Hampton University brings more diversity to its campus as it welcomes its first LGBTQ organization.

On February 4, 2016, the students at Hampton University heard that the first LGBTQ organization had been approved by administration. It’s called Mosaic, which is an acronym for “Motivating Open-Minded Social Acceptance and Inspiring Change.” This group will be a safe space for queer Hampton University students and allies to come together and promote acceptance, tolerance, and awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The founder of Mosaic, Elijah Levon, was an active advocate for LGBTQ organizations during his time at Hampton University. Even though he graduated, he did speak on the joy of the official approval.

“I am both elated and relieved to hear the notice of our approval. The process for LGBT recognition and inclusion has not only been a struggle for HBCU’s but in the black community as a whole. Hopefully now more young black men and women will feel more comfortable to apply and attend HBCU’s that have embraced the concept of inclusion and equity. I am proud to say that I am a Hampton man.”

As far as HBCUs are concerned, this is a major step towards inclusion and diversity. For many schools, HBCUs lack in diversity due to the nature of their founding; in recent years, the Black experience has been challenged as it has always been represented stereotypically.

The Black experience is not a singular narrative, and the announcement that Hampton University has established its first LGBTQ organization is a large step in proving the complexities of African-American identity.

Currently, Mosaic has more than 70 active members, led by an executive board of allies and queer Hampton University students. The members are excited to become active on campus and in their local community. They are planning to actively participate in community service in order to make the world a better place.