BLOG

Thanks to everyone who joined us in Denver for Creating Change 2015! We enjoyed our biggest Day-Long institute ever, the connections we made in the suite, and the conversations we had with many of you. You can revisit everything we did by checking out our Facebook page and the hashtag #lgbtcampusCC15


Business Meeting

We kicked off the conference with our annual business meeting, with more than 100 people present. We celebrated Leslie Morrow with the Consortium’s Award for Intersectionality and Natasha Cox with our Promising New Professional Award. Board members shared their accomplishments for the year. Slides from the meeting are available on our website. Also visit the website to see our annual report.


LGBT Campus Resource Professionals Institute

Thanks to Shaun Travers, our Education Chair, and the education committee who helped create our biggest institute yet! 230 people attended the session. Professionals had the opportunity to connect with others in similar stages in their careers. Over lunch, our regional reps helped create local bonds. QTalks engaged and challenged the audience.

Q Talks


Opening Plenary

This year’s opening plenary was especially moving as a large group of trans activists of color and allies took over the stage, demanding visibility and an end to anti-trans violence. See the demonstration here. This direct action reminded us of the important work we have left to do. It also underscored the importance of the work of Genny Beemyn in documenting transgender lives. At the plenary, we presented Genny Beemyn with the Consortium’s Award for Research and Assessment. Watch the award presentation here.


Conference Sessions

We hosted two fantastic academy sessions that challenged us to think inclusively in our work as professionals. Intersect/Divide asked us to center anti-racism and inclusive practices in LGBTQ work on college campuses. Teaching Trans* allowed us the opportunity to reflect on the tools and modalities we use in educating about gender identity. Also, consortium members hosted 11 workshops in the Campus Administrators Track, in addition to others in the Student Track. If you have materials from these sessions that you are willing to share, please upload them to the Creating Change forum.


Suite Life

We enjoyed hosting a hotel suite for Consortium events. Our suite provided a cozy space for support, mentorship, and connection. The LGBT2, People of Color, and Trans/Genderqueer constituency groups all hosted meals in the Consortium's suite. Participation in these meals ranged from 15 to 30 people. In addition, the Consortium sponsored breakfast for graduate students who are interested in working in higher education. We also held an Anti-Racism Discussion and a number of board events in the space.

Academy Session

 

Appreciations

We want to offer our deep gratitude to the members of our board with terms that will end in June 2015. Our thanks to LB Hannahs, Craig Leets, Jennifer Miracle-Best, Celiany Rivera-Velázquez, and Danielle Steele. Also, our thanks to the regional representatives who are concluding their terms: Maure Smith-Benanti, Molly Holmes, Sidney Gardner, Petey Peterson, Joel Bolling, and Brian Edwards.We encourage you as members to consider joining the board too!


Looking Ahead

We truly enjoyed connecting with you at our evening socials and between sessions. We always love being with our Consortium family in person. If you have feedback about the conference, please email us and let us know. We are already looking forward to January 20 - 24 for Creating Change 2016 in Chicago!


Our next gathering as the Consortium will take place at the University at Albany - SUNY which is hosting our annual Summer Institute and Board Retreat. The Summer Institute will be on Friday, June 26; save the date and we will share more information soon!

 

Hello, Consortium family!


We write to you at the end of a productive year for the Consortium. We believe it’s important to look back and celebrate all that we have accomplished as an organization.


Creating Change

At Creating Change 2014, in Houston, through the Consortium Awards, we celebrated the professional contributions of Shiva Subbaraman, Chicora Martin, and Zaneta Rago. Our suite was well-used, for constituency group meetings and socials. And as always, our LGBT Campus Resource Professionals institute was filled to bursting. We hope to see you in Denver!


Suggested Best Practices for Supporting Trans* Students

A talented committee chaired by Dr. Genny Beemyn created a resource guide for higher education professionals to provide better support to trans* students. This guide is available for free from the Consortium website.


Summer Institute

In July, we hosted our summer institute, titled “Points of Influence: LGBTQ Students, Social Change, and You.” Thanks to our Education Chair, Shaun Travers, and the team at University of Vermont (UVM) who made the institute possible.


Annual Retreat

After the institute, we conducted our retreat, also at UVM. This time together allowed us to connect as a group and to make plans for the year to come. We grounded our work in our values of anti-racism and inclusion. Much of our work this year was set into motion at the retreat.

Non-Profit Status

As of October, the Consortium is officially recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit! Confusing paperwork aside, we are so thrilled it is complete. Donations to the Consortium are now tax-deductible.  (And in fact, you can donate easily right here, through our website.)  Non-profit status also allows us to apply for grants, which we will continue to do over the next year.


Self-Study

Thank you to the 170 members who completed our 2014 Self-Study. The results will be available in February 2015. The results will allow members to compare themselves to other campuses, lobby for increased resources, and follow trends in LGBT higher education.


Looking Ahead

From February 4 - 8, we will gather for Creating Change in Denver, CO. The Education Committee will ensure that this year’s events will be stellar. Nominations for board positions will be open at that time; if you are interested in being involved, get in touch with a board member. In the summer, we will once again host our Institute and Retreat; watch your email for more information soon.


With Gratitude

Finally, we would like to thank the amazing board members with whom we have the privilege to work: Celiany Rivera–Velázquez, Chris Woods, Craig Leets, Danielle Steele, Jennifer Miracle-Best, Jen Self, LB Hannahs, Lea Robinson, Leisan Smith, Matt Bruno, Meg Evans, Shaun Travers, and Zaneta Rago. We appreciate your commitment to this organization and to the field. We are so glad to work with the regional representatives: Maure Smith-Benanti, Julia Keleher, Brad Freihoefer, Molly Holmes, Jesse Beal, Courtney Dallaird, Steven Willich, Adriana di Bartolo, Sidney R. Gardner, Petey Peterson, Joel Bolling, and Brian Edwards. And finally, thank you to Cornell Woodson and Judy Jarvis for your work coordinating our educational calls.


We also are grateful for the support of you, our members. Your active engagement with the e-lists, forums, regional events, and annual meetings make the Consortium what it is. Thank you, and may you have a wonderful new year.


With pride,

Warren and Demere


Greetings from the Consortium board!


We have all returned safely from our travels to the University of Vermont. There, we hosted our 2014 Summer Institute on July 11. Following that, we held our Board Retreat from July 12 - 15. We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with each other and plan for the year ahead. Read on to learn about everything we accomplished and how you can get involved.


Summer Institute

We began the retreat by hosting our summer institute, titled “Points of Influence: LGBTQ Students, Social Change, and You.” Over 130 student affairs professionals, graduate students, and K-12 educators attended. One highlight of the institute was our keynote address featuring Representative Bill Lippert, Representative Kesha Ram, and UCLA’s Raja Bhattar. We had a great time! Thanks to our Education Chair, Shaun Travers, for leading the work to make the institute possible.


Anti-Racism and Inclusion

We grounded our time together in a discussion of our values as a social justice organization. We discussed our responsibilities to demonstrate these values as individual board members and as the Consortium as a collective organization.


Implementing the Strategic Plan

Our time together at the retreat focused on carrying out our strategic plan. Board members will be working to make the following things happen:

  1. Member Engagement: Increase support for graduate students and new professionals with an emphasis on the professional pipeline for POC and TGQ members.

  2. Communications: Increase communication to members and external stakeholders.

  3. Member Professional Development: Increase professional development opportunities within the organization for mid-level and seasoned professionals with a focus on professional development around anti-racism and intersections of identity.

  4. Setting Standards: Develop and publish standards of professional practice for the profession.

  5. Organizational Development: Establish financial stability to support the growth of the organization.


Next Steps

Over the next few months, you should expect to see your board carry out the plans we made in Vermont. Many of these action steps need your approval in the form of votes and your support through joining committees and working groups. We encourage you to connect with us as chairs or the appropriate board member if you’re interested in getting involved. Highlights include:

  • Strengthening our communication by providing more content on the public and members-only sides of our website.

  • Fundraising strategies that allow us to continue providing support for members in an equitable fashion.

  • Sharing educational resources that reflect the broadest and most inclusive approaches to identity, difference, and social justice.

  • Providing strategies to help develop LGBT2 practitioners.

  • Highlight the voices of transfeminine people within higher education.

  • Connecting with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

  • Conducting a new self-study of Consortium members, which will include gathering information about salaries, career plans, and demographics.

  • Strengthening connections with our partner organizations and creating memoranda of agreement.

  • Meeting the diverse needs of our members during Creating Change 2015 (February 4 - 8 in Denver, Colorado).


Thank You

We are grateful to the board for spending part of their summer focusing on this work. One of the major advantages of the summer retreat is that it allows our board to be together in person. For most of the year, we are physically far apart, connecting only by phone and email. Being together for the retreat means that we can set expectations, make plans, and get to know each other. We had a great time learning about each other!


We were fortunate to have the support of Dot Brauer, Becky Swem, and Evan LitwiƄ of the LGBTQA Center at UVM in planning and executing these events. Thank you and your colleagues for all of their help! We truly enjoyed our time in Burlington.  Just as UVM did, we encourage you to consider hosting the Consortium at your campus for the institute and retreat! We’ll send more information soon.


Thank you for your continued support of the Consortium and our board!

We had a fabulous time in Houston with everyone who was able to attend Creating Change 2014. We know that more than 100 professionals attended, along with at least 222 students. Here’s a recap of all our activity. Please get in touch with us if you have questions or want to follow up on any of this!

Business Meeting

Although travel delays difficult it hard for some people to get there, about 55 people were able to attend our annual business meeting. Board members shared their accomplishments from the previous year and their plans for the coming year. The slides from the meeting are available on our website. And also check out our annual report.

LGBT Campus Resource Professionals Institute

Many thanks to Raja Bhattar of UCLA, Education Chair, and the education committee who put on a great day-long institute for 170 participants. Professionals had the opportunity to connect with others in similar stages in their careers. QueerTalks engaged and challenged the audience. Everyone enjoyed discussing and networking. Materials from the institute will be available on the Creating Change forum soon.

Celebrations and Thanks

Our congratulations to the winners of the Consortium awards. We presented Shiva Subbaraman with the Consortium’s Award for Intersectionality during the conference’s opening plenary. You can see the award presentation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tpo7evHQoI (we start at about 1:39). We are also proud to celebrate Chicora Martin for Service to the Consortium, and Zaneta Rago as our Promising New Professional. Visit our website for the awards comments.

We want to celebrate everyone who served the Consortium this year. Special thanks to the board members who complete their terms this year: Ashley Olson, justin adkins, Michael Shutt, Sara Bendoraitis, Gabe Javier, Matt Bruno, and Lea Robinson. Our thanks also to the regional representatives and committee members who served this year. And our gratitude to everyone who helped table for the Consortium at the Creating Change vendor section; we love being visible!

Conference Sessions

We hosted two fantastic academy sessions that challenged us to think inclusively and broadly in our work as professionals. Consortium members hosted 15 workshops in the Campus Administrators Track, in addition to others in the Student Track. If you have materials from these sessions that you are willing to share, please upload them to the Creating Change forum.

Constituency Gatherings

For the second year in a row, we were able to have a hotel suite for Consortium events. Our suite provided a cozy and calm space for support, mentorship, and connection. The LGBT2, People of Color, and Trans*/Genderqueer constituency groups all hosted meals in the Consortium's suite. Participation in these meals ranged from 12 to 25 people. In addition, the Consortium sponsored lunch for 20 graduate students interested in working in higher education. Finally, folks met for breakfast and split up by regions.

Suite Meetings

In addition to hosting constituency meals in the space, we held a number of meetings and discussions. The quiet space in the suite allowed us to connect and share. Here are the meetings we hosted. You can contact these people to be involved in continuing the process.

We also hosted a social for 30 current and past board members, in order to share our history and learn from each other. The suite was also where we hosted our board meeting.

And Finally

We had a phenomenal time connecting with you at our evening socials and between sessions. Whether it was a long conversation or a brief hello, it was invigorating to be with our Consortium family in person. We are grateful we had a chance to see so many of you and hear about the exciting programs happening on your campus. We made the most out of the few days we had together! If you have feedback about the conference, please email us and let us know. We are already looking forward to February 2 - 8 for Creating Change 2015 in Denver!

Happy summer everyone! If it’s anything like our campuses, things have not really slowed down at all. No break for the harding working queer professionals! We hope you all are healthy and happy and doing your best to stay out of the summer heat. We also send our well wishes to our colleagues in the U.S. and abroad who are facing severe weather conditions in their communities.

We also want to state a big HOORAY for the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions! Although these wins do not speak to the most pressing issues facing our community, these are huge steps forward for the United States.

Here is our final update as Co-Chairs!

Thank You!
We want to take a minute to thank all the outgoing board members, whose terms end on July 1st: 
Matt Carcella-Outreach and Advocacy Chair
Matthew Armstead-LGBT2 Constituency Chair
DA Dirks-Education Chair
Demere Woolway-Regions Working Group Chair
Warren Scherer-People of Color Constituency Chair

You all have helped enhance and grow the organization in so many ways over the last few years. You put countless hours into these volunteer positions (we wish we could pay you) and your energy, ideas, and passion helped us successfully move into our late teenage years (The Consortium celebrated it’s 15th birthday at Creating Change this year).

We also want to welcome our new board members:
LB Hannahs-Outreach and Advocacy Chair
Craig Leets-LGBT2 Constituency Chair
Raja Bhattar-Education Chair
Danielle Steele-Regions Working Group Chair
Celiany Rivera-People of Color Constituency Chair
Demere Woolway-Co-Chair
Warren Scherer-Co-Chair

We are so excited about your new roles in the organization. We can’t wait to get to know you more and witness the amazing things you will do for the organization and our profession (again, sorry we can’t pay you).

Reflections
Since this will be our last letter as Co-Chairs, we want to take a minute to reflect back our our term. When we stepped into this role, we realized two things. First, we were terrified by the task in front of us. We were terrified because of the responsibility of leading an organization that saved our lives professionally and personally. As professionals at Texas A&M (Sara) and the University of Georgia (Michael), the Consortium was a place of growth, safety and security, and love. Since that time, we are at different institutions with very different cultures. Our experience and our current universities (American, Sara - Emory, Michael) enabled us to give back to the organization and to other professionals in a variety of ways.

The second thing we realized was the need for improved structures and procedures for the organization. The Board was spending the majority of its time on membership management and communications, which meant that it had very little time to strengthen our profession and support LGBT resource professionals. We therefore knew that we had to spend a lot of time on organizational development.

What did we achieve? With the hard work of the entire Board, we now have a membership management system and website that can be managed with very little time and effort. Our membership base was broadened to include affiliate members who are interested in LGBT support services but are not currently getting paid to do that work (although many are doing it for free). We updated our by-laws to enable us to apply for non-profit status. We also developed an Operating and Procedures Manual that respected our original by-laws and grounded our day to day operations. We reincorporated the organization in New York and applied for nonprofit status with Federal Government. Although we are still in the process, this status will enable us to apply for grants and accept tax deductible donations. We developed an Anti-Racism statement and an specific anti-racism action plan for the organization. We committed to the Board's leadership development through our annual retreats. We expanded our relationship with The Task Force and the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change. This resulted two academy sessions, expanded space for the institute, a Consortium suite, and the first Consortium award presented on stage at a plenary session. 

Thank you for letting us represent you for the last three years. While we will sincerely miss our role as Co-Chairs, we are so excited to support our two new, incredible Co-Chairs, Demere and Warren. We expect great things from them. Good luck! We love you!!!

Updates
Here are some other updates to keep you in the loop!

Consortium Board Retreat: This will be our 5th annual retreat for the Consortium Board. It will be held in Milwaukee, WI from July 20-23rd. (Thanks to Jen Murray, Warren Scherer and Gabe Javier for all your work in putting this together!). The goals of the retreat include:
-Create new Consortium Strategic Plan
-Fully develop and connect our team
-Clarify our roles and processes
-Clearly identified goals for all board members

Summer Drive-In Institute: In addition to the Board retreat, the Consortium partnered with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to host the 4th annual Consortium Summer Drive-In Institute for professionals in the region. Discussion topics include:
-Institutional Responses to Trans Inclusive Policies
-Advanced Ally Training
-Ally Networks: Building Campus-Wide Support
-Intersectionality Basics
-Preferred Name Policies and Gender Neutral Housing
-Health Insurance Policies inclusive of Trans* and Gender-Related Procedures
-Getting into LGBTQ Student Services
-Beyond Marriage Equality
-Meaningful QPOC Collaborations

A huge thank-you to the University of Wisconsin at Madison staff and the Drive-In planning committee for all your amazing work!

Membership: We are excited to say that we are completing our first year with our new membership management system. You will soon be receiving an automated renewal reminder if you joined or renewed last summer. This will be the first cycle of automated renewals, so please let us know if you have any issues! Jen Miracle, Membership Chair, will jump to action to help you out! The great news is that our membership numbers are growing. Right now we have over 630 members or our organization!!!

Membership Survey: Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the membership survey (136 of you!). We value your feedback and suggestions for the Consortium’s improvement. We will be looking at this data during the retreat to begin moving on your feedback and suggestions. If you did not have a chance to fill out the survey, we always welcome feedback. Please send us your thoughts anytime.

Strategic Plan: Thank you to everyone for participating in the SWOT survey and the focus groups. We are currently reviewing the responses and feedback and will present it to the Board at our retreat. We will then develop specific goals for the the organization. Once they are drafted, we will seek member feedback and then finalize the plan. The goal is to have our new strategic plan ready to launch January 1, 2014!!

As with everything, the Consortium is only as good as our members and board can make it. As we move forward on the Strategic Plan, please get involved. Whether this means being part of a committee, running for a board position, participating in conference calls, or providing feedback, it all matters. Please let us know if you would like to be involved and we will plug you in. If you do not feel like you have enough experience, knowledge, skills, or time to get involved, this is exactly how we felt when we attended our first Consortium Institute at Creating Change in 2005. We jumped in and never looked back!

We cannot thank you all enough for your love and support during our tenure as Co-Chairs. We look forward to continuing our work to strengthen our profession.

THANK YOU ALL!

Love,
Sara and Michael

powered by MemberClicks