On October 27th & 28th, SUNY Oneonta hosted its 5th Annual SUNY Pride Conference. Over 180 attendees from 14 different institutions (both within and outside of New York State) were present, along with local attendees from Oneonta Job Corps Academy and Walton High School. This year’s theme was Artivism: Creative Expression for LGBTQIA Resistance & Healing, which was reflected in 12 different sessions, which included topics such as intersectionality between race and sexuality, experiences of trans and non-binary individuals, sexual health, LGBTQ+ representation in media, and the importance of self-care.
Notable presentations by SUNY Oneonta Students and Faculty include Seeing Toxic Masculinity within the Black Male Experience by Emmanuel Woolard, HIV/AIDS & Men’s Sexual Health: Looking Back and Looking Forward by Dr. James Zians, Black Brujos Matter by Jonathan Brown, The Art of Self-Care: Contemplative Strategies for Self-Other Compassion by Dr. Kristen Blinne and Greg Hummel, Beta Inclusivity by Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and “Raising Women to Be…” Identifying as a Queer Woman of Color in a Caribbean Household Where Femininity is Toxic by Shinique Smith.
Feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive, with an overall 81% average rating of the conference meeting expectations. A few pieces to note include praise surrounding the variety in sessions presented, organization of the event itself, the opportunity to network with peers and professionals from different institutions, and connecting to resources within the area. Some notable off-campus resources that were invited to table at the conference include The Otsego Pride Alliance and Family Planning of South Central New York.
The keynote for this year’s event, Kit Yan, provided a thought-provoking and engaging performance through his own poetry, which left audience members blown away from listening to his experience and learning that “we all have different experiences and hardships but we can ultimately relate to one another”. There was also tabling available to showcase on campus student organizations and local off-campus resources.
Let’s take a moment for a special thanks to this year’s planning committee…
Angela Deleski, Student Life & Leadership
Bill Harcleroad, Student Life & Leadership
Dariel Santana, GSRC
Denny Burhan, PSA
Dylan Negrin, GSRC
Ethan Serio & Gender & Sexuality Alliance E-board
Emmanuel Woolard, GSRC
Faith Tiemann, Equity & Inclusion
James Zians, Psychology
Kathy Hewelett, Student Life & Leadership
Katie Hebert, Fabulous Oneonta Feminists & PSA
Lillian La Plante, GSRC
Rowan Fitzgibbons, GSRC
Shinique Smith, GSRC
Zanna McKay, Elementary Education & Reading
Emily Phelps, Co-Chair, Student Life & Leadership/GSRC
Robb Thibaut, Co-Chair, Student Life & Leadership
Also, a huge thank you to our sponsors for this year’s event…
Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, SUNY Oneonta
Office for Student Life and Leadership, SUNY Oneonta
Office of Equity and Inclusion, SUNY Oneonta
Gender and Sexuality Alliance, SUNY Oneonta
The SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association with fiscal support from the Fund for Oneonta at SUNY Oneonta
Lastly, a very grateful thank you to Dr. Nancy Kleniewski for attending the Welcome and sharing some remarks, to Pitch Slapped for performing during the Welcome, to the Poetry Slam Association for hosting our Open Mic pre-conference event, and to Andrew Kahl and the Identity Play Reading Group for their performance at closing.
Next year’s SUNY Pride conference will be on October 12th & 13th. If you are interested in participating in the planning committee for next year’s event, please contact Emily Phelps at Emily.Phelps@oneonta.edu and stay tuned for more information rolling out soon.