April 3, 2009 – “TOGETHER WE CAN” a five day celebration of the work and contributions of “Allies” to the LGBT Movement, and a breaking of the silence around issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender oppression, will be presented April 13 – 17, 2009. Ally Week is sponsored by the University of Utah Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, the Psychology Department and the student groups Queer Student Union and Queer Students of Color. All events will be held at the University of Utah, except as noted.
The week will begin on Monday, April 13, with a screening of “Speak Up!” a documentary film produced in 2001 about improving the lives of GLBT youth. The film stars Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in 1998. Following the film GLBT identified youth will participate in a panel presentation. The film and panel will take place at 7:30 pm in the University of Utah Olpin Student Union Theater.
Tuesday, April 14, Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade shop, will host a LGBT Resource Center Community Shopping Night from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Twenty-percent of all sales during this time will go to the LGBT Resource Center to support programs. Ten Thousand Villages is located at 1941 South 1100 East, Salt Lake City, Utah.
On April 15, a panel presentation “Building Communities: The Importance of LGBTQ Allies” will be featured from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Panel members include: Lisa Diamond, PhD.; Jerry Buie, LCSW; Sy Maestas; Gerda Saunders, PhD; Alex Moya and Ryan Randall, LCSW.
On April 16, an “Ally Social” with the Psychology Department will be held at 3:00 to 5:00 pm in the Olpin Union Parlor A. The pubic is invited to attend. Snacks will be served.
On April 17, student groups, along with the LGBT Resource Center, will observe National Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA). This is a student lead day of action designed to expose the effects of anti-LGBT bias and violence in schools. Wearing gags or armbands, University of Utah students, faculty and staff will take a daylong vow of silence to recognize and protest the continued silence forced on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally individuals everyday. Participants and friends will gather on the Olpin Union Plaza at 1:00 pm to break the silence with music, speeches and more.
April 17, Safe Zone Training will be conducted from 2:00 to 5:00 pm in Opin Student Union, room 161.
On the evening of April 17, the Queer Student Union and Queer Students of Color will complete the week with “Silence is such a Drag,” a benefit drag show complete with food, drinks, raffle prizes, music, dancing and more. The suggested donation is $5 with all proceeds to benefit the presenting organizations. The event is at 6:00 pm at Club Sound, 600 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah.
For more information about Ally Week’s events please visit www.sa.utah.edu/lgbt.