SUNY Pride

6th Annual SUNY Pride Conference Banner

October 12th & 13th, 2018

Share your experience throughout the conference online with #SUNYPride2018!

The SUNY Pride Conference Committee cordially invites students, community members, resource professionals, junior and senior faculty, and administrators to submit proposals for our upcoming conference theme, Pride Without Borders: Sharing Our Stories Beyond the Rainbow. This conference is meant to highlight and celebrate LGBTQIA+ experiences through fostered dialogue across academic and/or practical experiences, disciplinary foci, and institutional perspectives, as well as provide support and resources to those that attend. Today’s students entering college come with new attitudes and understandings around gender and sexuality. Despite the progress made in different areas of policy, education, and pop culture, there’s still a lot of work to be done in order to give the best support and education to students in a nation full of uncertainty. To this effect, this year’s theme serves to provide an avenue for different voices to be heard and allow for greater representation of individuals who are so often silenced.

SUNY Pride Learning Outcomes

Conference participants will be able to:

  • Identify multiple aspects of diversity, including the ongoing development of identity and creating an inclusive community.
  • Explore and analyze current trends and issues that LGBTQIA+ college students face.
  • Create a network of student leaders and professionals.
  • Explore impactful approaches to diversity, inclusion, and wellness through a local and global lens.
Doctor Jon Paul Higgins

Dr. Jon Paul Higgins is a speaker, writer and social justice defender. They are both a Lambda Literary and Maynard 200 fellow and write regularly for Presence.IO. Their work has been included on web platforms including The Root, Blavity, INTO, Efniks, Talkspace, Bitch Media and them. They continue to lecture all over the country on topics related to intersectionality, race, gender and sexuality.

Dr. Higgins was born in Los Angeles, California and graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies. They also hold a Masters of Arts in Management from the University of Redlands and were inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society. Dr. Higgins completed their Educational Doctorate of Leadership in Justice from the University of Redlands where they wrote their dissertation on the first year experiences of queer men of color in higher education. 

Friday, October 12th
4:00pm - 7:00pm: Check In, The HUb in Hunt Union
7:00pm - 8:30pm: Living Outside the Lines: Celebrating Creative Expression of Experiences and Stories, Waterfront Room in Hunt Union
**This event is for anyone who would like to perform (spoken word, slam poetry, singing, dancing, etc.) as well as express creativity through art.**

Saturday, October 13
8:30am: Check In, the HUb in Hunt Union
9:00am – 9:50am: Welcome, Ballroom in Hunt Union
10:00am – 10:50am: Breakout Session I, Various Rooms in Hunt Union
11:00am – 11:50am: Breakout Session II, Various Rooms in Hunt Union
11:50am – 12:50pm: Professional Coffee Hour (Professionals and Faculty Only), Catskill Room in Hunt Union
11:50am – 12:50pm: Tabling Session, Second Floor in Hunt Union
12:30pm – 1:00pm: Lunch, Ballroom in Hunt Union
1:00pm – 2:10pm: Keynote Address, Ballroom in Hunt Union
2:20pm – 3:10pm: Breakout Session III, Various Rooms in Hunt Union
3:30pm – 5:00pm: Closing Remarks and Identity Play Group Performance, Ballroom in Hunt Union
8:30pm – 11:00pm: Drag Around the World Dragball hosted by GSA, Ballroom in Hunt Union

  • Authentic Leadership: Challenges for LGBTQ+ Leaders in the Workplace [Professional Track]
    Presented by Sim J. Covington, Jr., Ed.D., MBA, Chief Diversity Officer, Finger Lakes Community College
    As the world of higher education is becoming more diverse, authentic leadership continues to be a challenge for individuals who are included in the LGBTQ+ community. The balance between presenting their true self versus hiding in the closet to move up the corporate ladder continues to be a challenge as career aspirations may create anxiety for those who aspire to greatness. As found, self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) faculty along with heterosexuals with scholarly interests in these populations can face heterosexism, heterocentrism, homophobia, and hostility within and outside of social work programs (LaSala, Jenkins, Wheeler, Fredriksen-Goldsen, 2008). In support of diversity, equity and inclusivity, this presentation will include a brief case study and group dialog for engagement on the subject matter. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the benefits of being an authentic LGBTQ+ leader in higher education, and how institutions can support these individuals moving toward the executive cabinet level.
  • Mentorship as Bridgework: Queer Women of Color [Professional Track]
    Presented by Dr. Melinda Brennan, Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, SUNY Oneonta
    Latina feminists have long articulated that living in the borderlands, in-between cultures and communities, requires labor that can be called “bridgework,” the radical act of bringing modes of life, selves, and communities together for survival. However, such labors can be exhausting, for the mentor and mentee, as the personal and political are never separate from the professional. This presentation will discuss bridgework as a method of mentoring queer women of color—using situated and experiential knowledge to frame decision making, goal setting, knowledge production and creating community within a PWI, predominantly white institution. Struggles specific to multiply marginalized queer and trans women will be discussed, with special attention to the intersections of gender, race, and sexuality.
  • Intersectional Normativity in the 21st Century
    Presented by Cassidy Herrera and Rosario Rodriguez, SUNY Oneonta
    Intersectional Normativity in the 21st Century will present the diverse aspect of what normativity means and how it is challenged and affects today's societal norms. This platform will provide an insight of heteronormativity/homonormativity and non-normative genders and sexuality experiences people faces, especially those who marginalized, oppressed as well as people of color.
  • Who Am I? The Politics of Erasure Within the Black Queer Narrative
    Presented by Emmanuel E. Woolard, Student Coordinator, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, SUNY Oneonta
    Too Queer to be Black, Too Black to be Queer, I’m Black and Queer at the same time, all the time and Why I’m a Black Man Before I’m a Gay Man are articles that inspired me to conduct further research around the erasure of black queer male identities. Each of the articles sparked a curiosity in understanding more about the challenges black queer men face on a day to day basis, around who we are and the politics of erasure that exist with our culture. Within this presentation I plan to identify several challenges, explain the legacy of concealment and offer ways to begin to reshape and reimagine the narrative of black queer men.
  • Analyzing Asexuality: What Does It Mean To Have Sex?
    Presented by Jillian Moczara, Intern, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, SUNY Oneonta
    Asexuality can be the lens by which we better understand other sexual identities. Once you begin parsing apart the difference between attraction and desire, seemingly similar ideas, someone can begin to understand that having sex with someone of a specific gender identity will not negate their current sexual identity in a way that sounds like it will i.e. a lesbian having sex with a man. An understanding of asexuality and what exactly it means to have sex with another person can be greatly beneficial to people attempting to figure out their own sexualities and can help people understand that everything is dependent on the person and getting wrapped up in labels can be harmful to self and group acceptance.
  • Coming Out Stories: Panel Discussion on a Community Building and Healing Program
    Presented by Abbey Perkins, Assessment Coordinator, Advisor of LGBTAU,
    and Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Appointed Action Group & Ericka Bollock, Kaitlin Hunt, Amanda Petersen, Josephine Wong and Steven Gilbert, LGBTAU, SUNY Cobleskill
    For the past 6 years, SUNY Cobleskill’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally Union (LGBTAU) has hosted Coming Out Stories. This open mic opportunity, where participants share their coming out stories and messages of support, has transformed into an opportunity for healing and coming together as a community. The panel of presenters will share about Coming Out Stories and what they have gained from participating in the event. We will hold a mini-version of the event during our session and attendees are welcome to participate.
  • Wearing Out: Professionalization, Silence and Resistance [Professional Track]
    Presented by Nicholas A. Belongie, M.P.A., Doctoral candidate, University at Buffalo
    As an educator and scholar of the professions, I can attest that microaggressions are common, politics are rare, and identities seem not to figure into field or local community. Identities and difference can be masked by professionalism; however, those of us who have a non-normative identity can attest all too well that quite often those with power Other, rather than foster, those who are marked as different within the borders of higher education environments. This presentation maps and discusses how students, educators, and those in the professions who identify as LGBTQIA+ and those of other marginalized identities face intense social pressure to remain silent, apolitical, masked or marked as outsiders. We must re-frame and reimagine the professions as inclusive across difference, and in the process make an inclusive community-network of students, educators, and professionals where non-normatively identified individuals are no longer marked for wearing out.
  • Alive and Yelling: Zines as Unapologetic Platform
    Presented by Sam Trollo, Library Intern, SUNY New Paltz
    Zines, short for fanzines, are DIY publications that have historically been popular among marginalized communities as a means of self-expression and knowledge sharing. The DIY nature of zines allow authors to have total autonomy over their work; there are no editors, publishers, or marketing departments to censor their work. Zines are anti-capitalist, anti-censorship, unapologetic, ‘I-have-something-to-say-and-you-can’t-stop-me.’ They change the landscape of what we “count” as knowledge and, by extension, who “counts” as knowledge producers, providing a platform for voices that are typically silenced. This presentation will explore the activist potential of the creation, circulation, and collection of zines, with a discussions of what zines are, why they’re produced, and how they subvert power structures. We’ll end with a how-to lesson on making a one-page zine to encourage attendees to go out and make zines of their own!
  • Restorying the Binary: A Model for Gender Educators
    Presented by Kristen Blinne, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, SUNY Oneonta
    In this interactive workshop, we shall explore Sonja Foss, Mary Domenico and Karen Foss’ “Gender Stories in Popular Culture” model from their text, Gender Stories: Negotiating Identity in a Binary World. As part of this exploration, we shall examine gender stories that “retell the binary” through preparation, prescription and reinscription; stories that “revise the binary” through critique and expansion; and stories that “rewrite the binary” through synthesis and innovation. By doing so, we shall consider a variety of ways to integrate this model into introductory gender education offerings with the goal of deconstructing gender binary thinking. Participants will be provided a guide to assist them in teaching this model to others.
  • Pride Beyond Stonewall: A Case Study of Pride in South Carolina
    Presented by Constance H. Mandeville Doctoral Student at University of South Carolina and Adjunct Professor at Clinton Community College
    Most are familiar with the story of the first Pride protest at Stonewall Inn in New York City but many do not know how other Pride movements across the United States started. The history of Pride in South Carolina is one example of how many state Pride celebrations did not start immediately after the Stonewall riot. In this session, you will learn how the Pride parade in South Carolina was influenced by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how the movement was impacted by valuable allies in the community and local churches who created safe spaces for LGBTQIA individuals. Thanks to the tireless advocacy from these allies and the LGBTQIA community, South Carolina became the first state in the southeast to have a LGB center and the state capital became the first city in the southeast to pass a law protecting LGB employees from workplace discrimination.
  • Managing the “Aftermath” of Coming Out
    Presented by Dana Hirsch, Multicultural Programs Coordinator, Westchester Community College
    Coming out can be a challenging experience for some and the aftermath of sharing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity with a partner, friend, or a family member can at times cause a rift in the relationship. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in an interactive activity to further learn and develop interpersonal conflict resolution skills that they can use to outline potential options and manage relationships with individuals who may experience difficulty in accepting their true identity. This presentation will provide a range of scenarios, offer effective communication tools, and highlight healthy coping mechanisms, while helping individuals develop and share their pride without borders.
  • QTPOC Artivism
    Presented by Rain Robinson, President and Founder of Rainbow SOUL, Laura Evelyn, Director of Gender and Sexuality for the Student Association, & Alex Morales, Queer Peer Programming Coordinator, University at Albany
    Curious about what Queer and Trans People of Color artivists (art activists) are doing right now to change the world? Would you like to see QTPOC artists achievements, including your own, reflected in activist spaces? We will cover these topics and more with time for an open mic. Calling all QTPOC artivists to share and mobilize together!
  • White Privilege: Understanding How WE are White and Challenging It [Professional Track]
    Presented by Matthew McKay, Director of Student Life and Diversity, SUNY Adirondack
    With the rich history of oppression and discrimination rooted in the United States society, white privilege (systematic and individualistic power and oppression of non-white racial groups) is often viewed as the “third rail” of multiculturalism and racial conversation. Attendees will learn about white racial identity development, core concepts of racism, components of white privilege, and the dimensions of white fragility. Attendees will explore racial self-reflection to help equip themselves to understand and cultivate social change in a higher education landscape rooted in a culture of white supremacy (dominant white culture).
  • Know Your Rights Session: Regarding LGBTQIA+ Rights and Protections in NYS
    Presented by Ron Zacchi, Assistant Director, IGA NYS OTDA, NYS Governor’s Office
    It is important that our communities know our rights and protections under New York State law. This presentation will review current protections for LGBTQIA+ communities in New York and will provide general information on where to report if you experience those rights being violated and/or discrimination. We will focus on the New York State Human Rights Law, but it will also provide additional information about the Dignity for All Student Act and other statewide protections that specifically impact LGBTQIA+ communities. This program does not constitute legal advice but will provide important public information for LGBTQIA+ communities in New York.
  • Defining “Queer”
    Presented by Katherine Hebert, Intern, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, SUNY Oneonta
    As LGBTQ+ visibility increases, discussions on language also change. Historically known as a slur, the word “queer” has been vastly reclaimed by a lot of those in the LGBTQ+ community. However, through blurred history along with unique, personal, and changing definitions, the question of “who belongs as queer” rises to the surface in many LGBTQ+ spaces. As a word associated with reclamation, community, and revolution is also associated with prejudice, discrimination, and othering, this roundtable discussion allows for everyone to share their associations with the word “queer” as we dissect its origins and open its door for understanding and community building. As we share our stories without boundaries, how we define ourselves becomes a powerful act.
  • The Role of The Friendly Stranger: Helping the migrant LGBTQ Community at the US-Mexico Border
    Presented by Alejandra Escudero-Retana, Lecturer, Foreign Languages and Literatures, SUNY Oneonta
    Immigrants coming to the US today face challenges like never before. These challenges are intensified and are more numerous for the LGBTQIA+ community who not only is seeking a better life in the US, but also the opportunity to live in peace and be respected for who they are. Recent changes to immigration and asylum policies make things more difficult for this vulnerable population. When policies and the law do not protect this community from harassment, friendly strangers are the ones who have helped these communities while in ICE detention centers and once they are released in the US or back to their home countries. Community groups, people of faith and neighbors are organizing in order to change things for the LGBTQIA+ community at the border. In this presentation we examine who and how this support is given to this community and how empowerment is built from the grassroots and up.
  • We Must Love and Protect Each Other: Queer Chosen Families
    Presented by Julian Naing and Cat Keefe, SUNY New Paltz
    Engage in an interactive workshop and community discussion, facilitated by two feminist anti-racist queer poc student activists, about LGBTQ+ shared histories, building your queer “chosen” family, the politics of love, and liberation.
  • Beta Inclusivity
    Presented by Alexa Rojas and Angelica Duran, SUNY Oneonta
    The audience will be able to learn about our goals as an organization to expand and include self-identified women. We will educate on sex, gender, and expression and spread awareness about the importance of inclusivity.


If you have any questions, please contact Emily Phelps, Chair of the SUNY Pride Conference Committee, at


Early Bird Rates from 8/20 thru 9/21

Late Fee Rates from 9/22 thru 10/5

SUNY Oneonta:

  • Students: $5, $15 (Late)
  • Employees: $20, $30 (Late)
  • Dragon Dollars will be accepted @ Hunt Union Info Desk!

Non-SUNY Oneonta:

  • Students: $25, $35 (Late)
  • Employees/General Public: $50, $60 (Late)

Presenters will be charged the Early Bird rate upon approval of proposal submissions.


Clarion Hotel

  • Tel: 607-432-7500
  • Website
  • Ask for SUNY Pride rate of $91 per night (rooms available until 9/28)

Hampton Inn at Oneonta

  • Tel: 607-433-9000
  • Website
  • Ask for SUNY Pride rate of $91 per night (rooms available until 9/28)
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