Change Agents will engage in education, support, and advocacy efforts that support the work of the LGBTQ+ Center in creating an inclusive campus and equitable experience for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities, with a particular focus on centering racial justice within this work. Change Agents will be supported by the Center in doing programming, creating and implementing initiatives, and making changes on campus and within the community.
As Change Agents, students will attend [public health situation permitting] the 2022 Creating Change conference, to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, the pre-eminent political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ+ social justice movement, with the LGBTQ+ Center, then return to serve the campus and local community through enacting change rooted in skills and knowledge gained at the conference. Change Agents will represent a diversity of identities, experiences, and campus engagement areas and interests.
Students who are selected as Change Agents will attend the Creating Change conference with all expenses (travel, hotel, meals, registration) covered by the LGBTQ+ Center. Following conference attendance, Change Agents will utilize knowledge and skills gained to support, facilitate, and create programs and initiatives to enhance inclusion of LGBTQ+ identities and individuals within the campus and local communities. Change Agents will have the opportunity to develop their own initiatives or programs with support from the LGBTQ+ Center, or they may choose to support or enhance an existing program or opportunity. Due to the expectation of ongoing engagement with the LGBTQ+ Center and LGBTQ+ community, the Change Agent role includes a required one semester commitment, and a preferred year-long commitment. This will involve ongoing meetings throughout the semester.
Through participating in the LGBTQ+ Center Change Agent role, students will
- Gain a broader and deeper understanding of national issues in LGBTQ+ rights through a racial justice lens and community building, organizing, and policy work
- Develop specific tools to translate experiences and knowledge back to the campus and local community to enhance inclusion for LGBTQ+ individuals
- Engage in an immersive experience within a large, diverse, multi-faceted LGBTQ+ community and reflect on the ways this immersion impacts sense of self and personal identity development
- Learn skills necessary to create and implement programs, initiatives, and interventions that create change for LGBTQ+ people and center racial justice within the campus and community, framed by the knowledge and perspective gained through participation in the national conference
- Demonstrate learning and growth resulting from role as a Change Agent and share these results with peers and the campus community
In summary, LGBTQ+ Center Change Agents must be willing to commit to all aspects of the Change Agent experience, including, but not limited to:
- Completing pre and post experience assessments
- Journaling throughout the Change Agent experience and presenting significant learnings and reflections
- Attending all scheduled pre-departure meetings
- Attending and engaging in the full conference from January 12 through 16, 2022, and arranging class absence with faculty
- Participating in scheduled Change Agent events during the conference, such as group dinners and scheduled reflections/check-ins
- Continuing work (for a minimum of one semester, but preference for commitment of at least one year) after returning to campus through leveraging skills and experiences gained to create change on WFU’s campus and in the community around LGBTQ+ issues
- Maintaining open communication with the LGBTQ+ Center staff and Change Agent team
- Unique for the Class of 2022 Change Agents – students will be asked to serve as ambassadors and representatives of the LGBTQ+ Center in supporting the 10th Anniversary Celebrations to be held in February 2022
Failure to participate in all aspects of the Change Agent experience may result in dismissal from the program.
Students will be selected based on the strength of their application and with the intention of building a diverse team of Change Agents in terms of identities, experiences, interests, and ways students are engaged on campus. Applications will be accepted through Sunday, October 31, at 11:59 p.m. If you have any questions regarding the experience or application process, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inaugural Class of Change Agents
The Change Agent program is a student leadership program that began in January 2017 and was made possible by gifts from generous alumni and donors. Eight students, who represent a diversity of identities, experiences, and campus engagement areas and interests, were selected through a competitive application process to be the inaugural class of Change Agents.
- Sania Ali, Class of 2019
- Sunny Calhoun, Class of 2020
- Meli Fonseca, Class of 2018
- Julius Goble, Class of 2019
- Charlotte Lu, Class of 2020
- Aries Powell, Class of 2019
- Natalie Valdes, Class of 2020
- Charlotte Warren, Class of 2020
As Change Agents, students began their experience by attending the 2017 Creating Change conference, the pre-eminent political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ+ social justice movement, with the LGBTQ+ Center. The conference was held in January in Philadelphia and included a day of pre-conference sessions, two full days of workshops, speakers, and more, and an opportunity to march in the Philadelphia Women’s March on January 21. To view photos from our trip to Philadelphia, visit our Flickr album.
After returning to campus, Change Agents are tasked with using the knowledge and skills gained to develop and implement programs and initiatives to enhance inclusion of LGBTQ+ identities and individuals within the campus and local communities. The inaugural class of Change Agents have already begun their projects and will be working with the LGBTQ+ Center throughout 2017 to bring their ideas to life. More information will be shared as their projects continue to develop.