Steven James // Staff Writer[dropcap]P[/dropcap]sychology junior Danielle Lane has been chosen to represent the Texas LGBTQ community at the Clinton Global Initiative University.
Lane and her partner, Kaytra Bowers, created the non-profit organization WomenRock to educate people about the LGBTQ community.
“Living in this state has opened our eyes to how LGBTQ members are treated and we saw an opportunity to change it,” Lane said.
CGI University will be hosted at Arizona State University from March 21 to 23 and will be presented by former US President Bill Clinton and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton. The student leaders who attend CGI University must address social issues in any of five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alienation and public health.
The American Association of University Women rewarded Lane and Bowers, with scholarships that are helping them pay for expenses for attending the event, including hotel and plane ticket costs. Lane attends UNT and Bowers currently attends North Lake Community College.
At the conference, Lane will meet political leaders and speakers from non-profit organizations, where she would like to network with people who can help her with her goals in helping the LGBTQ community in Texas. She and Bowers were chosen to attend after they submitted a Commitment to Action Plan to the university.
The main issue Lane is concerned with is LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence, or harm by a partner or spouse.
“When a member of this community is victimized, there are no specific safe havens that cater specifically to the needs of the victim,” she said. “When a homosexual person has been violated, we want to create a safe space where they can turn to for full support from a homosexual councilor who understand their situation.”
Biology professor Jamie Slye, who taught Lane in her biology class, has helped Lane with some of her local LGBTQ work.
“She’s a very smart and intelligent person, whether it’s working for the gay community or psychology stuff,” Slye said.
Slye is a supporter of LGBTQ rights.
“They are just a community facing those who don’t understand them, and who don’t want to understand them,” she said.
Biology senior Marisha Frazier, another advocator for LGBTQ rights, said even though there is some progress with society accepting their community, there is still more work to be done.
“UNT has a very accepting community,” Frazier said. “There are people working really hard to make us feel comfortable here.”
Frazier said raising awareness is the most important thing.
Lane and other advocators will host The LGBTQ Social on March 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Pride Alliance of UNT, which is in Sage 328. She encourages people to attend so that they can become more educated about the LGBTQ community.
Feature photo: Psychology junior Danielle Lane has been selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University in Arizona this weekend. She will address the lack of support for LGBTQ+ members in Texas. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer