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Wednesday, March 18, 2020 01:46 PM

Members, Colleagues, Friends,

We write to you today to offer our support to our collective community in this challenging and unprecedented moment addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. We are, like most of you, experiencing the variable and chaotic environments of our campuses and communities as we work to collectively flatten the curve related to the spread of the virus. 

We have a few messages we would like to share at this time, and please know, we will continue to be in communication as necessary.

First, we want to address the mental and emotional toll this moment in time is taking on us as professionals and simply as humans. Being on the front lines in supporting our students, navigating institutional responses, and adapting to changing work environments—while balancing the needs and well-being of our families, communities, and those around us—is a lot of weight from all directions and can be overwhelming. Events to which we have given labor and resources are being canceled, communities we have intentionally facilitated are being separated by distance, and the needed policy and practice discussions and decisions for which we have long advocated are being necessarily pushed aside in addressing present concerns. All of these experiences and more can induce all types of feelings:sadness, disappointment, frustration, and more. We hope we can collectively hold space for one another; we share two quotes we found timely for this moment (plus, this guide on caring for your mental health). 

From Audre Lorde:

“Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.”

“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.”

Second, while we hope all of our institutions are intentionally considering the impact changes in campus practice have on our marginalized student communities, we know from our work on our campuses that we are often the ones advocating specifically for our students’ needs. While each institution’s circumstances are unique and most of us are operating at or past capacity, we encourage you to reach out to your colleagues for support and brainstorming as we negotiate these challenges. A couple of requests for practice-sharing have come over the practitioner listserv thus far—if you have a moment to share and offer support, please do. We also want to offer a reminder of our regional listservs and social media groups, which can be utilized to discuss resource sharing and set up calls to increase regional support. The Consortium also has a number of constituency Facebook groups and general social media channels, which are additional ways to stay connected and offer support to one another. 

Third, in terms of programming and support from the Consortium, we will do our best to continue our work as planned and to offer opportunities for community engagement for our membership. The Membership Engagement Collective has scheduled the spring constituency calls—these upcoming community gatherings will be an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues. 

  • Trans, Non-binary, and Genderqueer
    • Constituency for members who identify as trans, non-binary, genderqueer, or another term outside of cisgender
    • Thursday, April 2 at 10:30 AM PT/11:30 AM MT / 12:30 PM CT / 1:30 PM ET
    • Access the Hangout video call at meet.google.com/bsv-cpiz-qia or call in via phone by calling +1 252-516-1110‬ PIN: ‪206 300 277‬#
  • People of Color
    • Constituency for members who identify as people of color
    • Monday, April 6 at 10:00 AM PT/11:00 AM MT/12:00 PM CT/1:00 PM ET
    • Access the Hangout video call at meet.google.com/cbo-spze-wqs or call in via phone by calling +1 470-735-3496‬ PIN: ‪813 092 404‬#
  • Seasoned Professionals
    • This is a new constituency for professionals who have been in LGBTQ+ resource professional roles for 7+ years.  This includes professionals who continue to work in LGBTQ+ resource professional roles, have advanced in their careers but previously worked in LGBTQ+ resource professional roles LGBTQ+ support roles, or continue to have LGBTQ+ support in their portfolios.
    • Tuesday, April 7 at 9:00 AM PT / 10:00 AM MT/ 11:00 AM CT/12:00 PM ET
    • Access the Zoom meeting at https://ucsd.zoom.us/j/445475890
  • LGBT2
    • Constituency for LGBTQ+ resource professionals and those who serve in LGBTQ+ support roles who do not serve as directors within their institutions (potential titles include Program Coordinators, Assistant and Associate Directors, etc.)
    • Tuesday April 14 at 10:30 AM PT / 11:30 AM MT / 12:30 PM CT / 1:30 PM ET
    • Access the Hangout video call at meet.google.com/mpm-nwqw-kfw or call in via phone by calling +1 414-909-5106‬ PIN: ‪716 025 702‬#

We appreciate your patience as we navigate our own capacities in this rapidly changing landscape. Please continue to reach out with questions or concerns- see below for a reminder on how to reach those with whom you need to connect. While there may be a slight delay in hearing from us, that is the best way to get in touch. 

Thank you for the important work you are doing in your communities. The history of the queer and trans communities’ strength and resilience feels particularly present now, and we hope it offers an anchoring point as we navigate what is to come. Thank you for your ongoing support, please reach out to share how we can support you, and, of course, wash your hands

In Solidarity, 

The Consortium Executive Board