Contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs

Director: Yantee Slobert
Office: 117 Basil Hall
Phone: (585) 385-8378

2013-2014 Diversity Calendar Notes

National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) 2013-2014 Diversity & Inclusion Series

NOTE: All programs are three hours in length. However, these can be adapted to one-hour or other time frames to accommodate different class requirements. Unless otherwise indicated, contact Steven Jarose, Director at NCBI Rochester, for further information and scheduling at or (585) 224-7238.

Intervention Strategies for a Strong, Vibrant, Diverse Community

Developing leadership skills to think well of all citizens in a society that prides itself on winner-take-all is the challenge of our times. Yet our greatest resource, the capacity to work for the mutual benefit of everyone, goes largely untapped. Examining the deeper issues of diversity can strengthen our communities and our institutions.

NCBI offers practical, hands-on skills for community transformation and change, whether that community is a classroom, a school, a campus or workplace. Participants will complete a leadership skills assessment and apply six key NCBI principles for community building to a topic of interest in the course.

Power, Privilege and Dominance: Exploring What’s Missing from the Conversation

“Social location” is defined as the space a person occupies throughout the day with respect to dimensions of power, privilege and status. These dimensions impact minute-by-minute relationships and group dynamics in the classroom, throughout the campus and in the community at large. This fluid dynamic has both historic and present day aspects, causing communications and behaviors that separate people from each other, whether intentionally or unaware.

What’s often missing is an understanding of how the nature of oppression impacts all of us, and how the creation of safe space can produce humble listening, the kind that fosters understanding and insight rather than the need to be right at all costs. This interactive presentation invites participants into a process of engagement to explore race through its larger lens, a lens by which we get to have an understanding of one another fully and unconditionally.

INCLUSIVITY: Getting from Here to There

Like many institutions of higher learning, SJFC embraces the concept of creating inclusive campus learning environments for all. But what does it mean to be truly inclusive? How can the college apply strengths-based approaches uniquely and yet consistently throughout the campus as it interfaces with the community at large? What is the relationship between leadership development, lifelong learning and civic engagement? How do we model what it means to be inclusive with one another and ambassadors to the community?

Utilizing a variety of interactive, experiential exercises, participants will examine the information and misinformation we have taken on regarding different groups on campus and elsewhere, explore factors which keep us from engagement and develop skill sets for dialogue when conflicts and polarizing issues make it hard to stay connected.

Ally Building for Effective Cross Cultural Communication

Having the allies we want and being the allies others need requires that we step away from isolation and unawareness and work in partnership with others. There is much to gain by tapping into the rich treasure of diversity that surrounds us and lies within us. How do power differentials impact how we see ourselves and those we view as “other”? What does it mean to be an ally and how can allies collaborate in ways that bring about win/win solutions? We will answer these questions by applying skill-building resources to the issues we may be confronting on campus and in the wider world.

The Nature of Oppression: Its Origin, Impact and Strategies for Intervention

Oppression impacts all of us. Because of the nature of our complex, ever-changing relationships, we can unwittingly be the target of an unwarranted remark or action, or become the perpetrator. Using racial inequity as our foundation, we will investigate the cycle of oppression through a racial justice lens and offer interventions that shift the dynamic from shame, blame and guilt to one of deep listening and transformation. Upon request, this program can be adapted to other dimensions or combinations of oppression because of age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ability, religion, class status or appearance.

Turning By-standing into Action: Insights and Strategies for Empowering Ourselves and Others

Given the basic moral instinct of humans, examined by Harvard’s Steven Pinker, why don’t more people intervene in the face of words or actions they know to be harmful? When do individuals decide it is possible to make a difference, and what motivates them to step in? Using an experiential framework, participants will gain insight into the recordings, internalized oppression, and life experiences that come into play when by-standing is an issue. Real life experiences and specific strategies for empowerment and action will be the focus of this presentation.

The Gay Alliance 2013-2014 Higher Education Series

Since 1973, the Gay Alliance has been providing education about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight ally issues. We have presented keynote addresses at conferences, interactive workshops, and professional in-services as well as having spoken in thousands of classrooms (middle school through college). Our most requested service is our standard LGBT 101: An Introduction to Diversity presentation where we provide a team of trained individuals of different identities, (LGBT, Ally, Parent, etc.) who talk about their personal experiences. This personal story model of education has been proven to be the most effective way to reduce personal discomfort and to encourage inclusion (W.J. Blumenfield, 1992). What follows are descriptions of programs that are currently being offered.

To schedule a presentation, please contact the Gay Alliance Outreach and Education Program or (585) 244-8640 ext. 14.

LGBT 101: An Introduction to Diversity

PRESENTER: Gay Alliance Speakers Bureau Members
TIME: 1-2 Hours

For over 20 years this presentation has been the cornerstone of our education and outreach. The presentation provides participants with a general understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. Trained Speakers Bureau members will share their personal coming out stories. They will discuss basic terms and vocabulary, including the distinction between sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This presentation can be presented to a small group with two presenters or in a larger group as a panel presentation. This format encourages dialogue and provides ample time for participants to ask questions and get honest answers.

Safe Zone Training

PRESENTERS: Gay Alliance Staff and/or Speakers Bureau Members
TIME: 2 to 3 hours

This fast paced, educational presentation is perfect for health care providers, resident advisors, corporate work teams, student leaders, teaching faculty and school staff. Participants will learn: LGBTQIA vocabulary, the difference between sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity, the coming out process, how to deal with difficult LGBT situations, and how to be a supportive straight ally. At the end of the session, participants are eligible to receive a Gay Alliance SafeZone sticker.

Who’s Who Panel: Understanding the Power of Stereotypes

PRESENTERS: Gay Alliance Staff and Speakers Bureau Members
TIME: 1 and 1/2 hours

It is human nature to label people and objects. It is how we create order and make sense of the world. Unfortunately, labeling and stereotyping people can lead to a flawed understanding of a culture. In this fun and interactive panel presentation, participants will have an opportunity to challenge themselves on long held stereotypes and beliefs. Our panel will consist of individuals who identify as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Our sixth panelist will be a “wild card.” Participants must ask the panelist questions and try to guess how the panelists identify. Direct questions about sexual behaviors are not allowed, for example: “Who was the last person you had sex with?” Questions about gender expression are fair game, for example: “Do you own Birkenstocks?” This presentation is sure to create lots of laughter but it is also a great opportunity for self-reflection and in depth discussions around the power of stereotyping in a safe and comfortable setting.

Transgender Community Awareness: The Gender Spectrum

PRESENTERS: Gay Alliance Staff and Speakers Bureau Members
TIME: 1-2 hours

The goal of this presentation is to increase participant’s comfort level with gender variant and transgender people, encourage an open discussion of these issues, and teach the importance of inclusive non-discrimination policies. Trained Speakers Bureau members will share their personal coming out stories and encourage participants to ask questions and dialogue in a safe and respectful environment.

Straight Talk: Understanding the Power of the Straight Ally

PRESENTER: Jeanne Gainsburg, Gay Alliance Outreach Coordinator
TIME: 1-2 hours

Although the majority of straight people in the U.S. believe in equality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, most of them remain uninvolved in the civil rights fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. Fears and anxieties associated with becoming active, as well as the belief that a straight person has little to offer, prevent many people from becoming involved. In this presentation, we will discuss overcoming these concerns. We will study the “coming out” process for the ally. Participants will learn the power that they have to bridge the gap between the straight and the LGBT community. Finally, allies will learn what they can do to work towards decreasing heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia. Straight allies have a unique gift that we can give back to our LGBT friends to thank them for making our world such a wonderful and diverse place.

Meeting the Needs: LGBT Aging Concerns

PRESENTERS: Scott Fearing, Gay Alliance Program Director and Kelly Clark, Intergenerational Programs Director
TIME: 2-4 hours

We all know that the American population is aging and this includes the LGBT population as well. In 2012 it is estimated that there were just over 3 million gay and lesbian Americans over the age of 60. Yet, this population remains invisible to most senior service providers, and LGBT seniors often find their lives and families ignored or outright rejected. Many people who have lived open full lives as LGBT individuals find themselves back in the closet as they age. This presentation will provide information about the unique concerns of LGBT seniors and what providers need to be aware of to adequately serve this population.

Safe Zone Training for College Athletic Departments

PRESENTERS: Gay Alliance Staff and/or Speakers Bureau Members
TIME: 3 hours

It is critical that athletic departments welcome all individuals, regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Come learn how to promote the best athletics by making our players, coaches and athletic staffs feel respected and valued. In this fast paced, educational presentation you will learn LGBTQIA vocabulary, the difference between sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity, why “out” individuals make better athletes, the coming out process, NCAA guidelines on inclusion of transgender athletes and how to deal with difficult LGBT situations in the locker room and on the field or court. At the end of the session, participants are eligible to receive a Gay Alliance SafeZone sticker.

LGBT Cultural Competence in Healthcare

PRESENTERS: Scott Fearing, Gay Alliance Program Director
TIME: 2-12 hours

Patient Centered Care is at the core of proper service provision for healthcare providers, and an important aspect of this care is the need for providers who are culturally competent. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Cultural Competence is a track that is often missing in the training programs of most medical and provider training programs. The Gay Alliance LGBT Cultural Competency session has provided the technical assistance and capacity building needed for medical institutions and clinics around the region, state and country.

SpeakOUT: Successful LGBT Education

PRESENTER: Scott Fearing, Gay Alliance Program Director and Jeanne Gainsburg, Gay Alliance Outreach Coordinator
TIME: 10-15 hours

The SpeakOUT Training is an experiential, dynamic training that results in personal and professional growth. Graduates of this training will have improved skills to effectively educate about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. When LGBT issues are discussed in today’s society people often feel discomfort, anger, confusion, resentment or futility. To change systems of oppression, and the hearts and minds of individuals, it is critical that level-headed, productive and useful discussions occur. This training helps to inspire individuals to put fear and negativity behind them and to confront oppression, harassment and discrimination in useful and productive ways whenever and wherever it is found. SpeakOUT is professional development for your life.

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