Spelman College, a historically Black women’s institution, is revamping its admissions policy that will now allow transgender women access to education at their institution beginning in 2018.
In the wake of mounting hate crimes against transgender women, more specifically ones of color, 2017 has already been hit with 19 deaths in the transgender community due to violence, such as Ciara McElveen, a 26-year-old transgender woman of color who was stabbed to death in New Orleans back in February, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
The organization has traced at least nine murders of transgender people in Louisiana alone since 2013. The opening of doors at Spelman will not only provide a safe environment for transgender women but will also be a big leap toward social change.
In a statement released on Sept. 5, Mary Schmidt Campbell, the president of the Atlanta-based college, issued a letter to the school about their admissions and enrollment policy update.
“Like same-sex colleges all over the country, Spelman is taking into account evolving definitions of gender identity in a changing world and taking steps to ensure that our policies and plans reflect those changes in a manner that is consistent with our mission and the law,” Campbell said.
An image in part, of the new statement:
The four-year liberal arts school, which first opened its doors as a small school in April of 1881 before receiving its collegiate charter in 1924, has produced a plethora of high-achieving women.
Some notable women who have walked its corridors include Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, and Rosalind Brewer, the new chief operating officer of Starbucks who graduated in 1984.
Although admitting transgender women affirms Spelman’s “core mission” of developing high-potential female talent, the change in policy will not include men or men who self-identify. However, the school does allow transgender men to transition from female to male while still a student.