If you’ve been on UAA’s campus during the past two weeks, then you know how much energy and activism has gone into supporting the One Anchorage initiative. From tabling and phone banking, to drag show benefits and pizza parties, the LGBT community hasn’t had this much visibility and acknowledgement on campus since the Board of Regents added sexual orientation to the University of Alaska nondiscrimination policy in early last year.
Though the election might be over, LGBT students and their allies aren’t fading from the radar. Thanks to the hard work of dedicated staff and students, UAA is rolling out a brand-new annual event, Safe Zone Celebration!
Intended to promote an inclusive and welcoming campus environment on campus, the Safe Zone Initiative was created to helping students and staff understand the experiences of LGBT individuals on campus, and providing the tools for allies to be able to talk effectively about the LGBT issues and serve as an advocates on campus.
The level of support shown by the University in the regard is unprecedented for our campus, so let’s take a look at what’s happening over the next two weeks! (And please note, all events are open to the public!)
Kick off and Dessert Reception
Thursday, April 12, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Student Union Cafeteria
Community speakers, free cake, and refreshments kick off the week! Come join us as we recognize the hard work that comes out of the LGBTQA community, and as we take a look at what’s ahead! With a keynote speech by Trevor Storrs, CEO of the Alaskan Aids Assistance Association in addition to serving as the Spokesperson of the One Anchorage Initiative, this is sure to be an energizing experience. You can also register for ally trainings taking place throughout the rest of the week!
Tuesday, Apr. 17, 5-7pm, location TBD
Wednesday, Apr. 18, 11:30am-1:30pm, location TBD
Thursday, April 19, 11:30am-1:30pm, Location TBD
Ally trainings provide a space to share and learn from one another, and the identify effective ways in which we can advocate for and support the LGBT individuals on our campus. From the basics including vocabulary and LGBT history, to discussions on marginality and the construction of LGBT identities, Safe Zone Ally Trainings provide an informative and moving opportunity to tackle topics that are often taboo on campus. To register for a training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LGBTQA Lunch-time Discussions
Tuesday, Apr. 17, 12-1pm, Gorsuch Commons
Wednesday, Apr. 18, 12-1pm, Student Union Cafeteria
Join these community conversations to identify what resources are needed on campus to support our LGBTQA students or in what other ways UAA can contribute to an inclusive campus and community environment for LGBTQA students. No RSVP required!
The Family, UAA’s LGBTQA student organization welcomes anyone and everyone to attend their meetings! Come see what we’ve been up to and meet new friends. Needless to say, there will be free pizza.
Drag Queen Bingo
Thursday, Apr. 19, 6:30pm, UAA Student Union North Cafeteria
Talk about fabulous! Drag Queen Bingo comes to campus for the first time! Hosted by The Family, this fun, free event provides students and community members an opportunity to dress up and win some sweet (probably Value Village sourced) prizes! Come get your game on with us! This event is not associated with the Four A’s annual Drag Queen Bingo event that happens during Pride, though we did receive their blessing to put it on!
But Wait, there’s more!
In addition to all these activities, there will be other events such as LGBT “Q & A” tables around campus, a display in the Consortium Library showcasing some of the many LGBT-related resources and media available, in addition to promotion and resources to carry out the National Day of Silence on Friday the 20th!
We’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeves, but if you have any ideas for programming or events that week, or you would like to donate prizes for Drag Queen Bingo, please send a note to email@example.com. We would love your input!