Danielle Powell lives in New Orleans, LA and is a pansexual woman. She attended Grace University beginning in 2007 after making the university volleyball team and receiving a significant financial aid package based on her academic record and financial need. Her sister lived in Omaha, NE, where Grace University is located, and she thought it would be nice to study where she’d be close to family.
During her senior year she developed feelings for her best friend, who was a woman, and she came out as pansexual, which was prohibited by the school’s honor code. Within 24 hours she was separated from her peers in her housing community, and throughout the judiciary board process was questioned about her faith, shamed in front of faculty and students, and prohibited from seeing her girlfriend alone. Ultimately, she was expelled in 2011, and the school demanded that she repay thousands of dollars in institutional scholarship funds.
“I am participating in this lawsuit to be sure that no student's education is compromised in
the way mine was,” Danielle said. “I have lost so much due to Grace University's actions. I lost respect, equal treatment, vocational opportunities, financial earnings, anonymity, etc. I do not want other students to have to face these same losses.”
Danielle is raising her voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Grace University and religiously affiliated colleges across the country.