LGBTQ+ Health Initiative's Antiracism Listening & Learning Series

The LGBTQ+ Health Initiative is starting a Summer Anti-Racism Series the week of 7/12. In an interactive space with both activities and discussion, we will digest How to Be An Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. Five 90-minute sessions will have a dual focus on both personal and communal spaces, with the purpose of generating tools to translate Antiracist learnings into practice in each sphere. Each session includes spaces for BIPOC and white folks to engage separately as well as together. This series is currently open to all members of The Network and recipients of The LGBT HHS Initiative grant, and is approved as an activity that counts towards the Network Racial Justice Requirements. Free books are available at registration. We have reached capacity for this series, and registration is now closed! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us with the “Any questions? Email us!” button below. Thank you!
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First Session
2:35 pm - 3:55 pm
Materials for Session 1 – Friday, July 16, 2:35-3:55pm Read How to be An Antiracist Read chapters 1, 2, 14, 16 Definitions, Dueling Consciousness, Gender, Failure Additional material for individual introspection section Read the Combahee River Collective Statement The Combahee River Collective Statement is , ...
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Second Session
2:35 pm - 3:55 pm
Materials for Session 2 – Friday, July 30, 2:35-3:55pm Read How to be An Antiracist Read chapters 7, 13, 18 Culture, Space, Survival Additional material for individual introspection section Pick one or more of the 3 following resources to review. Culture & Gender-Based Violence by Asian Pacific Institu , ...
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Series Information

In an interactive space with both activities and discussion, we will investigate How to Be An Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. Five 90-minute sessions will have a dual focus on both personal and communal spaces, with the purpose of generating tools to translate Antiracist learnings into practice in each sphere. Each session includes spaces for BIPOC and white folks to engage separately as well as together. This series is currently open to all members of The Network and recipients of The LGBT HHS Initiative grant, and is approved as an activity that counts towards the Network Racial Justice Requirements.
This series is primarily focused on employees of the NYS HHS LGBT Network member organizations. We will need to prioritize these participants with our 25-person registration cap. However, given the space, it is open to the public and anyone who is interested in constructive dialogue and learning is welcome to join. We have four co-creators and co-facilitators for these sessions: Olajiwon McCadney, Carolina Kroon, Brooke Levandowski and Lolan Sevilla.

 Olajiwon K. McCadney (he/they) is the Chair for Diversity Studies & the Executive Director for Intercultural Student Success & Strategic Partnerships at HACC, Pennsylvania Community Colleges. Additionally, McCadney is a board member for the National Association for African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) as well as serves as a facilitator for the national team with the national team for the Center for Restorative Justice at the University of San Diego. Lastly, McCadney holds an MSEd in Organizational Leadership & Performance Technology from the College at Potsdam, State University of New York as well as certification in Professional Coaching and is a current doctoral candidate at Northeastern University.

Carolina KroonCarolina Kroon (gender pronouns: she/her/hers) is a visual producer, educator and activist who collaborates with organizations and individuals working towards social justice. For more than two decades she has assisted in representing communities, conspiring with many of the countries’ most effective publications and non-profits. She has facilitated and taught visual literacy and production with many people ranging in age from 8-80 in both community and academic settings. Her organizing has been focused within the LGBTQ and Women’s communities. She is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Brooke A. Levandowski, Phd, MPA Brooke A. Levandowski, PhD, MPA (she/her) is the director of the LGBTQ+ Health Initiative. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. An epidemiologist by training, Brooke’s research seeks to improve stigmatized health outcomes through understanding the influence of culture on health decision making, primarily in the field of reproductive and sexual health. The LGBTQ+ Health Initiative is an excellent opportunity to work within our queer community to improve our health!

Lolan B. Sevilla

Lolan Buhain Sevilla, MPA (gender pronouns: they/them/their) is a cultural worker & organizer who strives to root their work in community, study and practice. They have spent the last decade cultivating an expertise in cross-sectoral nonprofit administration, specializing in crisis management, program strategy, and board development that is grounded in an anti-oppressive framework, and trauma informed lens. Lolan currently works as the Senior Manager of Leadership Development Programs at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Audre Lorde Project. A member of the National Writers Union (Local 1981), they have numerous publishing credits, including the recently co-authored “Individual Struggle, Widespread Injustice: Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Peoples’ Experiences of Systematic Employment Discrimination.

Former Co-Creators and Co-Facilitators

Dr. Myra HenryMyra P. Henry, Ed.D. (gender pronouns: she/her/hers) is an Administrative Change Agent and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practitioner who currently serves as the President and CEO of the YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County. Dr. Henry completed the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy in 2018. She served on the Monroe County Alliance for Transformation of Community and Police. On her own initiative and in response to colleagues’ requests, four years ago Dr. Henry created one of the first DEI committees at the University of Rochester which has actively engaged library staff in a variety of interactive DEI activities. Among this work, Dr. Henry has co-facilitated two White Fragility book clubs and diversity dialog sessions on various EDI related topics.

The LGBTQ+ Health Initiative put together this Series in response to a recent technical assistance survey of Network organizations in which 45% reported they are interested in additional anti-racism training. Additionally, the events of 2020 and 2021 have highlighted how urgent and crucial it is to understand the history of structural racism in the United States and to think about how structural racism impacts our lives and our work. We have made updates to the structure of this series based on feedback from the previous two Series in Summer 2020 and Winter 2021. Changes include having two BIPOC and two white facilitators, and  holding separate spaces for BIPOC and white participants to discuss the book and their learning and perspectives. Additionally, we increased the length of the sessions to 90 minutes to give us time to dive deeper into the conversations.

All meetings will be hosted on Zoom. The link will be sent after registration.

The Summer Series is planned for 2:35-3:55 pm on Fridays. Sessions will be held every other week, in order to give participants adequate time to read and process all of the material. The Summer series spans 10 weeks, from July 16th to September 10th. The meeting time has been chosen as it does not conflict with any of the Network committee meetings. Please see more information about the planned dates and times in the calendar above.

We will be reading How to Be An Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. Previously, we listed to “Seeing White” from Scene On Radio in our Summer 2020 series and read So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo for the Winter 2021 Series. Other materials we are considering for future Series include:
We have purchased 15 copies of How to Be An AntiRacist from a local, woman owned bookstore, The Dog Eared Book. Network members can request copies of the books to be sent to their homes during registration. We also encourage people to check out copies from their local libraries, or to order the book from local, LGBTQ+, and/or BIPOC owned bookstores. The Libby application allows you to connect with your local library virtually and download eBooks. Finally, if you are someone who prefers listening to reading, How to Be An Antiracist is available on Audible and Audiobooks.

Emergent Strategy Group Agreements:

  • Listen from the inside out, or listen from the bottom up (a feeling in your gut matters!);
  • Engage Tension, Don’t Indulge Drama;
  • W.A.I.T.—Why Am I Talking?
  • Make Space, Take Space—a post-ableist adaptation of step up, step back – to help balance the verbose and the reticent
  • Confidentiality—take the lessons, leave the details;
  • Be open to learning;
  • Be open to someone else speaking your truth;
  • Building, not selling—when you speak, converse, don’t pitch;
  • Yes/and, both/and;
  • Value the process as much as, if not more than, you value the outcomes;
  • Assume best intent; attend to impact;
  • Self care and community care—pay attention to your bladder, pay attention to your neighbors;
  • Trauma-Informed Care Guidelines.

* These agreements come from adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy, published in 2017.

Please see the agendas for each meeting in the calendar events above.

This is a unique time in our history and many people are experiencing trauma. We recognize the current-day racial injustices in the institutions that are a part of the history of oppression and racism that can have a traumatic effect on the experience of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Racism brings up many feelings for all of us: guilt, loss, grief, anger, isolation, anxiety, fear, nervousness, lack of concentration, sadness, bitterness, depression, numbness, denial, fight, flight, freeze, etc, and people who had past trauma and/or historical trauma may be especially vulnerable. We will do our best to ensure that we respect the five trauma-informed care guiding principles during these sessions: Safety, Choice, Collaboration, Trustworthiness, and Empowerment, to avoid re-traumatizing those in the session.

Using Gender Pronouns

Consider adding your pronouns in parenthesis after your name! This can be a helpful way to make sure you’re respecting everyone’s pronouns while making it easier for folks to declare theirs.

To add pronouns to your name:

  1. Tap the Settings icon.
  2. Choose Edit Profile.
  3. After your last name, write in your pronouns (e.g. “(she/her)”). Using parenthesis helps separate your pronouns from your name.

Customizing Skin Tone for Reactions

Zoom offers two reaction icons that you can use during a call: a hands’ clap and finger up. You can adjust the skin color on these reactions to better match your own.

To change the reaction skin tone:

  1. Tap the Settings icon in Zoom.
  2. Choose Meetings.
  3. Scroll down, tap Reactive Skin Tone.
  4. Change the reactive skin tone.

In a meeting:

  1. Click the ^ arrow next to Video (bottom left corner of screen).
  2. Select Video Settings.
  3. Select General.
  4. Choose reactive skin tone.

FAQ

Please fill out this registration form. We have 25 open spaces for this Series, so we ask that you please register if you plan on joining!

Registration has closed for this series, as we have reached capacity! Thank you for your interest!

For the Summer book club series, we ask that you attend at least 3 of the 5 meetings in order to have the best experience and to create continuity for the group.

We are pleased that you have people in your life that may also be interested in these discussions. This project is funded by the NYS Department of Health’s AIDS Institute to support NYS organizations who are members of the Network to improve their organizational-level LGBTQ+ and racial equity. While we welcome anyone to join us, we want to prioritize our Network organizations.

We chose these days/times because they do not conflict with any of the Network’s committee meetings. If you can’t make any meeting, then please use our materials & agenda to make your own discussion group. And let us know about it!

We have purchased 15 copies of How to Be An AntiRacist from a local, woman owned bookstore, The Dog Eared Book. Network members can request copies of the books to be sent to their homes during registration. We also encourage people to check out copies from their local libraries, or to order the book from local, LGBTQ+, and/or BIPOC owned bookstores. The Libby application allows you to connect with your local library virtually and download eBooks. Finally, if you are someone who prefers listening to reading, How to Be An Antiracist is available on Audible and Audiobooks.

We welcome people at all stages of their learning about how structural racism was built in our country and how it impacts black, indigenous, people of color today. We have a simple agenda for each meeting, which is outlined in the calendar events. Consider writing out your answers to the questions each week to be prepared. Also, we’re operating under shared agreements, so please see the Ground Rules (above in Series Information). We will do our best to be open to learning together, and we have 4 skilled co-facilitators to guide the conversations and help everyone in this process.

Presentation from our Summer 2020 Series: antiracism_week1

We will post any PowerPoint presentations, links, or extra material here. If you can’t find something or if something is missing, please let us know!