Gatherings: Towards, Flourishing, Formation, and Transformation

GATHERINGS -  Spring 2019

In Spring 2019, we re-imagined Gatherings and created space for students to reflect on community building and mentorship both as current students and when transitioning into the professional world. Students came together to explore the ways in which LGBTQ students look to their communities for support and mentorship and ways in which students can give back to their Georgetown community and future generations of Hoyas. Through a panel and small group dialogues, we also welcomed 12 alumni to share their experiences finding community after graduation, creating work relationships negotiating identities, and establishing themselves as professionals in their respective fields.

Gatherings I: generations & community

January Gatherings

Dinner & Dialogue on Generations & Community
Thursday, January 24th, 6 - 7:30 pm
HFSC Herman Room

How do we pass on community values? Join us for a dinner and dialogue on the topic of finding ways to give back to your community. As college students, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our academic, social, and professional lives. But as LGBTQ students and members of other marginalized groups, we often look to our communities for support and mentorship. So how do we find the time and resources to give back to future generations, whether that be by getting involved in our campus communities or finding ways to do so in our future careers? We will share our thoughts about ways we have encountered mentorship and learned from our mentors, as well as how we may feel called to mentor younger members of our communities. This dialogue will focus on the intersections of queer identity and pay particular attention to the experience of students who feel called to give back to their communities but struggle with how to do so due to limited time, financial resources, or mental health capacity. 

Gatherings II: connecting with lgbtq alumni

March Gatherings

Connecting with LGBTQ Alumni
Tuesday, March 19, 6 - 8 pm
Cawley Career Education Center

Transitioning from college to work life can be challenging, especially for LGBTQ students. This event provides an opportunity to reflect with and learn from 12 young alumni and other community members in a panel and small groups as they share about finding community, creating work relationships negotiating identities, and establishing themselves as professionals in their respective fields. Dinner will be served. Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to come and participate. 

PANEL CONVERSATION

Moderators: Jay Portales (COL '19) & Macky Grimm (COL '21)

Panelists:

  • Reggie Greer (COL '09) - Director of Constituent Engagement, Victory Fund Institute
  • Rehana Mohammed (SFS '12) - Director of Program Development, USAC
  • Mark Stern (COL '13, Law '16) - Writer and Lawyer, Slate Magazine
  • Matt Ferguson (COL '15) - MA Candidate, American Univ and Former Jesuit Volunteer

           Find their full bios below.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS & DINNER WITH ALUMNI

  • Lawrence Laws (SFS ‘11) - Senior Reporter, Oxford Journals  
  • Lisa Frank (COL ‘13) - Development Officer, The Public Interest Network
  • Arianna Pineiro (SFS ‘13) - Health Analyst, Palladium
  • Jose Madrid (COL ‘14, Law ‘19) - Litigation Manager, Georgetown’s Office of General Counsel
  • Queen Adesuyi (COL ‘16) - Policy Coordinator, Drug and Policy Alliance
  • Lexi Dever (COL ‘16) - Graphic Designer & Web Manager, Woolly Mammoth Theatre
  • Molly Morrison (COL ‘16) - Project Coordinator and Research Assistant, Georgetown’s Hub for Equity and Innovation in Higher Education
  • Caitlin Opperman (COL ‘17) - Deputy Director of Training and Fellowships, Priorities USA

PANELISTS' BIOGRAPHIES

Reggie Greer (COL '09) - Director of Constituent Engagement, Victory Institute

Reggie GreerAs Director of Constituent Engagement at the LGBTQ Victory Institute, Reggie leads efforts to activate, engage, and elevate LGBTQ elected and appointed officials in the US. Reggie previously served as Deputy Director of Public Engagement at the US Department of Transportation where he developed strategies for effective communication and engagement with thousands of transportation stakeholders. Appointed by President Obama and Secretary Foxx in May 2014, Reggie served as the Department’s liaison to the White House Business Council, engaging business leaders across the country on a wide range of transportation-related initiatives, programs, and issues. Reggie began his tenure at the Department as a special assistant to Secretary Foxx. In 2016, Reggie was appointed to serve on DC Mayor Bowser’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee.

Prior to his appointment, Reggie served as a staff assistant for the political team at the DNC, a youth organizer for DC’s 2013 Commemorative Commission on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, a fellow for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee’s National Day of Service team, and a field organizer for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Reggie began his career as a government affairs associate for the American Waterways Operators, the national trade association for the U.S. towboat, tugboat, and barge industry.

In 2009, Reggie received his BA in Government and History from Georgetown. While attending Georgetown, Reggie was elected speaker of the GUSA Senate and was a member of the Philodemic Society, Alpha Phi Epsilon, and the Pep Band.

A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, Reggie currently resides in Washington, DC. 

Rehana Mohammed (SFS '12) - Director of Program Development, USAC

Rehana MohammedRehana Mohammed is a passionate leader and management professional with a background in public policy. She has served on the DC Center for the LGBT Community’s Board of Directors since June 2018 and was elected Co-Chair in January 2019. Prior to joining the Board, Rehana was a 2017 Victory Empowerment Fellow with the LGBTQ Victory Institute. Rehana is Director of Program Development at the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) where she oversees change management, data analysis, and outreach for the Rural Health Care program. Previously, she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where she led government-wide financial transparency policy initiatives. She has a MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. While attending Georgetown, Rehana participated in many student groups, including serving as Co-Programming Chair for GU Pride and Facilitator for OUTspoken. She is originally from Takoma Park, MD and currently lives in Washington, DC with her wife and two cats.

Mark Stern (COL '13, Law '16) - Writer and Lawyer, Slate Magazine 

Mark SternMark Joseph Stern covers courts and the law for Slate. He also edits Slate's LGBTQ section, Outward, which he co-founded in 2013, and serves as an American correspondent for Ireland's 2fm. Mark attended Georgetown University and obtained his JD from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the American Bar Association's commission on the rights of LGBTQ people. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Advocate, National Geographic, and numerous law reviews. Mark's most recent law review article, The Judicial and Generational Dispute Over Transgender Rights, appears in this year's issue of the Stanford Law & Policy Review. 

Matt Ferguson (COL '15) - MA Candidate, American Univ and Former Jesuit Volunteer

Matt Ferguson

Matt Ferguson graduated from Georgetown in 2015.  After graduating, he did a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, working with folks who are HIV-positive. He continued direct service work for several years before moving back to DC for graduate school. Matt is currently working on his MA in Philosophy and Social Policy at American University.

GATHERINGS - 2015-2016

In 2015-2016, Gatherings was a pilot year-long institute comprised of intensive workshops that offers LGBTQ students a sustained and in-depth opportunity to create spaces of encounter, engagement, and reflection that can lead to action and transformation.  For many LGBTQ students, it can be a challenge both to come into themselves, and then find or foster community. Unlike other social and cultural identities, LGBTQ  members must constitute community even as they find themselves; in other words,  unlike around racial, religious, ethnic, or national identities, LGBTQ people must “make” community even as find or make our-selves.  Our identities as LGBTQ people are neither simple nor singular, and all other diversities (i.e race, religion, ability, education, socio-economic class, status, ability to name a few) both shape and change how we come into our own sexual and gendered selves.

There are few places where LGBTQ students can come to learn, to engage, and to challenge one another that allows for our own growth. At the heart of this enterprise is Fr. Peter Kolvenbach’s impassioned  call for educators to provide our students opportunities to be and to grow into “whole persons of solidarity.” (“The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education”).

The institute consisted of 4 workshops which are arranged sequentially to provide students with the space for cumulative learning. The inaugural cohort consisted of 18 students who were drawn from a range of diversities, and have been community-builders on this campus. We invite you to read more about each of the workshops below. 

Gatherings I: Uneasy Homes: Re-drawing the Diversity Paradigm

Uneasy Homes: Re-drawing the Diversity Paradigm

This first workshop was a highly interactive one that asked us to reflect upon, critically examine, and share how our identities shape our understandings of our work and leadership roles. In the US, “identity” has become the basis of much of our understanding of diversity work, and this workshop will ask us to unpack how this has become both empowering and limiting.

Sivagami (“Shiva”) Subbaraman is the first Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center, one of the first institutionally funded Centers in a Jesuit university in the country.  Since she came on board in the Fall of 2008, she has worked to establish the Center as an integral and integrated part of the Hilltop community by building across differing communities and groups.  We seek to align the work of the Center with institutional mission, identity, and values.

Gatherings II: Leading with(in) Community & Staging Our Stories, Embodying Solidarity

Jacquis Watters: Leading with(in) Community
From a social justice lens, participants engaged in personal reflection and community building activities during this 2 hour workshop. This workshop aimed to emphasize the importance of affirming intersectional identities within a queer community. This workshop also aimed to highlight the value of group leadership and followship.

Jacquis Watters currently serves as the Assistant Director for Diversity and Intercultural Development at Maryland Institute College of Art. She received her M.Ed. in Student Development Administration from Seattle University and her B.A in Women’s Studies from Hofstra University on Long Island, NY.

Andy Stoffel: Staging Our Stories, Embodying Solidarity
Participants will use movement and tableaus to reflect on their own journeys, share in the experiences of others, and work together to imagine new ways to be in solidarity.

Andy Stoffel (SFS ‘12) majored in Culture & Politics focusing on intersections of theatre and conflict transformation.  He currently works as a Drama and Music teacher at BASIS DC, a public charter middle and high school in the Penn Quarter area that just this year started it’s own Gay-Straight Alliance.

Gatherings III: Connections: Creating Systems of Care

Daniel Phillip: Connections: Creating Systems of Care

When we hear the term “mental health,” we often think about illness and deficits; the focus starts and ends with the hardships we experience. In this workshop, we defined, discussed, and shared our understanding of mental health, trauma, and healing as intersectional beings, not only emphasizing our individual experiences but increasing awareness and empathy for other communities’ experiences.

Students:
1. Defined mental health and trauma 
2. Learned different communities’ experiences 
3. Identified ways of coping and healing from traumatic experiences 

Dr. Daniel K. Phillip is a Staff Psychologist at Chase Brexton Health Care. He also serves as an affiliate faculty member at Loyola University Maryland. Dr. Phillip has trained in both inpatient and outpatient settings and has focused on working with marginalized communities in Maryland and New York. He is trained as an LGBT-affirmative psychotherapist by the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy – California Division (AAMFT-CA) and provides training to mental health professionals on the provision of affirmative and competent care to trans and gender diverse clients.