By Jen Peer February 26, 2018
The 2017-2018 Transformative Inqury Department Diversity Book Committee came together for an evening of radical trans experience on January 20th 2018.
Guided by Dr. Kathy Littles and Mayra Cortez, nominated committee members were Ashley Campbell, Kelsay Myers, Brian Davis, Sebastian Stout, myself, Jen Peer, and our beloved faculty mentor, Dr. Leslie Combs.
Our committee spent the summer of 2017 reviewing, suggesting and discussing many important topics, concerns, possible directions and opportunities to grow as a transformative learning community inspired by Dr. Denise Boston's diversity and inclusion initiative.
We decided on Dr. Susan Stryker's book (2008, 2017) Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution. After our selection, the entire Transformative Inquiry Department read Susan's book over the fall semester. We were fortunate to bring Susan to our January 2018 intensive in Pacifica. The event was all the more empowered by our discussion panel: Alex Leslie Combs, Sebastain Stout and Dr. Axil Cricchio.
Our goal was to listen and foster meaningful dialogs within the IS-ness of Trans lives. We certainty did that. Susan indulged us brilliantly and humbly about her huge body of scholarly and historical works. Our panelists, which included a presentation by local artist Alex Leslie Combs' work, brought endless soul to the evening. All proceeds of the sale of Alex's book benefitted Trans Lifeline, a Trans specific suicide hotline.
When those with open hearts and minds come together to listen to the perspectives, dreams, resistence and rich histories of lives of distinction, our world is transformed. This is part of what transformative inquiry is all about. Diversity matters here at CIIS because embracing our uniqueness has been what makes us strong and impactful for the last 50 years, and so it will be for the next 50 years to come. We look forward to next year's book committee selection!