Mission, Vision & Social Justice Statements

Photo of 6 students sitting at a table smiling for the camera

Photo Credit: Jordan Steger

Mission Statement

The Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) is the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ LGBTQIA+ resource center. We collaborate with University partners to develop and support more expansive understandings of gender and sexuality through education, advocacy, outreach and support. The GSC promotes the holistic academic, personal, and professional success of LGBTQIA+ University of Minnesota students, employees, alum, and allies. Our office works to ensure students are connected to holistic support and communities of care, from their first semester to post-graduation experience.

About GSC’s Programs and Services

The GSC coordinates programs, services, and resources that uplift intersectional LGBTQIA+ realities and lived experiences. 

The following learning outcomes inform our assessment of and framework for our programs and services:

  • Sense of Self
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Sense of Wellbeing
  • LGBTQIA+ Cultural Competency 

GSC Programs include the Andrea Jenkins Lecture Series and Tongues United that center the voices of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous, and people of color; discussion groups for transgender & gender nonconforming folks, and cisgender allies; programs for LGBTQIA+ international students; and graduate and professional student interdisciplinary colloquiums and conveings supported by the Steven J. Schochet Endowment.                           

GSC Services include education and training, consultation on University processes and systems that impact LGBTQIA+ campus climate, and providing guidance and advocacy for individual or institutional concerns. The GSC also develops and compiles campus and community education resources to enhance LGBTQIA+ campus climate.

Vision Statement

We aspire to be unrelenting visionary advocates in cultivating, shifting, and enriching the LGBTQIA+ campus climate for our Queer and Trans University community members. 

Social Justice Values Statement

We recognize the implications of intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989) given the dynamics of gender and sexuality with race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, culture, nationality, immigration status, and all social systems. We work to build and bridge communities that welcome and affirm people to be their whole selves, honoring their multiple identities and lived experiences. We work to resist and interrupt systems of oppression that marginalize individuals and communities based on social identities. In doing this work, the GSC is committed to: 

  • Accountability: holding ourselves and others accountable to the social change work at the individual, institutional, and systemic levels in order to address overlapping dynamics of oppression.
  • Accessibility: creating environments that are accessible to all identities with a focus on those most marginalized and oppressed in our communities.
  • Anti-Racism: centering a recognition of the pervasiveness of anti-Black racism, white supremacy culture, and the implications for queer and trans community resilience.
  • Empowerment: empowering self and others through sustainable practices and collective liberation.
  • Intersectionality: acknowledging and centering  the impact and experiences of multiple systems of overlapping oppression, power, and privilege social contexts for LGBTQIA+ communities. Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” in 1989.
  • Joy: We believe the power of joy and celebration are essential ingredients for healing while working towards social change. 
  • Transparency: engaging community-centered decision-making processes and removing barriers to information access.

Reference:

Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989). "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics" (PDF). University of Chicago Legal Forum.