|In the spirit of MLK: JCSU senior leads as advisor to LGBT|
|Warren Radebe mentors on campus, beyond|
|Published Friday, January 15, 2016 9:49 am|
|Johnson C. Smith University senior Warren Radebe, a native of South Africa, is active in the LGBT community as an advisor for Sexuality Advocacy For Equality Pride.|
Warren Radebe is making a difference when it involves the LGBT community.
Radebe, a senior at Johnson C. Smith University, is the former vice president and current advisor for Sexuality Advocacy For Equality (SAFE) Pride.
"Our mission is to provide a use of associated programs for LGBT students, try to foster inclusion and diversity programming and influential campus policy in terms of diversity and inclusion," Radebe, 30, said.
Radebe, a political science major from South Africa, came to JCSU in 2012.
"I come from a family that is very traditional and has a strong belief that being gay is not African," he said. "When I came to the United States I came to a country that is open and welcoming. I have to thank JCSU for referring me to the counseling center that helped me out with the process of identifying myself and my sexual orientation."
Radebe has no shame in providing his sexual preference.
"I am a gay young man," Radebe said. "I'm very comfortable with who I am and I am an open gay."
When Radebe enrolled at JCSU, he noticed a lot of people were struggling with their identity just like him.
"I remember in 2012 I said to myself ‘there are a lot of young people that are struggling with this and I do associate with them especially because they are African Americans,’” Radebe said. "Because their families are so traditional they struggle with being their self. I believe that college is supposed to be a place where people grow up and learn and I wanted to inspire and be a contributing person, role or leader to them. That is when I said 'let me be a hero. Let me kickstart this program."
SAFE Pride, which has 400 members, was already on campus but Radebe wanted to leave his imprint. As vice president, his duties included organizing and outreach to international and disabled students. As an advisor, he mentors SAFE Pride leaders in fundraising, partnerships and organizing campus and community events.
"The program was already there but I wanted to contribute in changing it and mobilizing it on campus and creating partnerships with students, faculty and members of the community," he said. "That meant improving safe zones, advancing roles of staff members to recognize that they are to help us and understand that any student that is LGBT should not be discriminated due to his or her sexual orientation. He or she must be protected."
Because of Radebe's experience, JCSU has put him in leadership roles to represent students.
"I am now involved in a program that will involve students in HIV and drug use awareness from the recent funding that the school has received," he said.
Radebe is proud of SAFE Pride and believes they have come a long way.
"Our organization is big on campus and is respected as students have welcomed it," he said. "We are very close and when we say we want to be a part of any campus event we get to be because our school supports us and our students support us."
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