Equality Ride to Visit Columbia International University

Young Adults Tour Christian Colleges to Advocate Safety and Inclusion for All Students

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ADVISORY: October 1, 2008
For Immediate Release

Contact: Caitlin MacIntyre, 
Equality Ride Media Director
Cell: 612-715-6138 Email: caitlin@equalityride.com
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What: On October 6, the Soulforce Equality Ride, a youth-organized bus tour to faith-based colleges, will bring a message of safety and fairness to Columbia International University. Equality Riders will meet with college administrators and a small group of students off-campus and hold a vigil adjacent to campus. At the vigil, the Equality Riders will be joined by students from the University of South Carolina and local residents.

"We are happy to meet with a small group of administrators and students off campus, but we have emails from more students who are eager to talk to Equality Riders," said Katie Higgins. "We hope that Columbia International will decide to allow our discussion about faith and fairness to continue on campus."

Why: More than 200 U.S. colleges and universities have explicit policies that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. The Columbia International student handbook states that "homosexual behavior" is "to be avoided by members of the University community."

When: Monday, October 6, 2008 at 10:00 am

Where: 7435 Monticello Rd., Columbia, SC

Who: The 18 to 26-year-old Equality Riders are members of Soulforce Q, the young adult division of Soulforce, a national social justice organization.

Since 2006, the Equality Ride has visited 50 schools, hosting public forums, participating in panel discussions, and taking part in worship services and Bible studies. The goal is to inspire further conversation and to empower students, faculty, and administrators to make their school welcoming to all students.

The organizers of the Equality Ride write to college administrators months in advance and invite them to work together to design programming that examines diverse points of view — including points of view that affirm gay and transgender students.

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Soulforce Q is the young adult division of Soulforce, a social justice organization that works to end political and religious oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information, go to www.equalityride.com.

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