Monthly Archives: September 2014

COMMUNITY DIALOGUES: LGBTQ CAMPUS CLIMATE

“Change Starts and ends with us”

                                              ~Dana L. Stringer

 

Sometimes we can walk across our campuses, taking in all of the familiar sights and sounds of college in the fall; football, fraternity and sorority rush, watching freshmen get lost on their way to class.  All of this and more makes for a wonderful collegiate experience.  Unfortunately, for some, navigating the daily life of college has to be strategic, and sometimes covert.  The challenges facing today’s college campuses as it applies to students who identify as gay and lesbian are not new.  Issues centered on homophobia, heterosexism, identity, and campus safety continue to need to be discussed, addressed, and placed on the front burner for resolution.

Our conversation is guided by the words and wisdom of some impressive contemporary voices.

Managing Editor of the Advocate.com, Michelle Garcia helps to set the tone for how we should engage with one another.

Garcia

Kevin Powell, activist, writer, and president of @BKNationOrg, expresses the sentiment that we all have the duty to embrace and engage with people of all backgrounds.

Kevin

Students, faculty, families, and allies are challenged to be both brave and open, in order to grapple what needs to be done to create and maintain an environment that is welcoming, inclusive.  We all must be willing to seek to understand the differences present on our campuses.

Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN (Gay and Lesbian and Straight Education Network) encourages the Bluefield State College community for taking the steps to broaden our collective knowledge through discussions of this type.

Eliza

In achieving the vision of a diverse community at Bluefield State College it is necessary to examine, recognize, and support the different groups and cultures that make our campus so rich and unique. Understanding and embracing our differences will lead to a more effective, safe, and engaging college experience for all students.  The benefits gained from appreciating a wider range of perspectives, opinions and experiences will better position students to navigate and succeed in the contemporary multicultural workplace.

Talk show host & blogger of The Tatum Talks, Tanya Tatum, reminds us to keep in mind that all of our perspectives are valuable and should be treated as such.

Tatum

In this community dialogue we will gain a better understanding of the impact of LGBTQ campus climate, learn to recognize the presence of homophobia and heterosexism, and how to take action to create an inclusive environment.

Mr. Kevin McDonald, Vice President and Associate Provost for at the Rochester Institute of Technology, shares his thoughts on the importance and impact the diverse campus has; not only for the student but for society as a whole.

Writer, playwright, poet, and screenwriter, Dana L. Stringer, charges us to come together and have a community dialogue.

dana3

How can we achieve this?  That’s one of the questions we will discuss at the Community Dialogues on LGBTQ Campus Climate hosted by Bluefield State College.  The conversation will be facilitated by Mr. Scott Pitt, Educational Outreach Counselor in the office of Student Support Services at Bluefield State College  and chair of the BSC LGBTQ Advisory Committee.

Steven Petrow is a writer and journalist for both the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.  He celebrates our willingness to come together to share, ponder, question, and engage in this important and necessary conversation.

Petrow

Bring your voice and opinions to the Community Dialogues on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 @ 11:30 AM (EST) Basic Science Building room 111.

You are encouraged to come and share your thoughts and perspectives on this topic.  If you can join us in person, that’s great!  If you can only be with us through the magic of the internet…follow and tweet at #BSCTalks or @GoodDocSims.

This program is sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion of Bluefield State College.

Dr. Guy A. Sims (@GoodDocSims)

Assistant to the President for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion