Students get on the bus for LGBT rights

September 6, 2011 5:41 AM

Benton Oliver

The bright blue and yellow Human Rights Campaign bus parked on Drill Field Road on Sept. 1 and 2 brought a message of equality and fairness to the Tulane uptown campus. The bus carried HRC staff members spreading awareness and promoting support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.


The Human Rights Campaign makes Tulane its only Louisiana stop on a bus tour promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Students interact with HRC staffers as they check out the exhibit in the LBC. (Photo by Claire Barry)

The campaign visit at Tulane was the only Louisiana stop in a 12-week, cross-country tour for the Human Rights Campaign, an organization “dedicated to bringing visibility to issues facing the LGBT community and promoting equality and fairness for all people,” said Charlie Joughin, the campaign’s national communications representative.

“We reach out to anybody and everybody, try to engage as many people as possible with a message of acceptance,” Joughin said. “There are no laws protecting the employment of LGBT people in most of the states we are visiting and not many people know that. Awareness is one of our main goals.”

The campaign exhibit in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life drew interested students like law student Emilee Soto, who has been a member of the HRC for more than two years. Soto said,  “I’m from Denver and the HRC is very visible there. They do a lot with Denver Pride and there are many other HRC-sponsored events, plus they send people out to talk to the public.”

Casey Walbom also viewed the “interesting and informative” exhibit. She said, “We were given a consumer guide about which companies have broad-based employment protection for LGBT [rights] so that we can support those companies.”

Carolyn Barber-Pierre, assistant vice president for student affairs and intercultural life at Tulane, said, “We hope the exhibit heightens people’s awareness of ways to improve the lives of the Tulane LGBT community members and Americans at large by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring LGBT families are treated equally under the law.” Barber-Pierre directs the Tulane Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Benton Oliver is a first-year student majoring in communication.


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000