The Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives and Allyship hosts Ally Week from April 5-9

Events include the Owls Ally Network Mixer and a Legal Name Change Workshop.


Image courtesy of Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives and Allyship Instagram.

Marcy Wilder, Web Editor

Ally Week, hosted by The Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives and Allyship, is April 5-9. This week will consist of a series of workshops “assembled in response to what you’ve been most concerned about this year,” according to the email sent by Geanny Joseph Ruiz, Assistant Director of Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives & Allyship.

“The reason we do Ally Week is because allyship is a work in progress. It’s important for you to continue to seek out knowledge and be in a position to listen and learn about some of the things that [the LGBTQ] community is dealing with [and] some of the issues they face so you can do the best you can in order to be an effective ally,” said Ruiz in an Instagram Live on April 5.

Ally Week changes from year to year based on the pertinent issues and climate, here are the events for this week.

Tuesday 4/6
The Owls Ally Network Mixer will occur at 5 p.m. on Zoom. According to the email, “Participants will be provided with their Ally Network Manuals as well as updates regarding LGBTQ+ policy, procedure, and programs.” The Owls Ally Network consists of Faculty and Staff who have been Safe Zone trained and would like to continue their allyship with the LGBTQ+ community, according to Ruiz. The goal is to engage in a dialogue about how to best support the LGBTQ+ community.

Wednesday 4/7
The LGBTQ+ Community Resource Panel is at 5 p.m. on Zoom to help participants discover LGBTQ+ resources and support services in Broward and Palm Beach County. This panel is to replace the Lavendar Lunches that would normally occur before the pandemic. The panel will be held in the style of a resource fair of healthcare workers, individuals focused on mental health and substance abuse, and community resource leaders focused on homeless or displaced students.

Thursday 4/8
Safe Zoom Training: Level Two at noon will be a two-hour workshop about Transgender and Nonbinary allyship. Sign up using the Google form here.

At 4 p.m. on Zoom, an Inclusive Language Academic Panel of experts will hold “Why the X?” This panel is to discuss the use of the letter X in terms like Womxn and Latinx. “Language is one of the ways systems of oppression operate in society. We focus a lot on language to extend to marginalized communities, be more inclusive, and reclaim identities,” said Ruiz.

Friday 4/9
At 4 p.m. experts from TransSOCIAL will hold a Legal Name Change Workshop on Zoom. They will discuss legal name change requirements in Florida and options for internal name changes at FAU. TransSOCIAL specializes in name changes for Florida residents. Ruiz said she will discuss how students can change their names internally at FAU through a form to the Office of Registrar. These internal name changes will be reflected in Owl Cards, Canvas, and more said Ruiz.

FAU isn’t the only university that holds Ally Week. Florida International University is holding Pride Week this week. New York University is holding its 11th Annual Solidarity Week this week. NYU changed Ally Week to Solidarity Week to push to do “practices that reflect a commitment to others, out of the recognition that we all have a shared responsibility toward collective freedom,” according to their website.

“Allyship is a verb,” said Ruiz. “In order to maintain a good relationship with any marginalized community, continued education is key.”

For more information, email Ruiz at [email protected].

Marcy Wilder is the web editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @MarcyJWilder.