The Shippensburg University Pride Center was awarded a grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation (FCCF) and the Foundation for Empowering Communities to begin a queer and trans transformative justice leadership program.

The FCCF’s grant program invests in innovative and collaborative approaches and solutions to community problems for the greatest impact on the quality of life and positive outcomes for individuals and families living in Franklin County.

The leadership program, titled the “Sylvia Rivera Leadership Series: Queer & Trans Transformative Justice Leadership,” will foster students’ leadership skills, specifically regarding learning to work to dismantle cis-heterosexism and racism as they intersect. Students will engage with guest speakers to discuss how to engage in transformative justice work including obstacles and accountability. They will also attend the LGBT Center of Central PA’s Queer and Trans Activist Leadership Summit in the spring of 2022. The program is open to students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

“It’s my hope that this program will help our marginalized students foster the necessary leadership skills to begin transforming this campus and the surrounding communities to make space for queer/trans folks, Black and Brown people, disabled people, and those that live at the intersections. Trans foremother, Sylvia Rivera, paved the way for so many of us to exist today, and students in this program will work to pave the way for future generations of oppressed peoples to exist in a more liberated world than the one we do today,” said Dr. alithia zamantakis, director of LGBTQ+ Programs and Services.

Shippensburg University’s Pride Center offers a focal point in making the institution an inclusive and equitable environment for all university community members, including LGBTQIA2S+ students, trans/cis women, trans/cis men, and nonbinary students.