LGBT Panel at MSU brings awareness to the social and political issues that surround the LGBT Community

Members of the LGBT Resource center Cody Wallinga, George White, Laura Slee, and Oprah Jrenal  answers various questions from young mipa journalists at MIPA’s annual issues seminar. 

Members of the LGBT Resources Center at Michigan State University brings awareness to the various prominent  social and political issues that individuals who identify with the LGBT community faces in today’s society. 

The LGBT Resource Center has been addressing LGBT issues for a total of ten years and engaging in advocacy for the community, however there is still more work to be done. 

“We can’t fix all the problems but trying to do a better job of getting everyone on the same page is important,” said Laura Slee.

The LGBT Resource Center believes that the primary way of addressing the  issues that surround the community is to normalize LGBT relationships and help society become aware of these issues in all environments via faculty  training and class curriculum changes that accommodate and include everyone.

“People must understand the  struggles of the LGBT community and realize that they are real” White said. 

LGBT Issues are even more prominent in educational environments, with often fear due to the backlash students may receive when becoming public about their about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Studies show that 85% of LGBT students face verbal harassment on campus.  

A 2015 report from the GSLEN shows that  58% percent of students who identify as LGBT have felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and 43% percent of students felt unsafe at school   due to their gender identity.  

“I feel like the fear  students face expressing their gender identity and sexual orientation in school comes from this idea being considered not normal,” said Kyandal Farber, 17 year-old student journalist. “It’s expected for boys to like girls and vice versa but we as a society must understand that everyone is different and that’s normal”. 

Farber belives that respecting differences, and creating supportive environments is vital  to protect everyone even those who identify with the LGBT community and it starts in the classroom.

 “Creating a safe environment for your  students, where you can share gender identity pronouns learn the proper language for when addressing someone of the LGBT community, and  provide proper training for faculty members in order to ensure a safe space for all students including those who identify as LGBT” said Oprah Jrenal, MSU assistant director of LGBT Resource Center. 

“Teachers need to be allowed to have open relationships with their students and get to know them beyond a student perspective,’’ said White 

The LGBT Resource Center is working to address all social and political LGBT Issues in educational environments and properly educate those who are unaware of such issues, but still understands that there is still more work to be done to ensure equality for all. 

“An attack on any minority group is an attack on all minority groups,” said White. “Allies must understand that our liberation is together we need to support each other”.

Michigan’s Ruth Ellis center informs students about its life-changing abilities for LGBTQ+ Teens and more

15.May.2019 François Benson
Members of RHS’s boardgame club and its LGBTQ+ support group alliance leave their mark on the Ruth Ellis Center’s Chalkboard wall dedicated for leaving positive messages.

Members of RHS LGBTQ+ support group alliance and boardgame club members were invited to attend the field trip to the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, Michigan on May 15, 2019.

Students who attended were given a brief presentation and tour of the facility.

The Ruth Ellis Center is a supporting facility not only for the homeless but for runaways who identify themselves with the LGBTQ+ community specifically teens.

The Ruth Ellis center facility not only cares for those who homeless but also cares for those who may have been runaways due to them coming out to their parents.

The Ruth Ellis center is considered an open safe space for those who identify themselves LGBTQ+ and want to reform their lives and finally be accepted for who they really are despite the harsh circumstances that could be occurring in their household.

The Ruth Ellis Center was founded by American Activist, Ruth Charlotte Ellis.

Ellis is commonly known as one of the first African Americans to come out as someone who associates themselves with the LGBTQ+ Community despite the harsh racial climate that African Americans experienced in the 1900s.

Ellis opened up her personal home to those who also identified as LGBTQ+ during these times.

Two of the people who Ellis opened her personal home to John Allen and Kofi Adoma decided to spread the impact Ruth Ellis had on them by establishing the Ruth Ellis Center in 1999 which happened to be the same year Ruth Ellis celebrated her 101st birthday.

Since the establishment of the Ruth Ellis center in 1999, the Ruth Ellis center is continuing to open more establishments to better the lives of LGBTQ+ Runaways.

The Ruth Ellis Center is one of the only licensed foster care facilities in the entire country.

40% of the Nation’s homelessness are people who identify as LGBTQ+. The Ruth Ellis center has a sensible approach to problems who it comes to figuring out why the runaways who come to the center are dealing with the problems they have.

The center identifies primary caregivers of the runaways and tries to get families to understand what it really means to come out as LGBTQ+ with the help of its Pilot program.

The pilot program has a 97% rate with the reforming of families and getting them to come to an understanding as to what it means to identify in the LGBTQ+ community.

The Ruth Ellis centers main purpose is to reform all runaway teens and those experiencing homelessness and give them a sense of hope in life.

RHS members of the LGBTQ+ support group alliance enjoy the Air Hockey table at the Ruth Ellis Center

The Ruth Ellis center also offers STD Testing, Sex protection merchandise, and other free medical services.

The Ruth Ellis Center offers paid internships and employment opportunities to everyone no matter what race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.