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Apr 2016

Standing with Duke Fuqua and UNC Kenan-Flagler Against HB2

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Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua's 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua’s 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

We at Reaching Out MBA want to express our support and solidarity for our schools in North Carolina  in the wake of the passage of House Bill 2. We know that the passage of HB2 is damaging, but we want to stand in strength with our students, leaders, and clubs at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 "Ask A Queer" event.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 “Ask A Queer” event.

Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club have each spoken out against the anti-LGBT legislation, noting that #WeAreBetterThanThis. We know, and our students know, that laws like this are not what North Carolina is about. Below are the public statements from Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club.


Statement from FuquaPride and its Allies at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business:

FuquaPride, the Duke MBA LGBT network, in conjunction with Fuqua’s student government, the MBA Association, as well with our allies in the MBA Association of Women in Business and the Black and Latino MBA Association, is deeply troubled by North Carolina’s regressive HB2 law. Today, we publicly reconfirm our commitment to growing and maintaining the Fuqua value of Collective Diversity that keeps “Team Fuqua” special and a transformative experience for its members. The installation of a gender neutral bathroom, the success of all FuquaPride events (including the sold-out annual drag show), and the prioritizing of LGBT admissions efforts are proof to the inclusive and thriving environment for LGBT students at Fuqua and of our school’s support. This law will not change that.

We can’t change this legislation tomorrow, but we do have the power – through our hearts and our actions – to send a signal today to North Carolina that as members of Team Fuqua and other leading MBA programs #WeAreBetterThanThis.


As student representatives at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we condemn the actions taken by the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory to pass House Bill 2 into law. HB2 intentionally excludes the LGBT community and veterans from statewide anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation, and prohibits and nullifies any local law or ordinance that provides such protections. Passing this law egregiously erodes civil rights protections, endangers some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and harms the reputations and cohesion of our state, local governments, and valued institutions.

The proponents of this bill invented a moral panic out of whole cloth, depicting transgender individuals as predators intent on accessing bathrooms to assault women and children. Not only is there no record of any such thing ever occurring, but transgender people are often put in serious danger when forced to use facilities conflicting with their gender identity.

We applaud the major employers in our state that have staked out clear positions against HB2. However, we have severe concerns that the law will make it impossible for our top-ranked school to continue attracting the best students, faculty, and staff. HB2 is rapidly wearing away our state’s global reputation as a beacon of growth and innovation. As a public institution of North Carolina, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s reputation will likewise suffer among prospective students, the companies that recruit our graduates, and the international business community.

Our leaders’ actions place North Carolina wholly on the wrong side of history. We choose to stand by the core values of our school: excellence, leadership, integrity, community, and teamwork, and so we implore the General Assembly and Governor McCrory to reconvene and cooperate to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination act that respects, values, and protects all of North Carolina and our people.

Susan Lawrence Hedglin, President of the MBA Student Association

Jonathan Aronoff, Vice President for Diversity

on behalf of:

MBA Student Association Executive Council

Association of Minority Business Students

MBA@UNC LGBTQ Interest Group

Pride Club

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Mar 2016

NCAA, It’s Time to #GiveBackIX

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Reaching Out is proud to join a coalition of over 70 LGBTQ, sports, religious, and youth advocacy groups calling on the NCAA to divest from all religious-based institutions who have made Title IX requests to discriminate against LGBTQ youth. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education decided to include protection for transgender students under Title IX, triggering these religious exemption requests from 59 NCAA member institutions on Campus Pride’s #ShameList.

We stand with Campus Pride reminding the NCAA of its core values of integrity, inclusive culture, and sportsmanship. The NCAA should continue its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion of all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Transgender people already face systemic discrimination and disproportionate rates of poverty, suicide, and murder. Schools that are affiliated with the NCAA should be dedicated to fostering a campus that allows all students to flourish both academically and in co-curricular activities such as athletics.

Along with Campus Pride and the other signatories on the letter to the NCAA President, NCAA Executive Team, and NCAA Board of Governors, Reaching Out is committed to the students at all of our LGBT Club Affiliate schools, and we hope to see movement from the NCAA on this matter soon. It’s time to #GiveBackIX.


Mar 2016

Class of 2017 Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows Retreat Recap

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Reaching Out had the pleasure of spending last weekend in the City by the Bay with 22 of our incredible LGBT MBA Fellows, each of whom is a business student in this scholarship & leadership development program.

Representing 17 top MBA programs from across the United States and Canada, these Fellows brought their enthusiasm for business and LGBTQ leadership to San Francisco for a weekend retreat filled with learning, professional development, and bonding.

Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), spoke about her 20-year career working for equal civil rights for LGBT people. In conversation with ROMBA’s Executive Director Matt Kidd, Kate spoke frankly about the triumphs and setbacks she’s seen from the passage of California’s Proposition 8 to nationwide marriage equality and more. “Be more ferocious than you think you are,” Kate challenged the group. From her, the Fellows got the chance to think about the kind of leaders they can become.

After Kate, the Fellows learned about “Leading Out Loud” from Stanford Graduate School of Business Lecturer J.D. Schramm. J.D. spoke to the Fellows and encouraged them to find an authentic communication platform to share their their LGBTQ identities. As J.D. instructed them to engage levers, explore actions, and embrace their communication tools, each Fellow got strategic guidance on how they share stories. From Kate and J.D.’s lessons, our Fellows came together as a cohort, learning from and with each other.

But the weekend wasn’t all work, no play. In the afternoon, we set out to the Castro to learn about San Francisco’s storied LGBTQ history from Kathy Amendola at Cruisin’ the Castro Walking Tours. As we trekked through Harvey Milk’s old stomping grounds under a 20’ x 30’ rainbow flag, we listened to tales of triumph and sorrow that deepened our understanding of what it meant to be LGBTQ in the past, and how our community’s past can inform its future. From Pink Triangle Park to Twin Peaks — the first gay bar in the country to have windows after homosexuality was decriminalized — we learned about the Castro’s legacy.

People describe San Francisco as a foodie’s paradise, and our Fellows got to experience this first-hand. We ate at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar on Friday, a truly one-of-a-kind tiki restaurant serving Asian cuisine and tropical drinks. On Saturday, we went to the movies…for dinner at Foreign Cinema. We feasted on food surrounded by the sights and sounds of film — a particularly fitting dinner the night before the Academy Awards. All in all, the Fellows came to San Francisco as individuals, but left as peers, colleagues, and friends. Reaching Out MBA’s Class of 2017 Fellows are an impressive cohort. We know that we’ll see more great things from them soon.

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