A rainbow-colored painting.
June 15, 2023

Recognizing our LGBTQI+ community

By Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University

This June, we celebrate the tremendous contributions of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) community and recognize the importance of LGBTQI+ rights at a time when they have, once again, come under attack. From book bans that disproportionately remove books by and about LGBTQI+ communities and communities of color to a wave of anti-LGBT laws flooding state legislatures across the nation, LGBTQI+ people are facing very real threats to their personhood.

As an academic institution that was founded on accessibility and serving the public good, WSU is dedicated to fostering a culture of belonging at each of our locations across the state. I firmly believe that WSU is a stronger system because of the diverse and vibrant communities we serve, and each of you contributes to that. Whether that’s by being uniquely yourself or creating opportunities for others to do the same, we all have a role to play in standing up for inclusion, equity, and justice in our day-to-day lives.

We are also fortunate to have the guidance of the Commission for Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation (GIESO) and the LGBTQ+ Center (formerly known as GIESORC) in furthering our efforts across the system and working to leverage the resources we have at the campus-level, including WSU Vancouver’s Center for Intercultural Learning and Affirmation (CILA) and the MOSAIC Center at WSU Tri‑Cities. These people and places are available to provide support, resources, and information not just in June, but throughout the year. I encourage each of you to take advantage of their expertise and volunteer your time when you can.

For those looking for ways to engage this month:

  • Complete the LGBTQ+ Ally Training through Human Resource Services
  • Educate yourself on the History of Pride
  • Reach out to your local, campus, or system-level LGBTQ+ centers to learn more about how you can be a better ally

Happy Pride, Cougs!

Categories: University Affairs