Flint Native Who Found Acceptance in Ann Arbor Just Created a $1 Million ‘Coming Out Fund’ for U of M Students

Howard Bragman made the massive donation to the university’s LGBTQ+ resource center

By |2021-09-15T12:12:03-04:00September 15th, 2021|Michigan, News|

Public relations guru and crisis manager Howard Bragman, a Flint native and University of Michigan graduate, has created a $1 million endowment to his alma mater’s LGBTQ+ resource center.

“I don’t care how liberal the school is,” Bragman told The University Record. “I don’t care how accepting and loving your parents are. I don’t care how ‘woke’ the times are. Coming out is [the] most personal of journeys, and it’s a challenging journey.”

The Spectrum Center, known as the nation’s first LGBTQ+ resource center ever on a college campus, turns 50 this year. And now, the Howard Bragman Coming Out Fund will be used to provide emergency support and financial assistance to students who need mental or physical health services, short or long-term housing, or who need help with transportation and tuition.

“It’s so important for students to know they are not alone and that the Spectrum Center is there for them,” he continued. “I want to assure that other people get that same access that I had: life-changing, life-saving access.”

Bragman moved out of Michigan after graduating from U-M in 1978 and held prominent public relations positions in Chicago and Los Angeles. Currently, he owns and operates La Brea Media in L.A. But Bragman never forgot the acceptance he first found in Ann Arbor.

“It’s important to understand that the Spectrum Center has endured [and] that’s huge,” he said. “It was founded only two years after Stonewall, which we look at as the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. So, the center is not a flash in the pan, but something venerable that’s been on campus for a long time and is going to be on campus as a permanent fixture, like the pillars outside Angell Hall.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.