From the January 28, 2016 NACAC Bulletin:
Co-Leaders of the LGBTQ+ and Allies Special Interest Group
Chris Wilcox, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (CA)
Matt Huber, Harrisburg Area Community College (PA)
NACAC Special Interest Groups (SIGs) nurture the growing diversity in our association by providing “micro” communities where members can network and add value to their membership experience. These smaller subsets of members are formed for the purpose of knowledge sharing and discussion among members with similar interests whether they are specific subjects, issues or type of institution, or students they serve.
The goal of the LGBTQ+ and Allies SIG is to provide a safe and comfortable forum where college admission professionals and college counselors can exchange thoughts and ideas on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues within our high schools and on our college campuses. Our group is open both to those individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as those individuals who identify as supportive allies to this group. Our world and community have made great progress on these issues in the past decade but there is still much work to be done. We invite all individuals to join the efforts of this important network of leaders and educators within the NACAC community. Participation can take on many forms—from simply staying in touch with our LGBTQ+ and Allies Exchange Group to organizing greater efforts on our college campuses.
This year we plan on staying connected with regular check-ins and prompts for discussion via the Exchange Group. We aim to build respect and trust amongst colleagues as we tackle the challenges associated with diversity work. One specific goal we have is to expand the dialogue on transgender issues and to build a database of information and resources on the NACAC website which can help individuals and institutions support those who identify as transgender. We are also working hard to plan and organize a panel on transgender issues at the upcoming 2016 NACAC National Conference in Columbus, OH. With this in mind, please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the coming months if you have ideas or thoughts of your own for such a presentation. All ideas are welcome.
The LGBTQ+ landscape is ever-shifting and ever-changing. It is important for us as a community to celebrate the joys of accomplishment together as well as stay alert, vigilant, and watchful for all those individuals who may not have a voice at this point in time. Thank you for your consideration in joining our efforts this year!