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Through a collaborative effort between faculty and students, Sacramento City College will host the first Los Rios District-wide LGBT Conference Friday, March 16, from 1–5 p.m. in the Student Center.
The grassroots effort for LGBT education, rights and services in the Los Rios district is an attempt to increase understanding and support for all students and faculty throughout the system. Image by: http://photobucket.com “Even though we are one district, we are four different satellites, and [the conference is] kind of getting everyone together to start a dialogue,” said Queer Straight Alliance faculty adviser and Workability counselor Derrick Wydick. “We are hoping to support the efforts that are already established at each college and to help promote more of a Los Rios effort to make Los Rios—as a district—a more LGBT-friendly place.”
Partially funded by a mini grant from the Sacramento City College Foundation, all four Los Rios campuses will come together in one location to discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues of faculty and students.
“We [Los Rios] all have different climates and populations,” said Assessment Center supervisor Sherri Goldberg, who has spearheaded the planning of the event in coordination with the Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) club at City College.
Although City College has the Queer Straight Alliance club on campus, Goldberg said she had recognized the need for a friendlier and more supportive environment for LGBT students.
“We don’t even have a web page,” said Goldberg. “I wrote a mini grant through the SCC Foundation to get some money for LGBT workshops, and a conference started because I didn’t see anything going on in terms of campus-wide [LGBT] education.”
According to Goldberg, the conference will include a panel of representatives from UC Davis and CSU Sacramento pride centers to discuss their campuses’ facilities and the challenges they encountered to get started.
Additionally, a University of the Pacific Ph.D student and high school instructor will share his personal experience about having to go back in the closet at work to keep his job, as well as discuss his research on LGBT students transitioning from high school into college.
“Nobody looks at transfer rates of LGBT students,” said Goldberg.
Other discussions will include City College psychology instructor Gayle Pitman on the classroom and campus climate for LGBT staff and students.
Goldberg said there are two breakout sessions aimed at students and faculty. LGBT students from UC Davis and CSU Sacramento will lead a discussion on student leadership, while the second breakout session for staff will discuss building a support system and becoming an ally—staff to student and student to student.
“Part of the conference, from a faculty standpoint, was to bring more information to LGBT issues,” said Norman Lorenz, an early childhood education professor at City College who will co-host the conference with QSA president and theatre arts and film major Mikey Griffin.
The conference will be followed at 6:30 p.m. by Fabulosity in Red, a talent show hosted by QSA to raise money for the local nonprofit Golden Rule Services.
“It’s just giving a whole bunch of different performers from acting to singing to dance to put on a show for people to see not only what talent QSA has, but what all of SCC has,” said City College student Alex Martinez, QSA secretary.
More information on the LGBT Conference can be found at http://www.scc.losrios.edu/current_students/student_services/lgbt.htm.