Students demand equality

DURHAM, N.C. — Earlier this year, LGBTQ students led the charge to demand justice for LGBTQ students at Duke Divinity School by interrupting Dean Elaine Heath’s State of the School Address.

The students presented an alternative vision for Duke Divinity, said a blog post to Making the House of Love, a group of LGBTQ students and allies who work toward a safer school.

“We’re tired of making the Divinity School’s image look good, while no one has cut us a check for advertisement. We’re tired of all of the marginalized identities publicized on the websites but minimized in the school hallways. We’re tired of our demands not being met,” the address stated.

In its demands it called for immediate and short- and long-term changes, including the addition of a “queer theology course” which the school’s administration pushed back against.

“We have been disrespected, mistreated, tokenized, marginalized, and ignored. We make up an integral part of this community, and yet our needs remain deliberately unheard. We are fed up, and we are demanding change,” the post continued.

Some of the demands were: faculty and staff allies listed on the OUTDuke website; implementation of a non-discrimination policy; mandatory gender and sexuality training for staff and faculty; need-based scholarships for queer or transgender female students of color in specific tracks; queer affirming spiritual formation leaders and spiritual formation retreats; and hiring of transgender staff and faculty.

The Independent Weekly reported that students complained that “the school advertises racial diversity and highlights its gay and queer students.” But Presbyterian minister Mary Fulkerson, theology professor and advisor to the campus group Sacred Worth which seeks to increase awareness of LGBTQ issues in the Methodist church, said that the course she teaches, Sexuality: Bible, Church and Controversy, is opaque and seeks to not offend Methodist students. The Methodist church does not ordain those who are gay and lesbian.

Student Nicole Williams described the school’s culture as one of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. “At times, Duke Divinity School can seem like this isolated place from the greater university,” The Independent Weekly added.

In contrast, the Wake Forest School of Divinity openly and completely supports its LGBTQ students, despite its ties to the Baptist church.


Biz network welcomes Stein

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh Business and Professional Network will hold its monthly meeting on April 11, 6 p.m., at 18 Seaboard Restaurant, 18 Seaboard Ave. #100.

Guest speaker will be North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

Attendees can enjoy a cocktail hour, cash bar and a buffet dinner.

Reservations are being taken online. For more information, email


Center celebrates anniversary

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s LGBTQ Center will celebrate its 15th anniversary on April 14, 10 a.m., at Weathervane Restaurant, 201 S. Estes Dr.

Participants will be able to enjoy a drag brunch, celebration and fundraiser.

Alumni, current students and friends are invited to attend.

Pre-registration is required and is available online at A suggested contribution of $20-$100 at the door or during the event from all but current students will be appreciated.

info: 919-843-5376.

Triangle welcomes ‘We Are 1’

DURHAM, N.C. — The We Are 1 Conference 2018 will be held from April 25-29 at the Hilton Durham, 3800 Hillsborough Rd.

The event is presented by the Infinity Diamond Club and it is celebrating the conference’s 10th anniversary.

The I Am empowerment conference includes receptions, seminars, services, PraiseFest, parties, vendor fair, pep rally and a formal gala and special events.

Early registration is now open online and goes through April 14 at $269/general and $199/seniors 65 plus. Tickets for other conference events can be purchased individually. For those who wish to do so, a “pay it forward” scholarship fund contribution option is available.

Imani Metropolitan Community Church will be part of the Praise Fest Choir at the Praise Fest Service with Bishop Yvette Flunder on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.


Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes:

Share your news with us

Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBTQ issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBTQ rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.