Common Ground’s last meeting of the semester is TODAY! Join at at MCA, 618 South Michigan, 4th floor for a very special meeting all about feelin’ GOOD!
Don’t forget Columbia students, Common Ground’s Open House Pizza Party is today!!! Don’t miss out on an opportunity for free food and fun! Come visit us at the Loft from 11:30 - 1:30! See ya there!
Panel about Creating Change is this Friday during our regular meeting time! Be there or be square!
Hey ya’ll (gettin’ my Atlanta/southern accent on), it’s Lance!
Fair warning, I am completely drained so some of this may not make the most sense, but I am making a genuine attempt.
I just want to update on where I am right now both personally and with the conference. Today I didn’t do entirely what I planned on doing, but ended up having some incredibly informational, important, emotional conversations. I went to two workshops today, one being on the dynamic that is created between people that come out to their family (particularly trans* identified folks) and those family members that are also going through that experience. I was particularly effected by the fact that the transman that spoke on this topic was a person of color. I have had multiple dialogues revolving around the QPOC community and appreciate not only a trans* perspective but a person of color perspective. This really hit home for me because my family has yet to truly understand or speak about my identity, and that lack of conversation can be triggering to me. I’ve come away from that experience with great, new resources on how to speak to and influence my family’s understanding regarding my identity.
I also went to a workshop on ex-gay therapy, conversion therapy, etc. (whatever word you may use for this experience) which was run by someone that I had previously met and truly connected to. It was hard to recognize that these situations still exist and that too few people are bothering to speak about them.
Furthermore, I feel that the conference has furthered the emotional connections I have already established with the people that I am here with. I have spoken with each person that has joined us on this journey and we each agree that we are closer for having gone through this together.
Overall, I feel empowered, important and ready to come back to Chicago and create change.
Hey Guys! Lance here..
Feeling a little restless here in Atlanta at 7:40am and totally not interested in going to breakfast before 8 for whatever reason, so I thought I’d break down what I’m planning on doing and blogging about later!
1) I’m going to a workshop on trans* inclusivity on a K-12 level which will be so brilliant, hopefully, for work that Common Ground can do with high schools in the Chicago area and otherwise (something a few of us are talking about).
2) No idea on the second morning workshop but after that, probably gonna take a nap. The conference is exhausting in the best ways possible.
3) A workshop on conversion therapy. After having heard personal stories a few time this week, this is a conversation I want to be having.
4) Who knows what else might happen!
In strange primetime news fashion, tune in later to find out what happens!
Hello out there from Rebekah, Common Ground’s social events chair, here to fill you in on the awesome and informatively fun Day 2 of Creating Change 2013 :) I’ll be using a little help from my animal friends up there, but more on that later…
But how could I talk about Day 2 without giving a little taste of Night 1. First, some of us naturally had to take the obligatory nighttime selfie:
Cam and Lance were feeling much more intense however as they waited to start the night in the lounge:
Next, the night really got started and us Common Grounders had the pleasure of sitting in on a rockin’ drag show (and then, of course, taking pictures with this lovely dolphin statue. Can you tell we enjoy taking pictures?)
After that, we found out Garrett had singlehandedly kicked off what had turned into quite the dance party, and we grooved the night away, making lots of new friends in the process.
The next morning started bright and early, as we were all headed to the Campus Pride institute where we spent the day learning, workshopping, and exploring several different approaches to running our on-campus groups and achieving maximum success as leaders. One of our first assignments was to find a creative way to portray what we thought made a successful leader. My group’s outcome were those adorable animals up top, each representing a different characteristic we believed make a powerful leader. Everyone had really awesome ideas, and it was definitely interesting to see what everyone’s products were. We did some scenario work where we broke down, analyzed, and solved different situations that might shake up our group; and discussed in detail different problems we might face when returning to school and helpful, respectful ways to deal with them. Oh, and we also got candy and had an intense group match of rock, paper, scissors. All in a day’s work! My favorite part was easily meeting other young group leaders who are passionate about their work on campus and in the community. From what I can tell, our future is in very good hands!
Now, Night 2 is about to kick off, but not before Lance and I grabbed some dinner from the appropriately hospitable youth hospitality suite:
What the night may hold is anyone’s guess, but on the agenda is speed-friending and karaoke. Let the games begin and have a great night!
Today at Creating Change:
Went to a day long institute run by Campus Pride. I tried to focus in on trans* issues as well as understanding how leadership can be incredibly collaborative even within the general population of an organization.
I find that I may have a unique perspective in comparison to the others on the trip that are in designated, elected, titled leadership positions. As an upcoming player in campus advocacy conversations (yes, I self-designated this and I’m sticking to it), I was happy to be in a room full of other leaders. The main thing I really took away from the institute was an example of a college student who seemingly advocated for gender neutral housing among other issues ultimately on his own by creating allies in spaces one would not normally think to infiltrate. We need to sit down with people that aren’t necessarily affiliated with our organization and but can advocate for our rights campus-wide like SGA, Student Engagement, and just general members of the college.
Things I’m looking forward to thinking about: how to better our leadership strategies (had a great conversation with Lott about our ideal leadership make-up, positions, terms, and regulations) within Common Ground and Columbia, as well as how to further and better my work with the Center on Halsted (Mancave, GenderQueer Chicago, Gender Spectrum United) as well as The Self Made Men.
“Take a picture of me being cute.” - Lance
I just wanted to talk a little about what I experienced today.
Today we had the Racial Justice Institute, and I learned so much about me and my surroundings. First, I’d like to start off by saying, I have never felt so welcomed by anyone in my entire life. Everyone came together for one cause and made each other feel like family. For me, being a queer person of color makes me a little nervous about everything I do in life, however, this helped.
We started out as a large group, people of color and others, then split up into racial groups. I thought this was going to be a bad idea, but I learned a lot more with people I identify with. It was comfortable to be around people of color and we talked about things close to our heart. After that, we got into different groups to discuss our own topic.
In our last group, I got to get in deep about the issues we face as a student org at Columbia College Chicago. How, us as a whole, do not realize how racially just we might or might not be. I read about others opinions and heard people from all over speak, and I got to contribute. But what I learned for myself was that Common Ground, no matter how small, has taken on the racial issue in our own we. It is already known that we are accepting of all, but we make sure we go the extra mile to let everyone have a say. I appreciate that.