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Office of DEI and Student Life Hold Resource Fair

November 2022
  • From left: Director of Student Life Ashlee Givens, Executive Director of DEI Kevin Lovaincy and President Dr. Luis Pedraja
    From left: Director of Student Life Ashlee Givens, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Kevin Lovaincy and QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja
  • From left: Student Accessibility Coordinator Mikaela Kitka and Director of Student Life Ashlee Givens
    From left: Pride Alliance Advisor and Student Accessibility Coordinator Mikaela Kitka and Director of Student Life Ashlee Givens

On Wednesday, October 19 Student Life & Leadership teamed up with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to offer a Resource Fair to students on QCC's West Boylston Street campus. The event was an opportunity for students to learn more about on-campus resources such as Pride Alliance and the HomePlate Food Pantry and Resource Center, as well as local organizations such as Pathways for Change, which provides support for anyone who has been impacted by sexual violence, and the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, which offers a wide range of services including support with substance abuse.

It was great to see so many people back on campus getting involved with student organizations like Pride Alliance. According to co-advisors Mikaela Kitka (coordinator for Student Accessibility Services), Cassie Estey (access navigator for Student Accessibility Services), and Christina Tzortzinis (academic coach), Pride Alliance's purpose is to create a safe and welcoming community for its members, as well as to increase visibility, awareness, and understanding of the LGBTQIA+ experiences on campus. Membership is open to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

The Resource Fair also coincided with International Pronouns Day, held each year on the third Wednesday in October.  Director of Student Life & Leadership, Ashlee Givens, informed the crowd that according to Pronounsday.org, this day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Personal pronouns are the third-person pronouns that an individual wants others to use when referring to them, such as "he/him", "she/hers," or "they/them."

"Referring to people by their chosen pronouns is basic to human dignity. We want QCC to be a welcome space for people of all genders and know that we see you, we hear you, and we support you," Givens added.

"Fostering an inclusive community starts with acknowledging how impactful language can be. You wouldn't like it if I called you by a different name every single day. We acknowledge this so we can create a community of love and inclusion," said Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Kevin Lovaincy.

QCC President Dr. Luis Pedraja mentioned the importance of using correct pronouns, noting that how people define themselves empowers them to be their true selves.  He also noted that the LGBTQIA+ community disproportionally struggles with substance abuse, suicide, becoming homeless and food insecurity, which is why it's vitally important that as a community college, we work to be more inclusive and provided strong support structures that help all of our students. 

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