October 1 through October 31 is an annual month-long celebration that honors the history, accomplishments, and fights for civil rights in the LGBTQ+ community. With the help of DICE, Queens is doing just that.
Queens office of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement (DICE) “is an umbrella for diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus,” states Darryl White, the Assistant Dean of DICE. DICE unites students in their lounge throughout the year, providing a comfy and welcoming space in the basement of Dana hall. With everything being virtual this semester, DICE hasn’t let that stop them from educating and bringing students together.
Through the semester, DICE has held a virtual open house for new students, SLD events like Safe Zone training, Lunch and learns: LGBTQ+ career workshop, voter education week, a campus-wide discussion about current events, #SAYHERNAME: Queens Black girl check-In, Latinx Heritage Month and Deliberative Dialogue Training. DICE holds lunch and learns every two weeks. It’s encouraged to bring a friend and form a safe place with fellow students.
DICE’s home is in Dana hall, a place designed to be comfortable and welcoming for all students. With its comfy chairs, decorated walls, and snacks provided, this is the spot to be when on Campus. Weekly meetings are held in this space, but students are welcome at any time. White shares, “The DICE Lounge has been transformed into such a cool place, and we cant wait for students to be back on campus to utilize it.” Once students are back on campus, DICE plans to hold a scavenger hunt throughout campus. Students will find clues and be sent to locations that are “safe places on campus.” Be on the lookout for this event in QNews and around campus during the spring semester.
There is something new every month with DICE. During October, DICE opened its application for Diversity, Equity, and inclusion Ambassadors. Students go through a leadership program to foster a positive campus community and climate that is equitable and inclusive of all individuals. Individuals interested in being an Ambassador will complete a three-month training commitment that includes various workshops, reflections, site visits and other modes of increasing cultural competency. Program graduates are expected to serve as active DE&I ambassadors on and off-campus, helping to lead the change towards a more equitable and inclusive society intentionally. If you are interested in this program, you can apply here or follow DICE on Instagram @qudiversity.
Once Queen’s students are back on campus, there are some helpful resources for LGBTQ+ students to utilize. Time Out Youth in Charlotte offers support, advocacy, and opportunities for personal development and social interaction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 11-20. Time Out Youth holds various online zoom chats for meet and greets and information sessions. You can check them out at www.TimeOutYouth.org or on Instagram @TimeOutYouthCenter.
Another support is an organization called Safe Alliance. The Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter offers services to domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, language and immigration status. You can learn more about Safe Alliance by visiting www.safealliance.org. If you are interested in more resources, a link to all the Charlotte LGBTQ+ organizations can be found here: www.pflagcharlotte.org
White shared some advice to students who are currently struggling with mental health issues, sexuality or the current status of the world we live in today. “Have someone in your life you can trust,” White said. “Instead of internalizing problems, find someone you trust and share with them. At Queens, DICE is here to support all students, so don’t be afraid to reach out!”
Stay up to date with everything DICE on QNews & Instagram @qudiversity. If you have any questions or are interested in helping out with DICE, you can reach out to Darryl White at firstname.lastname@example.org