The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Questioning and Allied (LGBTQA) Resource Center is the first of it’s kind here at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), and Director Anthony Papini can’t wait to show NEIU what he has in store for this exciting new school year.
After the opening of the Pedroso Center in June of last year, many under-represented groups on campus rallied for a space to call their own, and now a year later their visions are coming to fruition. Papini’s excitement and dedication is evident. His goals for the new year mainly center around “outreach and visibilty. “If at the end of the year, students find the LGBTQA Resource Center to be a safe, comfortable place to hang out and we build awareness on campus about issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and ally development then we did a good job!”
When the question of what the center will be doing further into the future, Papini responded that he“would like to see the center grow and match the needs of the university, which might include hosting an LGBTQA Research Symposium, working with alumni of NEIU to develop a scholarship for queer-identified students, or seeing the center doing greater outreach into the community to help increase recruitment and retention of LGBTQA students.”
Papini has planned a Big Gay and LBTQA Picnic on Thursday, Sept. 6, which is a part of Fall Into Fun week as well as an “amazing Guest Speaker for National Coming Out Day” on Oct. 11. Along with these major events, the center will be hosting regular coming out support groups, as well as transgender/queer discussion groups, held weekly. Papini looks forward to working with the Pedroso Center and other outlets in order to help promote awareness of the center and those involved. “We absolutely are going to collaborate with the other Resource Centers – after all, it is the five Resource Centers that make up the Pedroso Center. It’s at the root of who we are as a division and department. We are all interested in exploring the intersection of identities and want to challenge NEIU students to think about their own identities as well as the identities of other members of the community.” To which he added “After all, everyone has a sexual orientation, a gender identity, and a racial or ethnic identity!”
Papini encourages anyone interested in learning more about the center to visit their facebook page which can be found by searching for NEIU LGBTQA Resource Center, as well as their website at: