LGBTQ Center

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Center

Conference Schedule

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Rising Voices: A Wake Forest LGBTQIA Alumni Conference will begin with a teach-in on Friday, October 23rd, with sessions co-facilitated by WFU alumni and current faculty members. A reception will follow the teach-in. Saturday, October 24th, will include panel discussions, opportunities for networking with alumni and current students, and the keynote speaker.

Conference Schedule

Friday, October 23, 2015 - Teach-In - Farrell Hall
1 - 5 p.m. Registration

Lower Level, Farrell Hall
2 - 2:50 p.m.Session One: Queer Media Matters: LGBTQ Investigative Journalism and Activism
Carlos Maza ('10), Sherri Williams (Anna Julia Cooper Center Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow in Communication)
(Farrell A48)
How can media coverage of LGBTQ communities both undermine and advance causes important to queer communities, and how can investigative journalism be used as a powerful tool to advance queer social justice? This teach-in will breakdown some of the major obstacles to accurate, inclusive queer media representation, and look at some examples of how activism around media accountability can significantly alter public discussions and understandings of LGBTQ equality.
Session Two: The Kids are Alright: LGBTQ Youth and Adolescent Health
Stephen T. Russell ('88), Christy Buchanan (Associate Dean, Academic Advising and Professor of Psychology)
(Farrell A17)
In one generation there has been dramatic social change for LGBTQ inclusion and rights in the US and around the world: If things are so much “better”, why do we still hear so much about LGBTQ youth being “at risk”? In this session we consider the ways that research and theory can support LGBTQ youth health and rights.
3 - 3:50 p.m.Session One: (ID)entity: Activism Through The Performing Arts
Chris Gonzalez La Corte (’14), Christina Soriano (Associate Professor of Dance)
(Bern-Beatty Colloquium)
Through the performing arts, Chris Gonzalez La Corte has made his work focused on social change and issues that directly relate to the community in which he is a part. In this session, he will present a restaging of a dance theatre piece he did in 2014 at Wake Forest University, lead a workshop to discuss the integration of advocacy and activism through the arts, and brainstorm ideas on how to engage alumni and current students in the ongoing process of inclusion on campus, through our WFU network, and the community at large.
Session Two: Now That We Have Marriage Equality We Can All Go Home, Right?
LGBTQ Rights In the 21st Century
Jeremy Bishop (’00), Shannon Gilreath (JD '02, Professor of Law and Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
(Farrell A48)
In the last ten years, the LGBT community has made staggering progress in our push for full equality. In this session, we’ll take a look at this progress, discuss reasons for its acceleration, and identify gaps that must still be closed. What would full equality look like for you?
4 - 4:50 p.m.Session One: I Rise: African American Transgender Lives
Toni Newman (’85), Angela Mazaris (Director of the LGBTQ Center)
(Farrell A48)
Author Toni Newman ( I Rise —The Transformation of Toni Newman ) will lead this session on the transgender community, focusing particularly on African-American transgender women within the LGBTQ family. Most African-American/Latina transgender females live below the poverty level and face violence that is double that of any group within the LGBTQ community. How can the LGBTQ family help them rise above their socio-economic status?
Please join Toni for an open discussion about being transgender, transitioning within the LGBTQ family, and the support needed from the LGBTQ family.
Session Two: The Gay Christian Network and Reconciling LGBTQ/Christian Communities
Justin Lee (‘00), Derek Hicks (Assistant Professor of Religion and Culture, School of Divinity)
(Farrell A17)
Although American culture as a whole is becoming much more LGBTQ-friendly, some religious communities and people are still far behind. In this session, hear from Justin Lee, executive director of The Gay Christian Network and author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate, as he discusses the state of LGBTQ support in Christian communities and ways we can all make a difference. Justin will share from his own experience growing up gay in an evangelical world and will offer practical, real-life strategies and resources for changing the attitudes of anti-LGBTQ Christians in your family, community, or circle of influence.
5 p.m.Rising Voices Welcome Reception
Bern-Beatty Colloquium, Farrell Hall
Nathan Hatch, President, and Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
Saturday, October 24, 2015 - Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium
8:30 - 9:15 a.m Registration and Breakfast
9:15 a.m.Welcome
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.Panel: Telling Our Stories
Panelists: Jen Braeden Loughridge (’02), Chris Gonzalez La Corte (’14), Shane Harris ('98), Katina Parker (’96)

Moderator: Mary M. Dalton ('83, Professor of Communication, Film Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies)

The stories of the LGBTQ community and the experiences of LGBTQ individuals are rarely reflected in mainstream media and arts, yet our voices are valuable parts of our larger understanding of self, culture, and society. Panelists represents a variety of story-telling mediums: television, film, dance, and journalism. This session will discuss the various ways LGBTQ people share our stories and make our voices heard.
10:45 - 11:15 a.m.Coffee Break
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.mPanel: Professional Journeys
Panelists: Courtney Cuff (’94), J. Robby Gregg, Jr. (’83), Kelly Smith ('86)

Moderator: Christopher T. Copeland ('91, Director of Leadership Development & Spiritual Life, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Spirituality, Wake Forest University School of Divinity )

Unsurprisingly, Wake Forest has no shortage of successful, powerful, passionate, and world-changing alumni, including LGBTQIA alumni and their allies. This panel will feature four alumni who have excelled in their fields and found unique ways to connect their personal experiences and professional passions. Panelists will share insight into navigating the challenge of finding your professional voice and living authentically.
12:30 - 2 p.m.Lunch, Benson University Center Room 401
Being LGBTQ at WFU Today Student Panel
Panelists: Dani Benitez, Reece Guida, Tatianna Nelson, Adam Rosensweig
2 - 3:30 p.m.Panel: Wake Forest’s LGBTQ History
Panelists: Jeremy Bishop (’00), Tré Easton, (’13), William B. Hawk ('93), Amanda Miller (attended '00-'03), Susan Parker (MDIV '02), Perry Patterson (Professor of Economics and Lecturer in Russian, 1986-2013
Associate Dean for Academic Advising, 2009-2012), David Styers (‘92)

Co-Moderators: Mary Gerardy (MBA '92, Associate VP for Campus Life and Director of Global Engagement, Pro Humanitate Institute), Hu Womack ('90, MBA '00, Outreach and Instruction Librarian)

While the LGBTQ Center at Wake Forest was founded in 2011, the history of Wake’s LGBTQ community goes back much farther. From the days of a secret counseling group to the student body electing the first openly gay student body president, panelists will share experiences from many points in Wake Forest’s LGBTQ history. Audience members will also be invited to add their own experiences and memories to an interactive timeline.
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.Oral History Collection and
Coffee Breaks/Conversation in LGBTQ Center, Women’s Center, and Office of Multicultural Affairs
4:30 - 5:45 p.m.Panel: Intersections of Identity
Panelists: Fahim Gulamali (’14), David Hopkins (’12), Justin Lee (’00), Toni Newman (‘85)

Moderator: Nehemiah Rolle ('15, Wake Forest Fellow in the Office of the Provost)

The LGBTQ community encompasses a wide range of identities, experiences, and voices, yet we cannot forget that each of us experiences our LGBTQ identity as just one part of our complex and intersecting identities and experiences. This session will focus on life at those unique intersections for several of our alumni; panelists will share insight from their experiences as students and after their time here.
6:30 p.m.Rising Voices: Creating LGBTQIA Inclusive Campuses and Communities
Dinner and Keynote Speech with Stephen T. Russell (‘88)

The last decades have seen dramatic social change for LGBTQIA lives – and yet persistent questions of equity and inclusion remain. Russell describes the results of a growing body of research on the policies, practices, approaches that make a difference for creating inclusive campuses and communities where all people can thrive.
Magnolia Room, Reynolda Hall