Texas Tech University

Texas Tech LGBTQIA Office Hosts Third Annual Big 12 LGBTQIA & Allies Summit

Amanda Castro-Crist

March 4, 2020

The theme of this year’s summit is, “This is My Life. I’ll Decide My Future.”

The Texas Tech University Office of LGBTQIA Education & Engagement will host the third annual Big 12 LGBTQIA & Allies Summit from Friday through Sunday (March 6-8) in the Student Union Building (SUB).

The summit will bring together college students, faculty, staff and community members committed to inclusion, access and equity to network with other leaders and community organizers, engage with social justice advocates through educational programming and learn from trailblazing professionals for LGBTQIA equality on the national stage.

"The Big 12 LGBTQIA & Allies Summit is a collaborative effort involving many institutional partners at Texas Tech, across the Big 12 and more," said Jody Randall, director of the Office of LGBTQIA Education & Engagement. "We are working hard to raise competencies and understanding around the many identities people simultaneously live."

Big 12 LGBTQIA & Allies Summit

Several Texas Tech faculty, staff and administrators will speak at the event, including President Lawrence Schovanec; Margaret L. Williams, dean of the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business; and Carol A. Sumner, chief diversity officer and vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, who will deliver opening remarks at 7 p.m. Friday.

Plenary speakers at this year's summit include:

  • Friday (7 p.m., SUB Grand Ballroom): Trey Grayson served two terms as Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and now serves as national co-chair of Conservatives Against Discrimination, a coalition of conservative Americans who believe LGBTQIA Americans should be free from discrimination. This coalition provides resources and opportunities for conservative Americans from all walks of life who support protecting LGBTQIA people from discrimination.
  • Saturday (3:30 p.m., SUB Ballroom B): Jennifer Denetdale is an associate professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico, where she teaches courses in critical Indigenous studies, Indigenous gender and sexuality, Indigenous feminisms and gender and Navajo studies. She also serves as the chair of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and has been recognized for her scholarship and service to her nation and community with several awards, including the Rainbow Naatsiilid True Colors for her support and advocacy on behalf of the Navajo LGBTQIA.
  • Sunday (10:15 a.m., SUB Matador Room): Morgan Jon Fox is an award-winning independent filmmaker. Fox will close the summit with the session, "Authentic Storytelling Through Film."

Other educational sessions during the summit cover a variety of topics including community support and partnerships, allyship, empowerment and inclusion on and off campus, healthy relationships, LGBTQIA histories and spirituality. Continuing education credit is available for this learning activity through the Office of the Provost.

"We are tackling important issues in a time of significant social change," Randall said. "Our theme affirms the power we all have in charting what's ahead: 'This is my life. I'll decide my future.'"

For a full schedule, visit the Big 12 LGBTQIA & Allies Summit's website.

The Office of LGBTQIA Education & Engagement is part of Student Affairs and the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Texas Tech.