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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: LGBTQIA+ Pride Syllabus

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: LGBTQIA+ Pride Syllabus

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Syllabus

Maybe you’ve heard it before, seen it on signs: The first Pride was a riot.

When individuals in LGBTQIA+ communities say this, it’s often both as a reminder of the annual celebration’s radical origins in the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion and as a criticism of depoliticized Pride celebrations that prioritize corporations over the most marginalized of their own communities. And so while Pride is a time of self-affirmation, it’s also a time to celebrate the diverse history of LGBTQIA+ communities and honor radical demands for equality.

This Pride month, Pitt’s Center for Teaching and Learning invites you to infuse your teaching practices with Pride! What does it look like to teach in ways that honor the diversity of your LGBTQIA+ students? How can you stay up-to-date on the needs and experiences of this population? Finally, keeping in mind that “the first Pride was a riot,” how can you teach in a way that rebels against oppressive structures that shape the classroom?

Objectives

  • Identify resources for teaching LGBTQIA+ students and LGBTQIA+ content.
  • Identify issues of content, design, delivery, and external circumstances that may affect LGBTQIA+ students’ learning experiences.
  • Reflect on potential adaptations to your own teaching practices that may optimize LGBTQIA+ students’ learning.

How to use this syllabus

This syllabus is broken up into different units, organized by topic. There is no need to complete units in sequential order — jump to the topic most relevant to your interests. Each unit contains recommended readings and optional activities. The activities are designed to facilitate self-reflection on your own course material and practices and to offer guidance on potential adaptations.

LGBTQIA+ Students

This unit is designed to provide frameworks for considering the needs and strengths of the diverse population of LGBTQIA+ students. Readings introduce participants to Pitt resources for LGBTQIA+ students, the effects of COVID 19 on LGBTQIA+ communities, and suggestions for teaching strategies and best practices for facilitating the inclusion and equity of LGBTQIA+ students in your classroom community.

Reflection

What barriers to learning might you anticipate LGBTQIA+ students will face in the Fall semester? How might you mitigate these challenges? Consider what resources are available to students and ways you might determine students’ needs.

Activity

Where in your syllabus can you integrate your understanding of your LGBTQIA+ students’ needs and circumstances? Make whatever changes you deem appropriate. Examples of syllabus adaptations include: a gender-inclusive/non-sexist language statement, a diversity statement, a “resources” section that includes information for Pitt’s Counseling Services, or even adjustments in “tone” to indicate your understanding that factors outside of the classroom may greatly impact learning.

LGBTQIA+ Content

Interested in integrating LGBTQIA+ content in your course but unsure of the best manner to do so? This unit introduces instructors to sources of LGBTQIA+ content, best practices for facilitating discussion of LGBTQIA+ issues, and tips on integrating LGBTQIA+ writers and content into your course.

Reflection

Consider the content in your course. What experiences and viewpoints are represented? Where are the gaps in representation? (Note that while you of course can never represent every viewpoint and every experience, this exercise asks you to think about positionalities you may have previously neglected and consider what they can add to your classroom discourse.)

Activity

Complete the Inclusion By Design survey (by Ed Brantmeier, Andreas Broscheid, and Carl S. Moore).

LGBTQIA+ History

Of course, advocating for any individual or community effectively requires making an effort to understand that community’s history. Now (and always) is a great time to reflect on the social construction of gender and sexual identity; the oppressive, interlocking power structures that permeate the private and public spheres; and the radical actions and beliefs that fuel the spirit of many contemporary LGBTQIA+ movements. In this unit, instructors are invited to familiarize themselves with some important people, events, and texts in LGBTQIA+ history to better understand what Pride means today.

Reflection

What figures or stories from history do you feel the most connection to and why? How did your understanding of history impact your own identity formation? Before reading this syllabus, what LGBTQIA+ history did you know and where did you learn it?

Activity

Pick a person, event, or text you learned about from the brief historical overview above (or from other explorations of Pride) and find a connection between that history and a historical figure, event, or text important to you as an individual or scholar.

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