September 1 heralded the official opening of the LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Ally) and Social Justice Center on Pace’s NYC Campus. For Center Coordinator and Pace alumna Kelly Herbert ‘06, the official opening of the Center is just the first in a series of things—including the announcement of Pace’s new Queer Studies minor through the Women and Gender Studies Department—being done by the LGBTQA Taskforce to promote a supportive and inclusive campus environment.
The Center opened after two years of hard work and planning by many members of the Pace Community, most notably the LGBTQA Taskforce comprised of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In an effort to create a parallel process on both campuses, graduate assistants are working with Office of Multicultural Programs and Diversity Programs to create a corresponding center on the Pleasantville Campus.
“We want to give people the tools they need to have necessary dialogues on LGBTQA topics, make appropriate referrals and support our students,” says Herbert. “Folks are encouraged to address differences in a healthy way that will allow people to learn and grow from our differences, rather than to be afraid of them.”
The Center, which has been hosting weekly discussion groups centering on LGBTQ issues, has recently announced a monthly discussion group in collaboration with the Counseling Center focused specifically on the coming-out process and surrounding issues.
The coming out sessions, moderated by Herbert and a representative from the Counseling Center, are designed to bring students together to share stories, discuss successes and setbacks and earn from one another. Most importantly both discussion groups assist in the creation of community for all students.
Herbert notes that outreach is important both on and off campus. Center is working in partnership with other LGBTQA agencies in the New York City area on outreach and volunteer opportunities. The center is also accepting donations of clothing and toiletries for LGBTQA Homeless Youth that will be funneled to the Ali Forney Center, Sylvia’s Place, and other nonprofit organizations committed to providing homeless LGBTQ youth a safe space. Internship and volunteer opportunities are available at the Center as well.
The Center has planned a variety of events for Transgender Awareness Month this November, the Center has planned a variety of events including several documentary screenings, a Pride Around the World table at the international culture fair, a discussion on gender with Princeton Society Fellow, Tey Meadow, and a talk with Nathan Mankse, founder of “I’m from Driftwood.” On November 20, the Center will recognize the 133th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. For the full schedule of events hosted by the LGBTQA and Social Justice Center, as well as transgender resources and Pace’s brand new Queer Studies minor, please click here.
For more information about the Center and its hours of operation please click here.