ICYMI: JMU Student Government Association’s Diversity Committee put on their third annual “I, Too, Am JMU” inclusion event this past Tuesday, March 11th, 2019.
The event was first started in the spring semester of 2017 by previous Diversity Ad-Hoc Committee* Chair, Jewel Hurt, who based it off of “I, Too, Am Harvard,” which was a project showcasing the experience of a black Harvard student through a play by Kimiko Matsuda-Lawrence and a photo series by Carol Powell. The first “I, Too, Am JMU” also focused on the experience of black students on campus through an interview style video and discussion. You can watch the video here. In the spring of 2018, Diversity Committee, led by Bryanna Moore, recreated the event to showcase the experience of Latinx students, which you can watch here.
*The ad-hoc committee has since been turned into a committee
This year, Diveristy Committee, led by Bryanna Moore, hosted the event for the third time, this time highlighting the experience of LQBTQ+ students. The event had a live performance from local drag queen, Genesis, interview video, and discussion. You can watch the video here.
Most of the discussion post-video was based on how JMU could improve and how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Some improvements suggested for JMU were more use/normalizing the use of gender neutral pronouns and how professors often don’t understand the term “intersectionality” and just throw them around to seem inclusive. Some of the things people said about being an ally was that allies need to be comfortable with the uncomfortable conversations and to actively seek out LGBTQ+ spaces and information, it’s not queer people’s responsibility to educate straight people or make straight people feel comfortable in their spaces. One audience member encouraged allies at the event to use the information they learned at the event saying that “being an ally doesn’t stop at this event” and that this video is not the only experiences of LGBTQ+ people.