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OU Gender and Equality Center opens LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program applications

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GEC dedication

The Gender + Equality Center sign Jan. 23.

The OU Gender and Equality Center announced on Tuesday it has opened applications for its LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program.

The information for the application was sent in an OU mass email. According to the email, The LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program aims to support LGBTQ+ students by connecting them with peers and alumni that share their interests and career paths, providing guidance for first year and transfer LGBTQ+ students and fostering a sense of community among LGBTQ+ students at OU.

“Mentees are encouraged to utilize the LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program, peer mentors and alumni mentors to build an affirming community and ask questions that help them navigate OU, their career fields, as well as society at large,” says Quan Phan, Program Coordinator and Advisor of the GEC.

Phan said the program made some adjustments to its events this year because of the coronavirus. 

“Because of (COVID-19), most of our events and trainings will be virtual,” Phan said. “It opens up opportunities for people to engage with the program while social distancing, or even from states that are further away. Although we want to create spaces and opportunities for our participants to make connections and build relationships through the program, we want to prioritize the accessibility of the program and keep the safety, health (and) wellness of our participants in mind.”

The program is run by the Gender and Equality Center, whose mission is to "foster social justice by advocating for the rights of women and LGBTQ students, empowering those without a voice, and challenging inequality" according to their website.

“What is unique for our program is that we are centering their experience as an LGBTQ+ person and have their identity development in mind when we develop the curriculum,” Phan said. “The participants will be paired with people not just sharing the same interests, but also similar identity so they can share their unique experiences and challenges during their time in college or as a professional in the real world.”

The email also included an application for anyone who wants to be a mentor to a student, a mentee, or an executive committee member, with the priority deadline being September 11th.

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