UCR Summit to Support the Creation of LGBTQ Resources at California Community Colleges

The first CCC + LGBTQ Summit aims to improve support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students at California Community Colleges

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Organized in conjunction with UCR’s LGBT Resource Center, the first CCC + LGBTQ Summit will take place Nov. 11 in the Highlander Union Building (HUB).

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — A new summit hosted by the University of California, Riverside will connect representatives from more than 50 California Community Colleges (CCC) with members of the LGBTQ community in the hopes of expanding campus resources and boosting student engagement.

Organized by CCC faculty and staff in partnership with Nancy Jean Tubbs, director of UCR’s LGBT Resource Center, the first installment of the CCC + LGBTQ Summit will take place Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Highlander Union Building (HUB).

“This is a crucial step to ensuring that all students have the access and resources needed to have a successful college experience,” said Assemblymember Jose Medina, who serves California’s 61st District and joins the statewide Puente Project as one of the summit’s event partners. “As chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, it is important to me that we create and enhance resources for LGBTQ students at all 114 community college campuses throughout California.”

Tubbs, who oversees the first professionally staffed campus LGBT center of its kind in California, said the purpose of the summit is to increase inclusiveness by jumpstarting the process of developing much-needed resources for LGBTQ people in the CCC, which typically feeds into the larger UC and California State University (CSU) systems.

“Community college students are future UCR students,” she said. “The more support LGBTQ students experience at CCC campuses, the more likely it is that they will transfer to four-year colleges.”

According to Tubbs, the CCC has made some strides in recent years. In 2016, Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and Sierra College in Rocklin each opened an onsite Pride Center, effectively doubling the number of two-year institutions nationwide with professionally staffed campus LGBT centers. Still, a 2015 review of CCC websites conducted by Tubbs showed little movement to address issues related to LGBTQ campus climate, student engagement, curriculum, and equity.

“We are behind the curve on serving the needs of LGBTQ people compared to the UC and CSU systems,” said Steven Deineh, librarian at MiraCosta College in Oceanside and chair of the LGBTQIA Caucus of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC). “The summit will provide the biggest and best opportunity to set the stage for change across the CCC system of 114 campuses, 2.1 million students, and 90,000 employees.”

The event will open with a plenary on the current state of resources and support for LGBTQ people at CCC campuses. Speakers will include CCC Interim Vice Chancellor Rhonda Mohr – whose more than 40 years in higher education have seen her lead a range of programs in support of student access, equity, and success – and ASCCC Secretary Dolores Davison, a professor and chair of the departments of history and women’s studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.

Workshop sessions and caucuses will boost communication among various stakeholders, focusing on best practices and strategies for change, such as promoting LGBTQ sensitivity training among CCC faculty, creatively leveraging limited district resources for LGBTQ programming, and making spaces for queer and transgender students of color. A closing plenary will highlight next steps for the system to take as a collective body.

“This conference is the beginning of empowering community colleges to focus more on LGBT+ needs,” said Rocio Aguayo, a UCR transfer student majoring in political science and former president of the Associated Student Government of San Bernardino Valley College. “I love the collaboration taking place between different leaders and know this will help folks create and bring more resources to their campuses.”

The summit is free and open to the public, although registration by Oct. 27 is required for entry. Complimentary parking permits can be obtained from attendants in Lot 1 on the day of the event.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-1287
E-mail: tess.eyrich@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Nancy Jean Tubbs
Tel: (951) 827-2267
E-mail: nancy.tubbs@ucr.edu

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