Elon’s Spirit and Pride initiative featured by Interfaith Youth Core

Spirit and Pride is an innovative multifaith program that supports the spiritual lives of LGBTQIA+ students.

Interfaith Youth Core’s Interfaith America published a feature on Elon’s Spirit and Pride Initiative Affirms Queer and Spiritual Identities. Launched in 2019, Spirit and Pride is an innovative partnership between the Gender and LGBTQIA Center (GLC) and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Spirit and Pride intern Maria Guadarrama Hernandez ’24

The article from the national nonprofit highlights the work of the Spirit and Pride student interns who work with staff advisors to create programs and resources to affirm and support the spiritual lives (both religious and nonreligious) of LGBTQIA+ students. Last year, this included Instagram campaigns to educate about religious trauma and Queer spiritual leaders, the “Queer and Divine” student podcast and hosting Blair Imani as the keynote at Elon’s Ripple Interfaith Conference.

This fall, the “Queer and Divine” returns with more stories exploring the intersections of spirituality, sexuality and gender, and Elon University will launch the Spirit and Pride speaker series with Transqueer activist and theologian Robyn Henderson Espinoza on Nov. 10.

Current Spirit and Pride student interns include Hayley Loftus ’23, Lily Kays ’23, Virginia Beall ’23 and Maria Guadarrama Hernandez ’24.

Spirit and Pride is advised by Director of the GLC Luis Garay, Associate University Chaplain Joel Harter and LEAF Campus Minister and Spirit and Pride Coordinator Julie Tonnesen. Spirit and Pride is supported by a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.