Beyond Black History Month: The Erasure of Queer Black Leaders
Synopsis: Black History Month is often a time where conversations involving heritage and resilience are celebrated. But what for some Black individuals, this time often reflects the erasure of the important queer Black leaders. In this discussion, queer Black professionals will discuss why Black pride often excludes the color variations of the rainbow and what student affairs professionals can do to redefine these conversation.
Sanisha “Sunni” Meador
Sanisha “Sunni” Meador is the Director of Advocacy of TruEvolution—an LGBTQ, social justice, and Ryan White-funded HIV/AIDS service organization. TruEvolution serves the Riverside and San Bernardino counties in California. They hold a BA degree from the University of California, Riverside, in Women studies and applies their knowledge to create a platform for the community to use their voice, to equipped them with knowledge to protect and stand up for themselves, and to help LGBT teens gain get access to healthcare and community resources such as housing, food, and transportation.
Originally from Oakland CA, their interest in community organizing started from joining a myriad of non-profit organizations, higher educational programs, and protests in her K-12 years. Sunni has always had their feet planted firmly in helping the community with true dedication and grit. In their leisure time they like to take photos of their cats and going on adventures.
Nick Daily is Assistant Dean of Students for Black Student Affairs at the Claremont Colleges. The pronouns he uses are He or They. In his role he is assigned with student engagement initiatives including the grant management program and arts engagement programming including bringing speakers and performers to the campuses. He is a young, queer black, gender murky man who lives by the philosophy of "LuvServedDaily" - The consistent pursuit of happiness for self and others.
Dr. Jon Paul Higgins
Dr. Higgins was born in Los Angeles, California and graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies. He also holds a Masters of Arts in Management from the University of Redlands where he graduate top three of his class and was inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society. Dr. Higgins recently completed his Educational Doctorate of Leadership in Justice from the University of Redlands where he wrote his dissertation on the first year experiences of queer men of color in higher education.
Dr. Higgins was named to the 2015 National Black Justice Coalition’s “Top 100 LGBTQ People to Watch, and his work has been featured in Mused Magazine, The Root, Attn: and most recently Blavity. He will give his first TEDx Talk this year on the importance of unlearning fear and owning personal power, and will be assisting Campus Pride with Camp Pride in summer.