Monday, April 07, 2014

Chevara's Letter Concering The Cyberbullying Of Aaron

Chevara 011 small[1].JPGTransGriot Note: Chevara Orrin's letter concerning the recent homophobic cyber-bullying of Aaron McCorkle.   She was the co-founder and former advisor to the WSSU Gay-Straight Student Alliance 

Good morning:

Please find attached the response from Aaron McCorkle regarding Brian "B-Daht" McLaughlin's apology and the cyber-bullying incident involving students at Winston-Salem State University. Although Mr. McLaughlin has attempted to distance himself from the entities and organizations that he represents, it is troubling that there have been several bias incidents across the nation during the past several years in which Entercom Communications radio personalities have made disparaging comments about the LGBT community.

As you know, in 2005 Gerry Callahan made insulting comments regarding the cast of
Queer Eye; in 2006 John DePetro made inflammatory comments about gubernatorial candidate Grace Ross and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority chairman Matthew J. Amorello; and in 2010, derogatory comments were made by Janet Snyder and Nicholas Picholas about transgender people.   

Although in all instances, Entercom executives declared the remarks unacceptable, I have been unable to locate information regarding Entercom's current EEO non-discrimination policy. Please send me the most recent statement.

You may be familiar with the work of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the excellent resources and training modules they offer that could be useful in creating better understanding of the LGBT community and promote a diverse and inclusive culture within your organization. The HRC Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

According to Entercom Greensboro EEO Annual Public File Report, training was provided in 2013 in the areas of EEO compliance/best practices and workforce diversity. It appears that Entercom recognizes the need for such training, but questions remain. Would you provide more details about the specifics of the training and outcomes? What metrics are currently being used to determine training effectiveness? How frequently is training provided? Are there specific non-discrimination guidelines for on-air personalities (on-air and within the broader community as representatives of the station)?

It is unacceptable for a media personality to make disparaging comments about any marginalized group of people and as such, we formally request an on-air apology and retraction from Brian B-Daht" McLaughlin. These statements are especially hateful since Entercom has already faced several similar incidents.

As the co-founder and former advisor to the Winston-Salem State University Gay-Straight Student Alliance, I am especially troubled as we worked diligently and intentionally during my tenure with WSSU to create a campus culture of understanding and collaboration, partnering with national organizations such as the White House Office of Public Engagement, Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and the National Black Justice Coalition.

As founder and co-creator of We Are Straight Allies, I have continued that work in Florida securing support from internationally renowned feminist icon and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Gloria Steinem, Florida Blue (formerly Blue Cross Blue Shield) CEO, Pat Geraghty, and Olympic gold medalist and civil rights attorney, Nancy Hogshead-Makar among others.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the role that Entercom might play in helping us create a more supportive and protective environment for LGBT students, faculty and staff at WSSU. We are planning a series of programs in partnership with the HRC, Pride Winston-Salem and Equality Winston-Salem, and would be most interested in your support and collaboration.

Warm regards,
Chevara Orrin
Chief Creative Catalyst
EQ3 Media
"Creative Campaigns for Social Evolution"

TransGriot Update: Here's the link to the petition calling on WSSU to add the gender identity and expression language to their non discrimination policy and institute mandatory campus wide Safe Zone training.

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