Another Great Day in the Midwest
August 26, 2011 by Candace Gingrich, Associate Director, Youth and Campus Engagement Program
Everything’s up to date in Kansas City, or so Will from “Oklahoma” would sing. (Shameless plug for the amazing production of “Oklahoma!” at DC’s Arena Stage!) And things are pretty progressive here on the campus of University of Missouri-Kansas City as we brought the bus to the home of the Kangaroos. (Yes, that is their mascot.)
Things started off with a press conference featuring HRC President Joe Solmonese, State Senator Jolie Justus, Kansas City Mayor Pro-Tem Cindy Circo & Dr. Karen Dace, UMKC’s Deputy Chancellor of the Division of Diversity, Access, & Equity. I had the pleasure of meeting Karen 2 years ago when I last visited UMKC- very cool woman. Pretty impressive group to have welcoming the HRC Equality Bus to Kansas City.
But as ‘up-to-date’ as KC seems, every single speaker both acknowledged the progress that has been made here as well as the work that has yet to be done. Some of that work is ongoing at UMKC, including efforts to add gender identity to the University of Missouri non-discrimination policy and obtaining domestic partner benefits for UM employees.
Students, staff and faculty alike were excited about the Equality Bus and we talked to some great people about issues of LGBT equality. We partnered with the UMKC LGBTQIA Resource Center to share their traditional ‘ice cream social’ welcome back to school event. Not only was the HRC bus present, but it was an information fair as well, with tables representing the Resource Center, Lighthouse – the new LGBT community center (in progress), KC’s gay & allied men’s rugby team called the Kansas City Carnivores and many more. The ice cream truck guy was very busy handing out free treats as we stayed very busy getting folks to sign postcards in support of anti-bullying legislation and marriage equality.
Another great day in the Midwest with Generation Equality. The bus will stay in KC a bit longer for events at Missy B’s and some awesome workshops/events related to our HEI, adoption and employee resource groups.
Me, I’m headed back home to a very special lady. No, not Hurricane Irene – my wife Rebecca, to celebrate our 2nd legal (Boston!) wedding anniversary. In fact, that Irene better not interfere!
So, until I next blog to you from the University of Texas, happy trails to you and equality for all!
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