Inclusive Programming at OU


OU’s Women’s Center, LGBT Center plan to diversify its programs to become more inclusive

Mae Yen Yap / Culture Editor

For the new semester, the Women’s Center and the LGBT Center have one main goal – being inclusive.


Both centers will make efforts to increase intersectionality within their programs, following efforts from last year.


Women's Center

Meagan Hall | For The Post

The Women's Center is Located on the fourth floor in Baker Center.

The Women’s Center will restructure its events this year to increase manageability, M. Geneva Murray, the director of the Women’s Center, said. The center will not be hosting any night events and will instead increase its programming during the day.  


Among those day programs is a collaboration with the Multicultural Center to support of women of color. The new program will focus on issues from networking to ways to handle racial microaggression or sexual harassment within the workplace.


Though the program has not yet begun, Murray said it has already received support from student groups on campus


“We’re hoping that that (support) will help grow the program so we’re touching not just women of color who are in student groups, but also outside of student groups to ensure that they are getting attention to the issues that matter to them,” Murray said.


The Women’s Center will also offer a mentoring program for students, salary negotiation workshops as well as workshops focusing on self-development.


“We’re really hopeful that people will make this a commitment to themselves for self-improvement and their own professional development,” Murray said.


One of the larger events the Women’s Center will be hosting in October is a display of a monument quilt at Peden Stadium. Organized by FORCE, an activist organization from Baltimore, the quilt is sewed by and focuses on the stories of sexual assault survivors.


“The quilt is a very visible way of showing the impact of sexual assault within our communities,” Murray said. “It’s important we’re focusing and centering on survivor’s stories rather than always talking about perpetrator prevention.”


On the other hand, the LGBT Center will continue its usual programs, but is planning to make adjustments to them, delfin bautista, the director of the LGBT Center, said.


Among those programs is the Queer Hollywood series. The center has reached out to collaborate with Multicultural Activists Coalition and Ebony Minds, a new student organization on campus, to work on a film series focusing on the intersections between queerness with race and ethnicity.


“It’s been a lot of fun, and people seem to enjoy it,” bautista, who uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase spelling of their name, said. “It’s been a nice way of raising awareness about different identities and ... LGBT history, LGBT narratives. And they’re good discussion starters.”


The LGBT Center will also continue its Self Care series and hopes to include Athens residents and local businesses in the program this year.


The idea to connect students to local residents began when bautista met the owners of local business Dirty Girl Coffee during the Athens Pride Fest in June. The meeting “sparked the idea of bringing queer folks in the community into the center, as well as supporting the work that they do in the community,” bautista said.


There are also plans to hold an evening of discussion between OU College Republicans, OU College Democrats and the LGBT Center, bautista said. Though the Campus Conversations have created opportunity for dialogue, bautista said they “feel that it’s like-minded people speaking with like-minded people.”


“The opportunity to have a messy and tense conversation doesn’t always happen,” bautista said. “But I think we need to have those conversations, considering what’s happening politically in our country at the moment.”


Development by: Taylor Johnston / Digital Production Editor

Landing Page

Special Projects

This story is part of a series of specially designed stories that represents some of the best journalism The Post has to offer. Check out the rest of the special projects here.