April 19, 2017

Survive, Strive, Thrive

The Bayard Rustin Center for LGBTQA Activism, Awareness and Reconciliation held its sixth annual symposium on April 22 at the Guilford College Community Center.

The theme, “Survive, Strive and Thrive,” addressed the struggles the LGBTQIAA+ community faces while also celebrating the community’s triumphs and recognizing its resiliency and the contributions its members have made in the United States.

This year’s keynote speaker was J. Tiffany Holland ’97, part-time lecturer in Guilford’s History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies departments and a candidate for a Ph.D. in history at Duke University.

“There was nothing like this when I was here,” Tiffany says. “I am really in awe of the students who have created this space on campus. They are themselves — they let themselves be seen and heard — and they teach and guide so many folks.”

Students including Hughes ’19 agree: “I helped plan this event, and I’m the co-president of PRIDE. I do a lot of work for MED (Multicultural Education Department) even though I don’t work there. I think it’s important to have LGBTQ representation on campus and have events that uplift our community.”

“I was very happy with how the event turned out. Tiffany inspired us all with her thoughtful and moving speech. It was great to see the students, faculty and staff present for her wonderful talk,” says Irving Zavaleta Jimenez ’08, Assistant Director of MED.

“One highlight was to see Rebecca Hamilton-Levi, a Multicultural Leadership Scholar, present her film, A Gender Journey: Continued Look Into the Lives and Experiences of Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Students, which highlights the experiences of trans and gender non-binary students at Guilford,” Irving says.

Additional events included workshops and a showing of Moonlight, a coming-of-age film that follows the life of a young African American gay man growing up in Miami.

Sponsors of the event included PRIDE, Friends Center, the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and MED.

The Bayard Rustin Center for LGBTQA Activism, Education, and Reconciliation operates within the Multicultural Education Department at Guilford College and is a space dedicated to affirming the lives, histories and experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Allied students, faculty and staff at Guilford and beyond.