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Friday, February 08, 2019 02:17 AM

Standards of Practice: Beginning a Conversation About the Core Competencies for LGBTQIA+ Directors and Professionals in Higher Education

In February 2016, the Consortium commissioned a workgroup to develop standards of practice and core competencies for the profession. The committee’s charge was: “to develop and disseminate standards that can be operationalized on any campus, whether or not these campuses have LGBT resource professionals. These standards will be a companion document to the Council for the Advancement of the Standards in Higher Education’s (CAS) LGBT Program and Services Standards.” The workgroup—comprised of Debbie Bazarsky, Brian Edwards, Luke Jensen, Sivagami Subbaraman, Bonnie Sugiyama, and Shaun Travers—met from 2016 to 2018 to develop these standards of practice in the context of the evolving and changing landscape within higher education.

In the development of the core competencies, the committee centered: 1) the constituencies served (i.e., students, staff, faculty, alums, and the local community); 2) the identities of the LGBTQIA+ community (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, same-gender loving, transgender, nonbinary, agender, genderqueer, genderfluid, Two Spirit, bigender, pangender, gender nonconforming, gender variant, intersex, asexual, aromantic, and emerging identities, as well as intersecting identities, such as race, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, gender, class, disability, religion and spirituality); and 3) the wide and complex variations in institutional structures, divisions, and departments within higher education.

They are grounded in the histories of the LGBTQIA+ profession and scaffolded by two frameworks—1) social justice with an intersectional lens (i.e., intentional and critical reflection, analysis, and action, both individually and institutionally, which: centers racial justice; interrupts and deconstructs privilege, power, oppression, and inaction; and elevates the voices and omitted histories of historically underrepresented, marginalized, and minoritized people) and 2) the concept of the life span (i.e., from prospective student through alum status and from prospective employee through emeritus/retirement). Also guiding the development of these core competencies was the shared vision of the Consortium: “we envision higher education environments where LGBTQ people, inclusive of all of our intersecting identities, are fully liberated.”

The twelve core competencies are designed to provide direction for the profession and are built upon the work of LGBTQIA+ directors and professionals who have come before us. Through these standards, we strive to inspire professionals currently in the work; guide emerging professionals to consider this path in higher education; provide guidance to institutions who are planning to create a position and a Center;  and support administrators who supervise LGBTQIA+ directors and professionals. We view these core competencies as an opportunity to think robustly about our roles in higher education; and we recognize some competencies will have more resonance than others given the broad diversity of our roles and institutions. The intention of the standards of practice and core competencies is to provide opportunities for LGBTQIA+ directors, professionals, and administrators  to: 1) further advocate for support and resources needed to adequately do this work within institutions; 2) continue to deeply assess one’s own learning edges for personal and professional development; 3) enhance the mentorship and fostering of early career and aspiring professionals; and 4) make visible the profession in higher education literature. Additionally, these competencies provide an opportunity to expand professional training and education for our field and offer guidance for the profession.

Over the next 12-18 months, there will be many opportunities to engage with the competencies. There is a much larger article about the standards of the profession and core competencies that will be forthcoming. There will be presentations about the Core Competencies via Consortium webinars, at the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference and Creating Change 2020, and other national conferences. Moreover, a compendium about how to use the competencies is also forthcoming. Our hope is this is the beginning of a much larger conversation about the profession, our collective vision for the work, our transformative work as LGBTQIA+ directors and professionals, and the future for LGBTQIA+ campus life.

The Core Competencies for LGBTQIA+ Directors and Professionals in Higher Education

Competency One
Has the ability to envision and execute a strategic direction for all facets of LGBTQIA+ campus life.

A critical role is thinking and acting strategically on behalf of all LGBTQIA+ constituencies (i.e., undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty, alums, parents/families, and community members) who have varied, and sometimes competing, needs. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional is innovative, has strong political acumen, thinks and acts strategically, and builds meaningful partnerships with colleagues across academic and administrative departments. From the development of a strategic plan for LGBTQIA+ campus life through consulting with senior leaders about an array of LGBTQIA+ and other diversity and inclusion topics, the director/professional needs to be able to customize messaging about the work to various campus stakeholders (e.g., cabinet members, trustees, student leaders, institutional committees, and faculty senate) to achieve institutional support for all LGBTQIA+ constituencies.

Competency Two
Navigates complex campus structures and contexts with political acumen to affect institutional change for LGBTQIA+ communities.

Colleges and universities are complex organizations with multiple layers of administrative structure, each encompassing their own mission, values, culture, and institutional priorities. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional interacts with each of these layers within their specific context, in order to affect and sustain institutional change towards a positive campus climate for LGBTQIA+ students, staff, faculty, alums, and other campus stakeholders. This navigation requires a political acumen in negotiation, communication, and managing power dynamics.

Competency Three
Provides administrative leadership and management of human, physical, and financial resources dedicated to supporting LGBTQIA+ campus populations.

Whether located within a standalone unit (e.g., LGBTQIA+ center) or as part of a broader entity (e.g., diversity and inclusion), the LGBTQIA+ director/professional actualizes the mission and provides vision and oversight for the leadership and management of financial resources, human resources (e.g., hiring, onboarding, supervising, and termination of staff), technology, facilities and equipment, programmatic initiatives, and overall assessment of programs, services, and issues of access and equity. They develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with campus partners and community organizations to support stakeholders with varying needs. Additionally, they seek institutional and external support to expand financial resources.

Competency Four
Creates a culture of belonging within the campus LGBTQIA+ community through inclusive practices that embrace all LGBTQIA+ identities and the diverse intersections of these identities.

The LGBTQIA+ community is diverse in the many identities that exist within and outside of gender and sexuality spectra. As a microcosm of society, the LGBTQIA+ community is not immune to the historical and current injustices within and outside of the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly around race and ethnicity, and including but not limited to issues related to nationality, immigration status, gender, class, disability, religion and spirituality. New and emerging identities are a constant in the field and the LGBTQIA+ director/professional creates spaces for the entire campus, alums, and the local community to learn about and embrace the developing landscape for inclusion. Additionally, there are identities within the LGBTQIA+ community that experience marginalization from within the LGBTQIA+ community. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional must intentionally create spaces where the intersections of all LGBTQIA+ identities are respected, honored, and celebrated.

Competency Five
Has significant knowledge of and experience with policy and practice related to LGBTQIA+ communities in the broader context of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion issues are present throughout all campus structures. The ability to incorporate intersections of sexual and romantic orientation and gender identity and expression into ongoing diversity and inclusion conversations, practices, and policies requires both deep knowledge and significant interpersonal skills. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional must remain up-to-date and have knowledge about: 1) federal, state, and local laws that affect LGBTQIA+ people (i.e., both in terms of their LGBTQIA+ and intersecting identities) with a special emphasis on continuously changing laws and ordinances, emerging legislation, and Title IX guidance; 2) related compliance reporting obligations; 3) harassment, bias, and violence intervention; and 4) national best practices and additional proactive measures regarding anti-harassment training and violence prevention. Because LGBTQIA+ issues have emerged more recently on many college and university campuses, the ability to have expertise in historical and existing equity, diversity, and inclusion issues (i.e., especially around race, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, gender, class, disability, religion and spirituality) requires practical knowledge, experience, and proficiency.

Competency Six
Assesses campus climate and LGBTQIA+ success using multiple measurement methods and communicates the impact of LGBTQIA+ communities on campus and the impact of campus on LGBTQIA+ communities.

The LGBTQIA+ director/professional must be knowledgeable about LGBTQIA+ research design, methods, data interpretation, and privacy concerns, so they can effectively consult their campuses (e.g., institutional research offices and data analysts, senior administrators, individual departments, and faculty and other campus researchers) on data collection. Many campuses define institutional success through specific strategic goals (i.e., tied to closing achievement gaps related to retention, GPA, graduation rates, and time to degree); and measurements are often cisnormative and heteronormative and based on national and state instruments that typically have not considered LGBTQIA+ communities or their intersecting identities. Therefore, the LGBTQIA+ director/professional should have significant expertise to consult on inclusive instrument creation/enhancement, effectively measure campus success, clearly interpret data, and communicate findings in persuasive and meaningful ways, in order to enact change. Additionally, program assessments, the most common evaluation utilized in this work, must be in alignment with broader constructs of institutional success.

Competency Seven
Participates in the intellectual life of the institution and contributes to its academic mission.

The LGBTQIA+ director/professional partners with faculty, staff, students, and administrators in the core mission of higher education—research, teaching, learning, and service. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional has the ability to collaborate with faculty across disciplines in curriculum transformation to: incorporate LGBTQIA+ issues into existing courses; develop curriculum for courses focused on, or inclusive of, LGBTQIA+ content; and support the implementation of LGBTQIA+ studies or other formal academic programs focused on gender and sexuality. They provide learning opportunities, which complement academic curricula (e.g., organizing lecture series and colloquia, curating art exhibits and performance series, facilitating academic book clubs, and providing other educational offerings) and provide extensive information for faculty and those seeking coursework related to LGBTQIA+ identities. Moreover, the LGBTQIA+ director/professional supports faculty, staff, and students who engage in research, facilitates workshops, and assists instructors with the provision of supportive learning environments through shared best practices (e.g., inclusive pedagogy and andragogy, pronoun use in the classroom, and names on rosters).

Competency Eight
Provides institutional partners with support and consultation, through an holistic approach, to enhance individual and community success.

The LGBTQIA+ director/professional intentionally collaborates with campus partners (e.g., admission and enrollment services, centers for teaching and learning, human resources, academic affairs, student affairs, health and counseling centers, public safety, and athletics) and community organizations to holistically support (i.e., in mind, body, and spirit) LGBTQIA+ people and all of their intersecting identities. They consult with colleagues on the development of training, curricula, resource materials, and outreach strategies with the goal of building capacity among a network of institutional partners who share the responsibility in developing an intersectional lens for cultural competence that includes programs, services, advocacy, and resources.

Competency Nine
Collaborates with institutional partners to increase access, recruitment, and retention of LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and faculty.

The LGBTQIA+ director/professional utilizes institutional knowledge to advocate for increased access, recruitment, and retention. Drawing upon a variety of institutional tools and data sources (e.g., campus climate surveys, national health and engagement surveys, human resources exit interviews, and focus groups), they assess the state of the LGBTQIA+ community at the institution. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional interprets data to discern issues that may positively or negatively impact individual and community access, outreach, conditions of success, and barriers to achievement. They understand what makes success possible at their institution and collaborate with campus partners (e.g., admission, human resources, faculty senate, student affairs, academic affairs, alumni affairs, athletics, identity-based centers, and institutional diversity, inclusion, and equity offices) to improve recruitment and retention of LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and faculty.

Competency Ten
Supports the LGBTQIA+ community through strong crisis management skills and collaboration with key campus partners.

LGBTQIA+ people are often reluctant to access counseling centers, employee assistance programs, and other campus resources. They frequently first seek support from the LGBTQIA+ director/professional for: 1) mental health (e.g., depression, self injury, and suicidal ideation); 2) sexual harassment and assault (e.g., sexual and physical violence and intimate partner violence); and 3) bias-related incidents (e.g., overt discrimination, hate crimes, and implicit bias). The LGBTQIA+ director/professional must be proactive, execute excellent judgment, and have established collaborative relationships with colleagues across campus to effectively respond to situations. This includes serving on and/or engaging with crisis response, bias response, threat management, and case management teams. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional ministers to the campus community and provides support, guidance, and programming around national and local events that deeply affect them (e.g., legislation and supreme court rulings, sexual harassment and assault cases, hate crimes, suicides, and responses to national violence, such as the Pulse shooting and police brutality). In addition to crises, all constituents seek out support for interpersonal issues (e.g., adjustment to campus, relationships and family, academic distress, and workplace and campus climate concerns) and identity-based topics (e.g., sexual orientation, gender identity, other intersecting identities, transitioning, and coming out). These require a comfort with providing support, guidance, and referral services as appropriate.

Competency Eleven
Engages LGBTQIA+ and allied alums and supports institutional goals around fundraising and advancement.

The LGBTQIA+ director/professional brings alums back to campus (i.e., sometimes for the first time) and provides opportunities for active engagement and participation. Alumni affairs and development colleagues rely on the LGBTQIA+ director/professional to help identify and recruit LGBTQIA+ and allied alums and family members, organize events, collaborate across affinity groups (e.g., Black, Latinx, Native American, and Asian and Pacific Islander alum groups) to co-develop programmatic and other opportunities for networking, engagement, and giving. The LGBTQIA+ director/professional engages alums, families, and community members in fundraising for both LGBTQIA+ services and overall giving to the institution. They also support alumni affairs and development officers in a multitude of ways, including: training around best practices, record keeping, and collaboration with other colleagues who serve these constituencies (e.g., career services, financial aid, parent and family programs, academic programs, and student affairs).

Competency Twelve
Utilizes knowledge of research, theory, and history of LGBTQIA+ communities, grounded in social justice, equity, and inclusion.

The LGBTQIA+ director/professional is designated as the campus expert on LGBTQIA+ communities. Distinct from faculty, researchers, and other educators who create and transmit knowledge in specific areas and domains, the LGBTQIA+ director/professional relies on integrated community knowledge and history, coupled with significant and emerging research, to provide immediate practical advice and direction regarding issues of policy and practice and informed action. Theory (e.g., social justice theories; identity development and student development theories; and critical race, feminist, queer, economic justice, and crip theories), as well as the legacies of community activism and current civil rights and social movements, informs the inclusive and intersectional practice of the LGBTQIA+ director/professional and the profession.

If you would like to provide feedback to this working group on ideas and concepts within the Standards of Practice document, please contact Shaun Travers at [email protected].

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019 12:39 AM

Consortium Activities at Creating Change 2019

Hello Consortium members,

The 2019 Creating Change Conference is quickly approaching, January 23rd - 27th in Detroit, MI, and we’re excited to once again be in community with you all. As we, the Executive Board, finalize details for the conference, we’re pleased to inform you of what we have planned thus far. This email will offer some details on Consortium activities at Creating Change 2019.

Consortium Activities at Creating Change 

Please note: as is the case every year, we will not have the exact room number for the Consortium Suite in the conference hotel (Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center) until check-in, which we will announce via social media. Similarly, we have not yet been informed of the exact location of our Community Gathering. Follow #LGBTCampusCC19 for updates & room locations.

Note about the Consortium Institute

Based on feedback from previous years, we are pleased to make space for members to attend the Racial Justice Institute and the constituency-based daylong institutes of their choice on Wednesday and Thursday. We have worked with the Task Force to ensure robust time together in lieu of a daylong institute- in addition to a variety of socials and connection points, please join us for an Academy Session on Friday morning.

Wednesday, January 23rd 

  • Community Gathering (formerly the Business Meeting), 8pm - 9:30pm, (Mackinaw East/West, 5th floor)
  • Consortium Social, 9:30pm - 11:00pm (Hotel bar - Consortium takeover)

Thursday, January 24

  • Graduate Student Social, 9:30pm - 11:00pm (Consortium Suite) 

Friday, January 25 

  • Creating Change Academy Session: Resilience & Connection for QTIPOC+ Practitioners, 9:00am - 12:15pm (Cascade B)
  • Creating Change Academy Session:Interrogating & Decentering Whiteness in LGBTQ Campus Services, 9:00am - 12:15pm (Cascade D)
  • State of The Movement Address (Consortium Recognition of International Pronouns Day), 1:30pm - 2:45pm, (Location TBA)
  • TGQ Dinner, 6:00pm - 7:30pm (Consortium Suite)
  • Creating Change 60 Caucus Session:  What's Next? Transitioning Out of LGBTQ Higher Education Work, 6:30pm - 7:30pm (Duluth A, 5th Floor)
  • Past Consortium Board Member Social, 8:00pm - 9:00pm (Consortium Suite)
  • Consortium Meet Up, 9:00pm - 10:30pm (Consortium Suite)

Saturday, January 26 

  • LGBT2 Lunch, 11am - 12:30pm, (Consortium Suite)
  • Regional Representatives Meeting, 7:45-9pm, (Consortium Suite)
  • POC Dinner, 6:00pm - 7:30pm (Consortium Suite)
  • Sober Social, 8:00pm - 9:30pm, (Consortium Suite)
  • Memorial Service for Dr. Sheltreese McCoy, 7:45pm-9pm, (LaSalle A)

Awards & Special Recognition

We are excited to recognize a number of individuals for within our membership for outstanding service and contribution to our communities and institutions.

Special Recognition by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

  • International Pronouns Day

Promising New Professional recipients 

  • Babyface Card, Coordinator, Center for Leadership & Service, Florida International University
  • Jamie Gonzalez, Diversity Education Coordinator, LGBTQ Resource Center, University of Houston

Service to the Consortium recipients

  • Warren Scherer, Assistant Dean of Students and Director, Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Executive Board of the Consortium has dedicated the Outstanding Social Justice Practice award to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Sheltreese D. McCoy. Dr. McCoy committed her life's work to advancing and centering queer and trans people of color in higher education, specifically Black liberation within LGBTQ resource work. To read more about Dr. McCoy, please visit the Consortium’s full statement in her memory:

Dr. Sheltreese D. McCoy Award for Outstanding Practice in Social Justice inaugural recipients

  • Romeo Jackson, LGBTQ & Gender Program Coordinator/Interim Assistant Director for Social Justice, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
  • Jaimée Marsh, Associate Director, Q Center, University of Washington

More updates about our activities will be shared within the coming weeks through email and social media using the hashtag #LGBTCampusCC19. If you have any questions or concerns about Consortium activities, please contact any of our Executive Board Members by email.

Consortium Executive Board

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Monday, November 26, 2018 01:43 PM

In Memory of Dr. Sheltreese McCoy

The board of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals is heartbroken to learn of the passing of a dear colleague, friend, and member, Dr. Sheltreese ‘Treese’ D. McCoy. Her death means a profound loss to our profession and to the many students, faculty, staff, and colleagues who had an opportunity to know her.

Treese committed her life's work to advancing and centering queer and trans people of color in higher education, specifically Black liberation within LGBTQ resource work.

From 2012 to 2017 Treese developed and coordinated the Crossroads Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Crossroads Initiative is the first university-funded collaborative initiative between a Multicultural Student Center and a Gender and Sexuality Campus Center addressing the intersectional realities of students through programming, affinity spaces, education, individual support, mentorship, advocacy, and resource development centering QTPOC students. This groundbreaking initiative Treese spearheaded served as a national best practice in serving QTPOC students in higher education. In this role, Treese created the QPOC Resource Guide which highlights books, articles, movies, organizations, websites, and blogs that feature queer and trans people of color.  This guide has been, and continues to be, distributed and used in our daily work in serving QTPOC in higher education, and many of us have drawn inspiration from this resource for our own programs and initiatives. She also used Crossroads as a platform to host the first statewide Wisconsin QTPOC conference in 2015.

For those members who did not have the opportunity to know Treese, we urge you to learn more about her and her work, including the following and more:

Treese drew inspiration from her own lived experiences and years of professional work supporting students. She led confidently, humbly, critically, and with a deep sense of care and love for the people around her.  She truly saw and acknowledged people in their wholeness, specifically queer and trans students and professionals of color. For many QTPOC professionals in the Consortium, Treese and her work was a possibility model for us and helped many of us see that it is possible to do the work of serving and centering QTPOC voices unapologetically.

In love and solidarity,
The Consortium Board

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Friday, October 26, 2018 11:13 AM
The Consortium of LGBT Higher Education Resource Professionals is proud to serve  a field of practitioners comprised of a vast array of dedicated individuals committed to enriching the lives and campus climates for LGBTQ people. It is only appropriate that we are honor and recognize the labor of our colleagues and the sustainable impact that we all have at our institutions
This year we are excited to invite nominations for the following three 2019 Consortium awards: 
Outstanding Social Justice Practice
This award recognizes significant commitments to social justice in both the field of Student Affairs as an academic discipline and through advanced practice in a professional capacity. This includes research, published work, advocacy, policy change, advising and/or mentoring student organizations, curriculum creation, best practices, and other work that addresses the intersecting identities of race, class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, national origin, age, familial status, veteran status, and other emerging identities.
Exemplary nominees for this award exhibit:
  • contribution to the practice of socially just, intersectional practice in LGBTQ student services with clearly defined accomplishments and documentation
  • contribution to the body of literature regarding intersectionality in the academy
  • successfully worked with and across multiple communities/identities to make change
Promising New Professional
This award recognizes a professional with less than five years of experience and the unique role new professionals play in supporting students and innovating campus programs while elevating the work of a campus LGBTQ Center. The award recognizes a new professional who is doing outstanding service, demonstrates innovative or creative effort within the profession, and shows significant promise for leadership on the field.
Exemplary nominees for this award exhibit:
  • work that has created and assessed marked change in a campus center, office, or unit that provides direct service to LGBTQ people on campus
  • work that impacts local campus and LGBTQ people on a regional and national level.
Service to the Consortium
This award is designed to recognize and honor individuals who have provided exemplary service to the Consortium over a number of years through assuming a leadership role. Awardees will have demonstrated involvement in organizational programs and activities, including the support of Consortium members.
Exemplary nominees for this award exhibit:
  • substantial contribution to the work and success of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals over time
  • service to the Consortium through leadership roles at different levels
  • demonstrated value of and engagement with the mission and values of the organization
Nomination Requirements and Timeline
In addition to information about the nominator and nominee, the nominator should submit the following materials in support of their nomination:
  • a cover sheet/email indicating the below basic information
  • a copy of the Nominee's Curricula Vitae and/or resume
  • a nomination letter, written by the nominator
  • no more than two additional letters of support
  • any other  relevant supporting documentation (such as news stories/ articles) that strengthen the nomination
To submit a nomination, please fill out this form by Wednesday, October 31, 2018. Winners will be announced at Creating Change 2019, but nominees do not have to be present at Creating Change to win. Nominees (and nominators) do not have to be members of the Consortium.
If you have any questions about the awards process, please reach out to Kayla Lisenby ([email protected]) or Rashad Small ([email protected]). 
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Friday, February 23, 2018 04:31 PM

A Letter to Members Post Creating Change 2018

Dear Members:
We hope this email finds you all well and settled into the routine of the semester! The beginning of a new year and new semester can bring with it an opportunity for change and growth. It is in this spirit that we want to share with you where we are as an organization, provide a recap of the Consortium’s time at Creating Change 2018, and inform our members of the work the Executive Board will be taking on as we move through 2018.

Creating Change 2018
Executive Board retreat & work with our consultants
In our early January email, we shared that the board has decided to hire consultants, Dr. Kai Green and Micah Hobbes-Frazier  to help align the organization’s leadership structure to best fit our mission. One phase of this work was an all-board retreat with Kai and Micah at Creating Change 2018. The retreat took place on Tuesday January 23rd and was really transformative. One of the immediate changes that took place from that retreat was the restructuring of our annual Creating Change Business Meeting. It became clear to us that framing the only time that our members and the executive board come together throughout the year around Business felt counter to our mission and values. We quickly changed the name to Community Gathering and worked on creating a space that centered the feedback and experiences of membership, rather than leadership. In that Community Gathering we asked for the following feedback:

  • how do you educate & push yourself in your practice? how can we help?
  • strategies for healing in this work/how do you keep yourself from burning out
  • how do you enact pipeline in your hiring, mentorship, and advocacy?
  • how could you operationalize racial justice in your work if there were no barriers

For those that could not make the Community Gathering and would like to provide us their feedback to these questions, please do so through this form. All of this feedback will be sent to our consultants as we continue the work of becoming a mission-driven organization.

Consortium Elections
As an update to members who were not at Creating Change, we wanted to give more information regarding elections. As a part of the work we are doing with the consultants, they are working with us to restructure the board and help us rethink positions to better align with our mission and vision. To that end we shared with membership at are community gathering that we will be postponing elections until the process with the consultants is completed. We have received initial guidance from the consultants that holding off on the board elections is the right next step as we work together to reimagine board structure. We expect to have a fuller update and report from the consultants toward the end of the semester.

Day-long institute: Recap from Education Committee Chairs, Juliann Hass and Cam Breither
When developing this year’s daylong institute, the Education Committee, to whom we are grateful for their work, actively worked to build an agenda that would provide space for education, connection, and transformation among and between colleagues engaging in LGBTQ work within higher education through intentional conversation. Our goal for the institute was to provide much needed space to discuss current tensions in the field and how they are impacted and shaped by identity and region. Throughout the day we saw both opportunities for further conversation and a need for healing, specifically at the intersections of race and queerness within the field.  The hurt in response to the panel reinforced the urgent need for more depth and intentionality within this community/coalition building work. When we stop seeing each other, even for a moment, the forces that seek to marginalize community members become painfully present.  As we look toward next year we welcome all interested voices to be involved directly, constructively, and tangibly in crafting the vision, mission, and content for the Consortium Daylong Institute at Creating Change 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

During the Institute comments were made that included remarks that did not align with our mission to center racial justice in our work. As a board and panel members we came together to offer multiple ways for members to reflect as a community, to come together in QTPOC spaces, and to engage with the board regarding the panel. As we move forward in the actualization of our mission, we will continue to address situations like these while offering spaces for education and accountability in addressing how racism and white supremacy show up in our work. Though we might not do it perfectly, we are grateful for our members who can come together in community as we move through this messy but needed process.
If you had the opportunity to attend the Institute at Creating Change, please take a moment to fill out the Creating Change 2018 Daylong Institute Evaluation.
Summer Institute
As we mentioned in an earlier email, we will not be hosting a Summer Institute. We are hoping to use this intentional pause as an opportunity to invest our time and energy as a board to the work with the consultants toward aligning our organizational structure with our mission. This spring and summer the board will take a deep look into our work, both philosophically and operationally. We will regularly update members as we continue this process.

We thank you for your continued patience and trust in the executive board as we attempt to make changes to an organization so many of us care deeply about and believe in. Our goal is to better the organization to best serve the needs of our members, to better serve you all as you do the work to liberate LGBTQ people, in all our intersecting identities, in higher education. There is no better way to capture the sentiments of this work than the video, our Research and Assessment Award recipient, DL Stewart shared with participants at the Creating Change conference. Please watch DL’s video here.

Dr. Adriana di Bartolo, Dr. Van Bailey, and LB Hannahs

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