The Department of Intercultural Affairs at Western Carolina University will host the fourth annual TRANSaction Day in the A.K. Hinds University Center on Thursday, April 4. TRANSaction Day was developed by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network as a national day to encourage dialogue about gender identities and to advocate for inclusive, safe schools for all students.
The event will begin at WCU with an intergroup dialogue on gender identity at 10 a.m. in Multipurpose Room A in the UC. An intergroup dialogue is a facilitated learning approach that engages participants in exploring issues of identity, inequality and change through continuous, face-to-face meetings between people from two or more social identity groups that have a history of conflict or potential conflict. The goal is to enhance participants’ awareness, knowledge and skills in relating to people who are different from themselves. To register for a session, visit the Department of Intercultural Affairs on OrgSync.
Then at 1 p.m. in the Grandroom, an hour-long student experience panel will focus on what it means to be a trans individual on a college campus. The panel will explore the challenges and sometimes polarizing experience transgender students face with daily activities such as checking email, checking out a library book, using the bathroom or responding to a roll call on the first day of class. Attendees will learn how to support transgender campus and community members.
At 2:30 p.m. in the Grandroom, a campus strategies workshop, led by trans spoken word and hip-hop performers Rocco Kayiatos and Harvey Katz, will engage participants in a discussion on gender identity and key terms. The workshop also will explore ways in which to create an inclusive, supporting environment for students of trans experience, including health-care needs, bathroom and housing safety and correct name and pronoun usage in class, among others.
A Safe Zone training for faculty, staff and students will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in the UC Multipurpose Room. Safe Zone certification offers students, faculty and community members an increased awareness and sensitivity to issues of gender and sexuality. Participants must attend both Part I and Part II sessions to be Safe Zone certified. To register for a training session, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 5 p.m. in the Grandroom, Western North Carolina organizations that affirm people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning their sexuality, intersex and asexual, will gather at WCU for a town hall event and dinner to begin conversations about the programs, services and opportunities they offer. Participating organizations include Youth OUTright, Campaign for Southern Equality, Just Us for All, the Western North Carolina Community Health Services TransHealth Project, Out in the Mountains and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin. After the panel, a moderated discussion will take place to examine needs in Western North Carolina. Youth OUTright will lead a breakout session for people ages 14 to 23. Dinner will be provided to all participants.
The evening presentation will be “F to eMbody,” a multimedia, spoken-word and hip-hop performance by the Athens Boys Choir and Rocco Katastrophe. The performance, which is sponsored by ACE or Arts and Cultural Events at WCU, will be held in the Grandroom and is for all ages, free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Sarah A. Carter, associate director of resource services with the Department of Intercultural Affairs at email@example.com or 828-227-2617.