On April 4, the LGBTQ+ Learning & Affirming Challenge begins online for University of Maine students. The challenge runs until April 8, making it a 5-day long online challenge intended for students to tackle and acknowledge topics related to the LGBTQ community.
“Each day, for five days, participants will receive an email with brief tasks designed to learn, listen, share insights and take action around topics related to sexual orientation, gender identity, intersectionality and LGBTQ affirming learning experiences,” Jen Bonnet, the social sciences and humanities librarian at Fogler Library, said. “The asynchronous structure allows people to work on their own time and at their own pace.”
The LGBTQ+ Learning & Affirming Challenge was created by UMaine’s very own graduate students and faculty.
“This program was designed by Tausif Karim, [a] master’s student in communication and journalism, Lily Herakova, [an] assistant professor in communication and journalism, Jen Bonnet, [the] social sciences and humanities librarian and Nancy Lewis, [the] head of reference and information literacy, all at the University of Maine,” Bonnet said.
According to Bonnet, the challenge was created to provide UMaine students with an accessible and supportive space that is engaging for them and helps spread LGBTQ awareness at the same time as creating allyship.
“There are moments built into each day that provide space for personal and public reflection,” Bonnet said. “Our intention is to have opportunities for us all to learn from one another’s experiences and insights. I hope that participants feel seen and heard, and equipped to nourish their understanding of and relationship to LGBTQ allyship. I also hope folx find our resources and strategies helpful for continuing to do this important work. I look forward to learning with everyone!”
The Communication and Journalism Department at UMaine collaborated with the Fogler Library to make this challenge possible and accessible to students.
“Fogler Library was glad to partner with CMJ to work on this, as we want to connect students and faculty with the information needed for their academic work, and especially for groups that have historically been oppressed and misrepresented,” Lewis said.
All UMaine students are encouraged to sign up and participate in the challenge regardless of whether or not they live on campus.
To participate in the LGBTQ+ Learning & Affirming Challenge, you can register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdi2JNYCtTqP-aKWx8CvbC3cKVSqTGav2_ABKoQI-94fuQWtw/viewform?usp=sf_link.