The North Star LGBTQ Center in Winston-Salem presented the In Good Company Award to Angela Mazaris on Nov. 9 at the organization’s annual event that honors LGBTQ-friendly organizations, their employees, local volunteers and activists. Mazaris is the founding director of Wake Forest’s LGBTQ Center.
Intended to recognize leaders in creating inclusive and welcoming spaces, the award honored Mazaris for her leadership of the University’s LGBTQ Center. She was among other honorees at the annual event that featured a keynote address by undocumented activist Moises Serrano, who is described as committed to uniting the immigration and LGBTQ movements.
Mazaris is also a member of the faculty in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
The following message went out to the Wake Forest University campus community on Sept. 3:
Dear Wake Forest Students, Faculty, and Staff,
The current political climate around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is one of uncertainty and confusion, not only for Wake Forest students enrolled in the program, but also for their families, friends, classmates, faculty and staff. Given that climate, we cannot provide clarity about the program’s continuation or possible changes to federal policy. However, it is critically important for everyone in our campus community – and especially those worried about their safety and freedom to pursue their studies – to know that Wake Forest is here to support all our students, including those who are not U.S. citizens.
In December, President Hatch joined hundreds of other university leaders in signing a petition asking then-President-elect Trump to uphold and expand DACA. Yet, as a decision from the White House looms, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion – through our Intercultural Center, Women’s Center, and LGTBQ Center – acknowledges the anxiety and frustration associated with not knowing the impact of changes to current federal policies. Please consider our collective staff available should you need to an attentive ear or a comforting space. In addition, please remember that the University Counseling Center (117 Reynolda Hall) can provide expert and clinical confidential support, that the International Students and Scholars division (116 Reynolda) can provide up-to-date information and implications for changes to federal policies around immigration procedures and statutes, and that the Chaplain’s Office (8 Reynolda) can provide spaces that facilitate reflection and solace. Finally, consider your own personal support network of family, friends, and staff and professor allies, and how they can be affirming.
Wake Forest, like other institutions of higher education, will continue to monitor changes to DACA. We will also continue to assess progress or updates to Congressional actions, including the BRIDGE Act and the Recognizing America’s Children Act (a rewrite of the Dream Act). Ultimately, the academic and personal-social wellbeing of DACA students at Wake Forest is something we neither take lightly nor take for granted.
As President Hatch has said, we are a community that stands up for one another in the face of discrimination. We are a place committed to respecting and preserving the dignity of all people – from every nation. We are a campus that welcomes diverse people and viewpoints. Our campus is richer for our diverse population and we will continue to provide financial aid, support services, and connection to legal resources for undocumented students. You belong here and you are welcome here.
José A. Villalba, Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Johnathan McElderry, Director, Intercultural Center
Angela Mazaris, Director, LGBTQ Center
Paige Meltzer, Director, The Women’s Center
Categories: Inside WFU
This message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 23 by University administrators Rogan Kersh, Penny Rue and Barbee Oakes:
Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff:
We have reviewed new guidance from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice regarding transgender students. This Dear Colleague Letter rolled back significant guidance issued last May delineating institutional responsibility to treat trans students according to their gender identity.
On behalf of Wake Forest University, we are in full support of our transgender community. We invite you to read the thoughtful message, prepared by LGBTQ Center Director Angela Mazaris and Program Coordinator Kayla Lisenby, which affirms our values and support for all people. We are fortunate to have such caring leadership in our LGBTQ Center, which has been at the forefront of providing education, advocacy, and support to the campus community around issues of gender identity and sexual orientation since its inception in 2011.
In addition, our Transgender Policies Workgroup formed last fall aims to ensure that Wake Forest provides the best possible experience of inclusion for trans members of our community – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – and it will continue to do so. The recently released Dear Colleague Letter does nothing to change our steadfast commitment to helping create a safe and supportive educational and work environment for trans students and colleagues. Leaders across the University share our affirmation.
Now is the time to reach out and provide support to members of our transgender community as we seek to create an inclusive, welcoming and supportive campus. Our LGBTQ Center, Counseling Center, Student Health, Dean of Students Office, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Chaplain’s Office and many other campus resources are all ready and eager to help students navigate the shifting legal landscape and claim their place here at Wake.
Rogan Kersh, Provost
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
Barbee Oakes, Chief Diversity Officer
Categories: University Announcement
During this election cycle, several Wake Forest faculty and staff have shared their expertise and insights with a variety of broadcast, print and online media outlets from the local level to international.
Today, on Election Day, you can catch political science professor John Dinan live on Fox News’ Happening Now show at 1 p.m. Dinan has been a frequent resource for reporters to explain why North Carolina has been such a battleground state, especially for the senate and gubernatorial races. And tonight, Dinan will join WXII in the studio for the evening newscasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. to talk about election returns.
Communication professor Allan Louden joins WSJS radio at 7:36 p.m. to talk about political campaigns.
LGBTQ Center Director Angela Mazaris will be interviewed on WFDD radio at 9:35 p.m. about House Bill 2 and its impact on the governor’s race.
To see other election experts, check out this expert site at Wake Forest News.
Categories: Faculty News
On March 24, more than 200 Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered for a moment of solidarity on the steps of Wait Chapel hosted by the LGBTQ Center in light of the passage of House Bill 2.
LGBTQ Center Director Angela Mazaris said, “This legislation is a step backwards for North Carolina. By enacting this bill, our lawmakers have stripped important legal protections from gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people across the state. The impacts of HB 2 will be felt both on the individual level, as LGBTQ people face discrimination in the most quotidian areas of everyday life, and on the statewide level, as our local businesses and industry are unable to attract and retain top talent.”
Wake Forest University’s non-discrimination statement includes gender identity and sexual orientation.
In addition to continuing to add all gender restrooms across campus, Wake Forest will offer some gender-neutral housing for during the 2016-2017 academic year.