I was fortunate to be invited by Mrs. Charlcie Vann, JSU’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, to give a talk on International Pronoun Day during LGBTQ+ History Month. Mrs. Vann coordinates the day-to-day activities of JSU’s Safe Zone, which educates our broader JSU community about LGBTQ+ issues.
The talk focused on the importance of using correct pronouns for others as a mark of respect. The issue of pronoun use especially affects the trans and gender non-conforming community, as well as the LGBTQ+ community more broadly. It’s important to remember that the pronouns an individual uses for themselves may be similar to or different from one’s own perception of that individual, so it’s important to normalize sharing ones own pronouns and asking others if one is not sure. (Slides are available for anyone interested!)
In addition to being important on their own, diversity efforts are directly related to student enrollment and retention. Students who feel valued in their educational environments are more likely to succeed. I am so grateful to everybody here at JSU for being devoted to diversity and inclusion. We have a wonderful community.