Psychology student is first from WSSU to attend HRC HBCU summit
Ericka Hurt recently became the first Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) student to participate in the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) annual HBCU Leadership Summit.
Hurt, a senior psychology major from Charlotte, developed her leadership skills in areas of self-awareness, awareness of others, courageous actions and collaboration to advocate for LGBTQ equality and other social justice issues while attending the five-day summit, which was held in Washington, D.C.
Hurt was one of 49 students from 33 HBCUs selected to attend. She said she decided to apply for the summit after reading articles about the LGBTQ+ community in a contemporary issues class.
“I wanted to learn how I could help make an impact on my campus for the LGBTQ+ community and be a role model for future students,” she said. “I found it interesting that the majority of us faced similar issues regardless of the size of the campus or state. We all understood that this summit was not about us but for the individuals back on our campuses who needs us to be their voice.”
After she earns her bachelor’s degree from WSSU, Hurt said she plans to pursue a Master of Social Work and to earn her clinical license. She also wants to be certified in play therapy, to encourage students to express themselves in non-traditional ways as if they are in a play.
Hurt lost her mother to cancer at age 8. She says play therapy was extremely helpful for her and her family.
According to HRC, the program mobilizes and supports HBCUs in enhancing policies and services that promote excellence in LGBTQ inclusion, equity and engagement.
About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.