Reading Rainbows, a diversity and inclusion workshop series, gives students, faculty, and staff a space to engage with difficult yet important discussions about identity.
In spring 2021, staff from the LGBTQIA Resource Center and other Tech community members will facilitate four workshops, each focused on a different diversity and inclusion topic.
Please only RSVP for the workshops that you plan to attend. You can attend as many or as few as you wish. All workshops will take place remotely via BlueJeans or Microsoft Teams for Spring 2021.
Vulnerabilities Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Presented by Gilbert Gonzales, PhD & Lena Robertson of Vanderbilt University
Friday, January 22 from 12:00-1:00pm
COVID-19 disrupted the lives of millions of American college students—some of whom were sent home to unsafe or unaccepting environments. We fielded a rapid-response survey of LGBT college students in April-June 2020. We found that approximately 40% of LGBT college students were dissatisfied with life during the COVID-19 pandemic, and almost all (90%) were concerned that COVID-19 would threaten their mental health. Moreover, about 40% of LGBT college students reported unmet mental health needs, and 28% were worried about seeking care during the pandemic because of their LGBT status. One out of four LGBT college students had to go back in the closet because of the pandemic, and approximately 40% were concerned about finances or their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend that public health policymakers, health care providers, and college and university officials should provide LGBT students affirming emotional supports and services to ensure their success during the pandemic.
Language and LGBTQIA Visibility in Engineering
Dr. Chloé Arson (School of Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Alex Wing (College of Computer Sciences)
Friday, September 25 - 12pm-1pm
Recent studies highlighted the lack of visibility and inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) communities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Common strategies to avoid revealing one’s identity and to cope with a lack of inclusion include passing and covering, which, for LGBTQ engineering students, results in social and academic isolation, extra effort and time to complete projects and coursework, and anxiety about professional career. How, then, to reconcile both STEM and LGBTQ identities? In this session, we will address this question through language and inclusivity in the workplace. We will take examples from industry (e.g., Apple’s measures to eliminate oppressive language) and academia (e.g., the underlined binary mindset in engineering education).
Body Positivity in Queer and Trans Communities
Tegra Myanna and Camilla Brewer
Friday, October 16th- 12pm-1pm
In this workshop, Tegra and Camilla will discuss how body positive movements have embraced queer and trans communities, experiences, and truths. And on the flip side, how these movements have excluded queer and trans people. They will explore how in queer and trans communities there is an external and internal hyper-focus on the aesthetics and medicalization of bodies. And finally, they will share strategies for recognizing and addressing harmful practices/ideologies in body positive movements, and on affirming yourself as a queer and/or trans person in your body.
Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation in Data Collection and Reporting
Dr. Brandy Simula and Tegra Myanna
Friday, November 6th- 12pm-1pm
Join Brandy Simula, Professional Development Specialist in the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development and Tegra Myanna, Director of the LGBTQIA Resource Center as they share better practices in data collection and reporting around sex, gender, and sexual orientation. This 1-hour session will provide you with language and tools for gender and sexuality inclusivity and to affirm LGBTQIA people.
All Reading Rainbows meetings will take place remotely for Fall 2020.
Participants will be able to log into an online platform that will be equipped with live captions. Videos and microphones do not have to be used/turned on to participate. A chat function will be provided to communicate with participants and facilitators as well. There will be a hand-raising feature, if needed.
For group readings: We post these readings as pdfs online at the start of the semester. Please notify us if you find a reading is not screen-reader compatible or if you would like us to provide a large-print hard copy in advance.
For workshops: The formats vary between workshops but may include PowerPoint slides, videos, handouts, and discussions. PowerPoint slides will be viewable during the presentation through screensharing. Please notify us in advance if you would like to receive a digital or large print copy of the slides and handouts or if you need the videos to be captioned or transcribed.
If additional accommodations are needed/desired, please contact Camilla Brewer directly via email at email@example.com.