Tennessee State University Receives Grant To Advance Inclusion For LBGT Community


HRC Foundation and Promised Land Film are pleased to announce that they have awarded $4,000 grants to four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The grant will allow institutions to use the award-winning documentaryThe New Black, as a tool to advance on-campus LGBT inclusion.

“Engaging in meaningful dialogue at HBCUs is an important tool in helping develop a cadre of empowered student leaders with an intersectional understanding of justice,” said HRC Foundation’s Youth and Campus Engagement Manager Samantha Master.

The effort is made possible through a partnership between HRC Foundation’s HBCU Project and Promised Land Film. The grants will be awarded to Alabama State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Spelman College, and Tennessee State University.

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TSU Alum Melorra Green Named New Curator of SOSMARTS

SOMArts is pleased to announce a new addition to our staff, Melorra Green, Curator for Inquiry and Impact. Melorra is a curator whose bold vision is deeply rooted in experience building community, supporting risk, and inspiring social change and cultural learning through art. She will help SOMArts develop, produce, and present new work in the visual, performing, literary, and interdisciplinary arts, and serve Bay Area citizens through curatorial residencies, productions, education and incubation.

Melorra Green, M.A.Edm is a curator, artist, radio show host, and community activist. She is a native of Memphis, TN and has called San Francisco home for 14 years. A graduate of Tennessee State University in Nashville, the Academy of Art University where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Motion Pictures & Television, and the University of Phoenix where she received a Masters of Arts in Education. .

If you would like to welcome or connect with Melorra, she can be reached at melorra@somarts.org.

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FAMU Rejected TSU Offers For Band Travel

As the back the forth continues between FAMU and TSU, we learn more about previous deals that were rejected. 

“We extended two offers to you to assist with FAMU band travel. These were: (1) TSU would pay the $60,000 cost for the FAMU band to travel to TSU this year, and FAMU would, in return, pay the same amount for the TSU band to travel to FAMU next year; or (2) TSU would extend a loan to FAMU in the amount of $30,000 to be paid back over the course of the 2014-2015 academic year.

“You declined both offers. Instead, you made an absolutely one-sided offer and stated that FAMU could not afford to come to TSU, and that TSU had to pay all expenses for FAMU to travel to Nashville this year. You further stated that even if TSU paid the expenses this year, FAMU could not reciprocate and pay for TSU to travel to Tallahassee next year.”

Next year’s game will be the last in a four-game contract between the two programs, whose longtime rivalry began in 1944.

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George Barrett, Geier Consent Decree Attorney Passes



George Barrett grew up in east Nashville and was a member of Vanderbilt's legendary law class of 1957 that produced some of the city's greatest legal achievers.

Photo Credit from Channel 4 News

George Barrett, a longtime Tennessee civil rights lawyer known for handling a case that ultimately desegregated the state’s public colleges and universities, has died. He was 86.

Barrett died Tuesday at a hospital, several partners of his Nashville-based law firm told The Associated Press.

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Barrett also represented corporate whistleblowers, fought for labor rights and tackled securities fraud, his partners said.

He is perhaps best known as the attorney who filed a lawsuit in 1968 for then-Tennessee State University instructor Rita Geier, who accused the state of operating a dual system of higher education for minorities.

Geier, then 23, filed the lawsuit over the University of Tennessee’s plans to develop a Nashville campus. She feared it would become a predominantly white school and that historically black Tennessee State would suffer. The case dragged on for 38 years, and the state ultimately agreed to provide millions of dollars to diversify public colleges and universities.


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Pay For The FAMU 100 Marching Band?


One of the best HBCU rivalries just hit a bump in the road. FAMU is requesting that TSU helps offset some of their band’s costs. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, President Magnum “vehemently told the 220 Quarterback Club that she wants a share of the revenues from the game for the band to show up. She said she’s unsuccessfully tried for about three weeks to negotiate her demand, estimating that TSU will make about $80,000 from the game.”