Courageous Conversations holds LGBTQ+ session

Marc Bender, MSW student intern and member of SVSU Pride Center, presents on the LGBTQ+ History and Forming Allies on Jan. 29 in Banquet Hall B. Vanguard Photo | Audrey Bergey

On Jan. 29, Courageous Conversations focused on LGBTQ+ history and developing an understanding of the community.

The session allowed students to safely come together and have a personal and educational discussion.

Marc Bender, a MSW student intern and SVSU Pride Center member, led the session with a presentation.

Attendees were encouraged to share their personal experiences within the LGBTQ+ community.

Bender covered history, dating from the late 1920s to present day, as well as important events such as the AIDS epidemic and how it affected the community.

At the conclusion of the session, the group discussed the struggles the LGBTQ+ community experiences and how people who may not be a part of the community can respect and understand those who are.

Roberto Garcia, the director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, said he thought the session was a successful collaboration.

“Whenever students have an opportunity to learn about the LGBTQ+ community or any other diverse population, it helps support their personal and academic growth,” he said.

Garcia explained that the session was purposely interactive and discussion-based in order to foster appreciation for diversity and inclusion.

The Courageous Conversations program consists of eight total sessions that are focused on a number of different topics, such as Black Lives Matter, feminism and bias.

“The conversation began during the summer and evolved through the recognition to provide SVSU students with education and conversation on a broad range of social justice and multicultural based educational opportunities,” Garcia said.

Students can find more information about these topics on OMSA and other SVSU social media pages.

Students can RSVP for the last two sessions of the Courageous Conversations program either by the Event Blast found in their student emails or by calling the OMSA office at 989-964-7090. The Feb. 5 session will focus on white privilege and allyship.

The Feb. 12 session will be a closing review led by history professor Kenneth Jolly.

Audrey Bergey

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