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Author of ‘Gay on God’s Campus: Mobilizing for LGBT Equality at Christian Colleges and Universities’ to speak at VCU

Jonathan Coley, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University, will speak about his book on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 250 of James Branch Cabell Library, 901 Park Ave.
Jonathan Coley alongside the book cover for

According to the book’s publisher, the University of North Carolina Press, “Gay on God’s Campus” documents why and how student activists mobilize for greater inclusion at Christian colleges and universities. It draws on interviews with student activists at Christian higher education institutions, and finds that students, initially drawn to activism because of their own political, religious or LGBT identities, are forming direct action groups that transform university policies, educational groups that open up campus dialogue, and solidarity groups that facilitate their members’ personal growth.

Coley’s talk at VCU will be free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Alpha Kappa Delta, the VCU chapter of the International Sociology Honor Society, and organized by Ying-Chao Kao, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

The event comes amid a growing climate of diversity at VCU and in Virginia, Kao said, noting that the General Assembly voted earlier this month to ban LGBT discrimination and provide protections for LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations. At VCU, the College of Humanities and Sciences recently hired several scholars specializing in LGBTQ+ studies, and the university launched a minor in LGBT+ and queer studies in the fall.

“VCU is a nationally leading institute of higher education with a ‘Big Idea’ vision on LGBT+ and queer studies,” Kao said. “VCU is proud of producing research and teaching about LGBTQ+ studies by 14-plus faculty and staff specialized in multiple disciplines. VCU also generated a minor program of LGBT+ and queer studies in 2019 and has been supporting LGBTQ-related student activities, research work and community engagement with numerous centers, programs and student groups.”

For more information about the event, please contact Kao at yckao@vcu.edu.

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