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Spelman Announces Queer Studies Chair Named for Audre Lorde

November 2019

Jon Stryker Audre Lorde GiftSpelman College is establishing an endowed chair in Queer Studies thanks to a $2 million matching gift from philanthropist Jon Stryker. The first-ever chair of its kind at a historically Black college or university, the position is named for the celebrated poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde. A fundraising campaign to raise the matching $2 million will be implemented for the position, which will be housed in Spelman’s Women’s Research and Resource Center.

Stryker selected Lorde as the chair’s namesake because of her groundbreaking and life-long commitment to civil rights and progressive social change. She had a strong connection to Spelman, speaking on campus on several occasions and donating her personal papers to the Spelman Archives in 1995. The College received a grant in 2009 from the Arcus Foundation, founded by Stryker, which opened Lorde’s papers to students and scholars.

“Spelman College has long been at the forefront of LGBTQ inclusion and education among HBCUs,” said Stryker. “By supporting this chair, the goal is to engage and empower the next generation of LGBTQ advocates to create a better world.”

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