community based on religious reasons.

    Stribling wrote that a subtopic of tonight’s discussion will be that exact issue.

    Martinez said, “We as GLBTQ [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning culture] members do not see it as a clash.”

    Controversy has developed, however, about whether the two groups have a difference in power or a difference in importance, Martinez said.

    “[GSA members] are just trying to figure out where those conflicts started and how we can mend them,” Martinez said.

    Moore said that awareness and education are needed to build the connections between cultural communities. One way for this to be obtained is through discussion.

    “I think this is always an issue when you have cross-cultural communication, because that’s what helps people learn about each other,” Moore said.

    Stribling said in order to put forth a productive discussion, they have arranged for Student Organizations Director Jared Cobb to be the moderator.

    Both groups have dealt with civil rights and whether they have been treated equally compared to other community groups will be discussed as well, she said.

    “I can’t think of any other organization who would be more qualified to talk about this topic with,” Stribling said.

    Martinez said this is the first event these two organizations have put on together but they have supported each other in past events.

    “[GSA members] hope to do similar events like this in the future, especially with other groups on campus.”

    Proud vs. Pride

    When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

    Where: Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium