Carolina Creative Campus – The Gender Project

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UNITY Conference 2009 is almost here!

UNITY 2009 – Sweet T: Transgressing, Transforming and Transcending Gender and Sexuality in the South.

Friday, April 3 – Sunday, April 5.

The Southeastern Regional Unity Conference is an annual gathering of progressive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer identified people and their allies in the Southeast. It was founded to create dialogues about the intersections of gender and sexuality with ability, age, class, faith, health, and race/ethnicity, to explore strategies for effective grassroots organizing, and to share work that we and other LGBTIQ activists are doing in the Southeast.

Check out the UNITY Conference website to find out more about performances, workshops, parties and more!  Registration is free for UNC students, but donations are appreciated.

Workshop themes/questions this year include:

Transactions: How do we create safe and healthy relationships?
You’re Not a Lesbian!: Challenges and Joys for Partners of Transmen
Gender Fucking and Fucking: A Radical Exploration of Identity and Practice
A Transgender Journey: Being a Lover or an Ally to Folks in Transition
Between the Sheets: Tips for a Healthy Sex Life
Defending Marriage

Transfigurations: Can we, should we define ourselves?
Utilizing a Queer Identity to Escape the Gender Binary
Bi One, Get One Free!: Sexual Labels in a Postmodern World
Transgender Spirituality: Historic Categories, Contemporary Understandings
Sweet or Unsweet?  Gay or Straight?  Do you have to decide?
Drag: The Possibilities of Gender Queering in Performance

Transgressions: What can we do as LGBTIQ and allied activists?
Better Advocacy with the Advo.Kit
Creating Change in your Community
Bridging the Gap:  Making Health Services Inclusive of Diverse Gender Identities and Expressions
To a T: An Interactive Theatre Scene on Heterosexism and Gender at Carolina
Performance for Social Change

Transformations: How do we build safe, powerful, inclusive communities?
Difference, Unity, & Struggle: Building Queer Community & Power
Transforming the Workplace: Being ‘Out’ in your Career
Beyond the Clubs and .Coms: Creating Inclusive Communities for Gay/Bisexual Men
Trans Surgery Show and Tell

Transparency: What’s the state of our movement?
Gay in the Media: A Critical Look at How Far We Have(n’t) Come
Mapping Our Rights: An Interactive Advocacy Tool for Legal Change
Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House: Challenging the Ex-Gay Movement
The State of Equality in North Carolina: Policy, Education, Action
TransPraxis: An Academic Exploration of the Queer Moment

Transculturations: How can we critically examine and celebrate our intersecting identities?
HomoHop: Queer Masculinities in Hip Hop Culture
Transnational Families: Immigration Activism
Whiteness, Power, and Privilege
NC LGBT People of Color
Living with Disability

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The Carolina Summer Reading Program

It is mid-August, already. The summer has concluded and a new semester is well under way (although our first full week of classes has yet to be completed). Am I forgetting another 08-09 academic calendar year milestone? Certainly. The Gender Project has begun, officially.

This marks an important start in my year for many reasons. One being that I have spent my summer, and will continue into the fall, as an intern in the Office of the Executive Director for the Arts, working with Reed Colver on campus and community engagement. I will be posting on this blog periodically to track my experience and to offer not only my perspective as an intern, but as a student as well. I think that Carolina Creative Campus, the larger subheading above The Gender Project, is an asset to this campus because it inspires us to create dialogue surrounding the arts. There are many opportunities for discussion found throughout an academic climate, but none so unique as the arts. Particularly none so unique as the season created by Carolina Performing Arts and the performances specifically labeled The Gender Project.

I can’t think of a more appropriate start to an initiative based on dialogue than The Carolina Summer Reading Program. Reed and I had the opportunity the Monday before classes began to meet with a group of first-years to discuss last summer’s choice, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights written by NYU Law professor Kenji Yoshino. The book, in short, does a fantastic job in sparking discussion. Yoshino clearly articulates a theory about civil rights that is based in the context of litigation, and largely in the context of his own story. He crafts an approachable read that manages to be far less alienating than other examination of civil rights I have ever encountered. He uses his personal reflection, as a gay Asian American male, and appropriately applies those experiences to all who have suffered any sort of, as he calls them, covering demands. It was fascinating to hear discussion, minimally facilitated, that came from young males and females from a variety of backgrounds, races and experiences. The discussion that emerged was a testament not only to Yoshino’s book, but to the climate of this campus and the integrity of the students who populate it.

I will openly admit that I was nervous walking into a room full of new students. I was worried that what I had to offer would not be enough. That I would get 35 blank stares and two hours to fill. But what I learned is that facilitation, particularly in the case of The Gender Project, comes not only from what I have to offer, but primarily from what the group has to offer. This I find most exciting about the year ahead. A dialogue is a collaboration; it isn’t two parts me and one part you, placed side by side for examination. It is a blending, a mixture, of the catalyst (in this case Covering), plus my thoughts and yours. A relief to all, and hopefully not just me, who choose to participate this year in our discussion. There are no right answers, there are no expectations; there is only participation.

Yoshino asks for that in Covering. He relays a message of communication and acceptance. An appropriate and much needed tone for this project. Here’s to a fantastic kick off. Thank you to all who participated in the summer reading program, and to those of you who did not have this opportunity I invite you all to participate in some form or fashion this year. I look forward to our collaboration.


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The Gender Project

Welcome to the Blog for the 2008-09 Carolina Creative Campus – The Gender Project. Following on from last year’s conversation on capital punishment, this year Carolina Creative Campus is looking at issues of gender and identity, and how they impact us and those around us everyday.

So often our day-to-day activities are grounded in concepts and constructs of what gender is or means. As I have begun to talk about this project with people on and off campus the conversation often takes an immediate turn to the question – what do you mean by ‘gender’?

So, what do we mean when we talk about gender? What is it we are really talking about? Is it about the differences between men and women? What sexual identity means? Is gender dichotomized or does it fall on a continuum?

These are only a few of the many questions that will be addressed across campus and in the community this year.

You can check back soon at for an updated list of events and information, and keep reading the blog as the year goes on. We will be having a range of people contributing to this conversation as bloggers, and I invite you to participate by sharing your comments, and check back for other ways to share your perspectives and stories.

If you are interested in blogging, or know of an event, activity, or interesting class going on get in touch with us and let us know at or 919 843 1833


Campus and Community Engagement
Office of the Executive Director for the Arts

See Fall Event Highlights Here
Read more about Carolina Creative Campus Here

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