April 06, 2012

‘Unity through Diversity’ is GLBT Week theme

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- GLBT Awareness Week 2012 is a weeklong celebration of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s GLBT community and a time to unveil the new campus educational campus campaign “Educate Before You Hate.”

The University’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Resource Center and the Saluki Rainbow Network, a registered student organization, are sponsoring numerous activities April 14-21 focusing on the importance of unity within the diverse GLBT community and celebrating approximately 25 years of GLBT Awareness Week activities at SIU Carbondale, according to Wendy Weinhold, coordinator of the GLBT Resource Center.  The new “Educate Before You Hate” campaign is about introducing facts and members of the GLBT community to others. 

“I am so proud of our strides to activate and engage the campus and surrounding community.  Saluki Rainbow Network is a terrific partner,” Weinhold said.  “This year’s Awareness Week theme, ‘Unity Through Diversity,’ signals our efforts to respect and celebrate the complexity within our community.”

The week includes special performances, videos, free STD testing, a silent demonstration, a potluck and cookout, two prom events and more.  Ryan Conrad, co-founder of Against Equality and a doctoral student in Sexuality Studies at Concordia University, will present the keynote speech on April 19.  Conrad calls himself “an outlaw artist, terrorist academic and petty thief who recently expatriated to Montreal from a mill town in central Main.”   The intent of Against Equality is critiquing mainstream gay and lesbian politics. 

The week also features the Shadowboxers Anonymous queer spoken word performance by Kim Johnson and Laura Yes Yes of California on April 16.  Yes Yes is the author of the recently released book “How to Seduce a White Boy in Ten Easy Steps.”  Her first book, it earned a National Book Award nomination.   

“Awareness Week is an important event for our campus.  It celebrates diversity and unity and conveys an open and accepting atmosphere of inclusion for our University.  It also provides awareness and visibility for the various resources available to students,” Scott Schackmann, Saluki Rainbow Network secretary, said. 

Schackmann and Weinhold led the planning for GLBT Awareness Week.  Saluki Rainbow Network provides services, activities and support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community members along with educational outreach and social interaction for GLBTQ individuals and allies. 

Saluki Rainbow Network is hosting a pair of special events on April 20.  It’s the annual Day of Silence and there will be a silent daytime demonstration in the Free Forum area near the Student Center during the day.  That evening, there will be a Pride Potluck and Cookout at Bucky’s Haven on campus lake.

The schedule for GLBT Awareness Week activities, all free and open to the public unless otherwise specified, includes:

April 14

  • Rainbow Café/Carbondale Community High School Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) prom,

8-11 p.m., off-campus event with those ages 13-19 welcome at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship.  For details, contact Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship http://www.cuuf.net/rainbowcafe.  The event also marks the 41st anniversary of the Saluki Rainbow Network.  See www.srn.rso.siuc.edu for more information.

April 15

  • Saluki Rainbow Network Game/Social Night.

April 16

  • Informational table, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Student Center (north end). View the video “It Gets

Better” and learn about the “Educate Before You Hate” campaign.

  • Shadowboxers Anonymous, queer spoken word performance duo, 7 p.m., Student Health

Center Auditorium.

April 17

  • Free STD/HIV testing, 1-4 p.m., Student Health Services Wellness Center
  • Safe Zone Training, 5 p.m., Student Center, Activity Room D

April 18

  • Informational table, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Student Center (north end) with the video “It Gets

Better” and details about the “Educate Before You Hate” campaign.

  • Lucy Bledsoe “meet and greet” with Saluki Rainbow Network, 5:30 p.m., Student

Center, Thebes Room.

  • Saluki Rainbow Network meeting, 6-8 p.m., Student Center, Thebes Room. Kelley

Coures of the Tri-State Alliance will present “4,000 Years of GLBT History.”

April 19

  • Ryan Conrad “Against Equality,” 7 p.m., Lawson Hall, Room 151.

April 20

  • Informational table, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Student Center (north end) showing the “It Gets

Better” video and offering details about the “Educate Before You Hate” campaign.

  • Saluki Rainbow Network Free Forum “Day of Silence” demonstration and NOH8 Photo

Shoot, announcement of times forthcoming.  The NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com) is a national charitable organization promoting human equality via advocacy, education and other such efforts. 

  • Saluki Rainbow Network Pride Potluck and Cookout, 5-8 p.m., Bucky’s Haven on

campus lake.

April 21

  • 11th Annual Pride Prom, 7 p.m.-1 a.m., Holiday Inn, Evansville, Ind.  The Tri-State

Alliance, www.tsagl.org, is the event sponsor.

For more information about GLBT Awareness Week 2012, contact Weinhold at 618/453-6804 (email wendyw@siu.edu) or visit the GLBT Resource Center in Woody Hall, Room C327.