The Queer Resource Center (QRC) of the Claremont Colleges plans to expand and improve its programming this year with the help of its new program coordinator, Ebony Williams.
“To be able to have someone who focuses on supporting the student staff here in their programming efforts is great, because now we can make sure that all of our programming reaches all seven campuses,” Williams said.
Williams, who previously coordinated women and gender services at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, is in charge of supervising the QRC’s staff and its programming efforts. Before Williams was hired, QRC Director Adriana di Bartolo was the QRC’s only full-time adult staff member, and she was responsible for the center’s administration as well as the staff’s programming.
Now, di Bartolo’s role will be more administrative, and Williams will focus on collaborating with students on outreach efforts and event planning.
Williams and the QRC staff have begun planning new outreach initiatives for the year and are looking to coordinate with other 7C resources, such as the Office of Black Student Affairs, the Asian American Resource Center and Chicano Latino Student Affairs.
“We are focusing on the intersectionality of identities,” Williams said. “For example, how does being an LGBTQ individual exist within other identities we embody?”
Other new initiatives include strengthening the queer community at Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute, as well as creating a 7C LGBT alumni group to engage with students on a regular basis.
These new projects, however, have required some reorganization of the QRC’s internal structure.
“Last year, our staff collaborated on most of the QRC’s programming, which required a lot of communication, but now we have project teams in which we plan a particular program or event and see it through to fruition,” said Rachel Jackson PO ’15, a QRC staff member.
With this new structure, the QRC hopes to extend its programming outside of the 7Cs as well.
“We’re working to create a community service day that addresses the needs of the LGBT community outside of the colleges,” Williams said. “We’re going to focus on homeless queer youth, because a large proportion of homeless youth are LGBT.”
The QRC also has plans to reach out to the larger Inland Empire community as well as the Los Angeles area by hosting drives and foster care initiatives.