Monday, Nov. 9, 2009
K-STATE HOST TO SECOND ANNUAL OUT AND GREEK CONFERENCE NOV. 19-22
MANHATTAN -- A national conference to help foster dialogue and create safer and friendlier learning environments at colleges and universities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fraternity and sorority members will be Nov. 19-22 at Kansas State University.
Most events for the second annual Out and Greek Conference will be in the K-State Student Union. Conference registration is available at http://www.lambda10.org/outandgreek
According to organizers, the conference is the only one of its kind for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally fraternity and sorority members nationally.
"Fraternities and sororities were once considered a primary source of homophobia on college campuses," said Chelsey Fritch, the conference chair and a member of K-State's chapter of Gamma Rho Lambda, one of the nation's queer-inclusive sororities. "But now, more than ever, LGBT members of the Greek system are being open and honest about who we are. This conference hopes to provide an opportunity to enhance that dialogue, share tools and create further strategies for change."
The annual conference is part of the Lambda 10 Project for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fraternity and sorority issues. The project is an initiative of Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus organizations working to create friendly learning environments at colleges and universities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
According to Campus Pride, K-State was chosen to host the conference because it has both a men's fraternity -- Delta Lambda Phi -- and a women's sorority – Gamma Rho Lambda -- for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members.
Members of both Delta Lambda Phi and Gamma Rho Lambda are part of the conference planning team.
"K-State is proud to host the second annual conference. We have created something special within Greek life on our campus and we hope to share it with others across the country," said Fritch, a senior in humanities and pre-law, Manhattan.
The Out and Greek Conference also will provide an opportunity for students and professional staff from across the country to lead and present workshops on best practices from their campus fraternity and sorority community. More details, a schedule of events and information on becoming a workshop presenter are available at the conference Web site, http://www.lambda10.org/outandgreek
Featured speakers and presenters currently include Shane Windmeyer, best-selling author of "Out on Fraternity Row," "Secret Sisters" and "Brotherhood," and founder of the Lambda 10 Project; Mike Dilbeck, film producer and creator of the Response Ability Project; Peter Smithhisler, president and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference; Terrance Dean, national educator and best-selling author of "Reclaim Your Power! A 30-Day Guide to Hope, Healing and Inspiration for Men of Color" and "Hiding In Hip Hop -- On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry from Music to Hollywood"; and Jessica Pettitt, national author, educator an speaker on social justice and diversity.
Entertainment highlights at the conference will include Andrea Gibson, a nationally known poet, writer, activist and singer, and a special cabaret hosted by Kansas drag sensation Ms. Monica Moree.
National sponsors of the conference include Campuspeak, Beck and Company, Tyvola Design and the Association of Fraternity Advisors.
More information on the conference, including how to become a sponsor, is available at http://www.lambda10.org/outandgreek or by contacting Campus Pride at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-277-6710.