EKU and Wayne State hosts joint panel on queer and trans people of color in the workplace

Eastern Kentucky University’s Student Government Association and Wayne State University hosted a joint panel discussion on Tuesday, April 6 about queer and transgender people in the workplace.

The event was spearheaded and hosted by EKU SGA director of diversity Britany Bowens and WSU’s Mister Whitfield. They directed the conversation with questions from themselves and the audience to their five-person panel.

The panel included Ph.D. student Bilal Badruddin from Howard University, sound engineer and music artist Daydrian Love, middle school math teacher Kennedi Crosby, behavioral technician Jaribeth Disla, and relations service manager Jordan Booker-Medley who is a  

Bowens said that the purpose of the event was to “bring a conversation that I don’t see happening, especially at [predominantly white institutions].”

The panel lasted over an hour and a half with a multitude of topics covered. Some of the areas talked about included advice to those entering the workforce, discussions about true allies really are and conversations about broaching the subject of the intersections of race and sexual identity with coworkers. With the panel happening over Zoom, the seven speakers were located in different locations around the United States, giving great perspective on all the issues touched on.

The discourse between shared experiences and ways to navigate in the professional eye were thoroughly covered.

“It comes down to asking a lot of questions about those spaces and gauging the temperature of the room to get a feel for if it is a safe space for me,” Booker-Medley said about workplace culture.

When asked about things she did not expect when entering the workforce, Crosby said, “I didn’t expect the level of harassment that I got, especially in the realm of education. But it’s important to remember education is a business just like anything else.”

To wrap up, the panelists reflected on how their experiences have reflected what lies ahead in not only the state of the country but in their professional lives as well. 

More events like these can be found at https://sga.eku.edu.

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