Week 12! This week is very DEI focused, we are paying attention to Transgender Day of Remembrance, the importance of pronouns, and I am sharing with you a SUNY DEI discussion/opportunity on Latinx leadership. Have an idea? Want me to follow up with something that your department/division/area needs? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Professional Development email at email@example.com.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice,”
– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually on November 20th as a day of mourning and to memorialize those who have been lost as a result of transphobia. Started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, it was a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Some ways that it is observed on college campuses is through expressing support on social media, signing commitment statements indicating that we will educate ourselves and others to end violence in transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming communities (and following through on that commitment), and participation in candlelight vigils and remembrance ceremonies.
The Importance of Pronouns
The I in DEI is for Inclusivity; how are we working on inclusivity in small but powerful ways? Related, much like our conversation from a few weeks ago about adding email signature information identifying and acknowledging occupied Native lands, many of my colleagues and students have their gender pronouns listed next to their name.
A person’s gender identity is not always the same as their biological sex, nor their assumed gender based on their assigned sex. It depends on how they identify as a person, and this can change over time. People can identify as more masculine, more feminine, a combination of both, or neither. How a person expresses or describes their gender is personal to them. Moreover, not everyone is accepting of people with diverse gender identities, which can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. I have had to do a lot of unlearning around this, and working with a diverse student population has been helpful in this regard. Most social media platforms now have a robust list of gender identities to choose from, and in my research, I found numerous resources designed to help us see beyond the gender binary, such as this YouTube video from Alok Vaid-Menon, who provides a brief discussion of their book, aptly titled “Beyond the Gender Binary.”
For more information about pronouns, use this guide developed by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Cultivating Leadership with a Latinx Lens:
SUNY Hispanic Leadership Institute Alumni Panel
Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (Zoom)
Hear from a panel of Hispanic Leadership Institute alumni about their paths to leadership positions in higher education and how this experience helped them along the way. Attendees will learn how the panelists took diverse paths to become inclusive leaders on their campuses and how they leveraged professional development and networking opportunities. T
The panel includes:
- Claudia Hernandez Tarquino, Director-in-Residence, Hispanic Leadership Institute, Education Abroad and Financial Manager, Office of Global Affairs, SUNY System Administration
- Andres Melendez, Interim Dean, College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute
- Fred Millán, Distinguished Service Professor, Director, Graduate Mental Health Counseling Program, SUNY Old Westbury
- Angela L. Rios, Acting Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Dutchess Community College
- Denise Valdes, Director EOP, Onondaga County Community College
The discussion will be recorded and posted in this Workplace group for those who can’t make it.
Submitted by: Deena Price
Tags: Professional Development