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The LGBT Resource Center coordinates panels centering on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, agender, and asexual (LGBTQIA*) experiences. A panel can be used in the classroom, staff trainings, residence hall programs, or any other forum where an educational program regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression is desired.

Panels were established to help create a greater understanding of the many situations that LGBTQIA* people experience in their daily lives. The goal is to be able to reach members of the University community in the classroom, office, or residence hall in order to create critical conversations regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. The panels were originally called the Speaker's Bureau, but the LGBT Resource Center has since decided to discontinue use of this name.

The LGBT Resource Center decided at the beginning of 2015 to eliminate the name of the panel program from being Speaker's Bureau to simply referring to it as panels as an attempt at reducing ableist language and rhetoric within our center. Our office and programs are meant to serve individuals beyond solely their sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or gender identity, including ability, race, national origin, and socioeconomic class, among others.

The panel is comprised of three to six individuals who identify as part of the LGBTQIA* community and volunteer to share their experiences. The panelists may consist of students, faculty, staff, and community members. They are individuals who are comfortable answering questions about their experiences in front of audiences ranging from six people to more than fifty people.

The panelists are part of a question and answer session where student, faculty, and staff may ask questions in centering on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, but also including discussions of race, ability, religion, class, and other identity categories. One member of the panel facilitates the panel as a way of directing the flow of the conversation and ensuring that inappropriate questions or comments are adequately addressed. Panelists are expected to speak from their own lived experience, to never exploit other experiences or identities, to support their fellow panelists' identities, and to be engaged in continual education regarding social justice (the continual effort to dismantle systems of oppression and to eradicate sociocultural oppression). Panelists and members of the audience are expected to follow ground rules established at the beginning of panels. Panelists, however, are not expected to answer every question, as nondisclosure is welcomed.
We would love to see you on as many panels as possible, and preferably at least one per year. However, there are no requirements as to how often you have to volunteer as a panelist. The panelists will be added to one of the LGBT Resource Center's email listservs in which the panel opportunities will be sent out. The panelists will then reply to the e-mail stating which panels they will be able to attend if the date, time, and topic works for them.
Facilitators are largely recruited by the staff of the LGBT Resource Center. Facilitators are generally people who have been on multiple panels, feel comfortable on panels, and also have a broad based knowledge of social justice. A facilitator is needed when the Coordinator of Education & Outreach is unable to facilitate the panel. Possible facilitators will then be contacted to see if they would be willing to help in place of the Coordinator of Education & Outreach. If you would like to become a facilitator, contact the Coordinator of Education & Outreach.
The LGBT Resource Center also facilitates workshops with regard to heterosexism, homophobia, cissexism, and transphobia. This includes curriculum for classes, workshops for student groups, and other venues as appropriate. Please contact the Resource Center for more information.

How do I get started?

To volunteer as a panelist, click here, or contact  Gabriella Blanchard for more information.

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Last Updated: 10/4/17