In July, Interim Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity Sheri Schwab, Associate Vice Provost of Equal Opportunity and Equity David Elrod, GLBT Center Director Jonathon McCorey and Equal Opportunity Officers Brianna Williams and Dave Johnson attended the second annual State University of New York (SUNY) SPECTRUM Conference in Albany, New York, which focused on preventing and responding to violence against LGBTQI+ students. SPECTRUM is an acronym for Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education, Capacity Building and Training in Response for Underserved Sexual and Gender Minorities. The conference was a two-day event aimed at “promoting public awareness and engaging key-stakeholders while fostering a multidisciplinary approach at the campus, community and regional levels to promote long-term and sustained change in approach to sexual and interpersonal violence for sexual and gender minorities.”
The agenda offered several options for break-out sessions, including: “Addressing Sexual and Relationship Violence in the LGBT Community Using a Bystander Framework”; “Beyond the Letters: The ABCs of Working with LGBTQ Survivors”; “Balancing Safety and Respect when Interacting with Transgender Individuals;” “Working Intentionally with International and Queer Students and Survivors”; and many more. Break-out sessions targeted several specific audiences, such as law enforcement, campus staff, lawyers and health educators.
One of the highlights of the event was the lunch session during day two, when Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins presented their keynote, “Never about cake, always about equality.” Their presentation candidly and poignantly described how their attempt to purchase a wedding cake turned into a Supreme Court case. Craig and Mullins discussed how they were pushed into the national spotlight as advocates and spokespeople for LGBTQ rights and how they used the experience to make a difference in the community.
Overall, the SPECTRUM conference was informative and enriching. It was a worthwhile opportunity to hear and engage in discussions on topics facing the LGBTQ+ community related to Title IX and sexual harassment. NC State’s Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity is committed to fostering an inclusive, accessible and diverse intellectual and cultural campus experience for our students, faculty and staff.
For more information about NC State’s GLBT Center please visit the GLBT Center website.
Dave Johnson is an equal opportunity officer in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.