Gender and sexuality to be discussed at Courageous Conversations

On a large campus with a small town feel, the student advisory commitee wants students and faculty to feel heard when they walk into the Russell Union Ballroom for Courageous Conversations. 

Mitch Smith

STATESBORO — Gender and sexuality will be the topic of discussion at the next Courageous Conversations.

The student advisory committee hosts Courageous Conversations in order to bring faculty and students together to provide a place and allow time for concerns to be addressed and dialogue to occur that otherwise might not happen.

“We wanted to make sure that people had an opportunity to maybe share some of their concerns that they’ve had at this institution and be collaborative in exploring what we can to do to mitigate the issues,” Takeshia Browndirector the office of multicultural affairs, said.

Maurice Nelson, coordinator of diversity education and program outreach, wants students to engage in dialogue with respect and be comfortable with being uncomfortable during these discussions.

The meeting will be held on Monday March 9 in the Russell Union Ballroom at 6 p.m.

At the last Courageous Conversation, social justice was the topic. In part of laying some foundation, the term social justice needed to be defined before discussion. LeAnn Bell, an education of social justice professor, provided a definition of the term.

“Social Justice is both a process and a goal,” Bell said. “The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. We envision a society in which individuals are both self-determining, able to develop their full capacities, and interdependent, capable of interacting democratically with others.”

Equity versus equality was another topic of discussion. To explain this concept, Brown gave the example of walking into a room full of people and passing out the same exact pair of prescription eye glasses to everyone in the room. While this would meet the definition of equal it would not actually be beneficial since the glasses aren’t custom to meet everyone’s needs.

Being equitable would mean to give everyone in that room glasses that help them, not glasses that are just the same to everyone.

Warnings of ICE Raids in Statesboro, subtle sexism around campus, accessibility issues, trouble finding a mentor and personal space were some of the concerns raised by people present once the floor was opened.

Everyone in the room was then assigned to 4 different tables where they were given 1 of the 7 social justice issues, which are: racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ageism, environmentalism and ableism. Each table was asked to identify their specific issue and any stakeholders, collaborators and resources needed in order to tackle this issue.

Mitch Smith, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]