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January 18, 2005
Georgia Equality outlines LGBT plan
The Dec. 9 meeting of the President’s Commission on LGBT Concerns in 400 Administration featured an address from Chuck Bowen, executive director of Georgia Equality, a political advocacy group dedicated to representing the state’s LGBT community.
Bowen discussed steps that need to be taken in the aftermath of the Nov. 2 passage of the constitutional amendment defining marriage in Georgia as only between a man and a woman. While acknowledging the vote was a significant defeat, Bowen said the result showed that the LGBT community must work harder to educate the public about its lives and values.
“Every civil rights movement has had setbacks,” he said. “One area where we can be critical is that we failed to put a face on our movement. We allowed the conservative right to identify us as subhumans.”
In response to the vote, Bowen said Georgia Equality will roll out a campaign to attach faces and names to the people in the state’s LGBT community. He called the campaign, “We Are Your Neighbor,” but acknowledged that any effort would be a difficult struggle.
“We expect [Amendment 1] will be overturned by the [state] Supreme Court by June 1,” Bowen said. “It will be on the ballot again, and when it is re-introduced, it will pass. We’re going to oppose it, but this is when we can use the media to put a face on gay families.”
Bowen said the near future could bring challenges to domestic-partner benefits (such as those provided by Emory) and calls to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting children. He added that working with the Republican majority in the state House and Senate as well as Gov. Sonny Perdue would be important, as well as educating the public outside the perimeter and in rural Georgia.
In other business, more than 80 people attended the commission’s Dec. 7 mixer. About 20 signed up for events, and past chair Jeff Martin suggested that the commission e-mail attendees who had not previously taken part in LGBT events in order to continue fostering new relationships.
The next LGBT meeting will be Monday, Jan. 31, at 5:15 p.m. in 400 Administration. President Jim Wagner will be guest speaker.
If you have a question or comment for LGBT, send e-mail to chair Cathi Wentworth at email@example.com.
PCSW reviews Wagner response to memos
Story At the final President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) meeting for 2004 on Dec. 4 at Goizueta Business School. Center for Women Director Ali Crown announced that one of PCSW’s own, Allison Dykes, senior associate vice president of the Association of Emory Alumni, would be among the award recipients at the 2005 Unsung Heroine Awards ceremony, Feb. 17.
Chair Susan Gilbert then opened the meeting by reading a letter from President Jim Wagner regarding three memos the commission sent him. Wagner wrote that he forwarded the PCSW’s recommendation to introduce sexual assault education into the curriculum to John Ford, senior vice president and dean for Campus Life.
Wagner also forwarded the results of the School of Medicine’s gender equity study results to Provost Earl Lewis. Finally, Wagner wrote that his office would fund $14,000 for two Emory women to attend the Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania (known as the HERS Program).
Sally Gouzoules said faculty concerns next project will be to gather informatiom about the most important issues to women faculty, and will most likely use focus groups to collect the data.
Staff concerns chair Susan Carini said some senior staff women are looking to obtain another lactation room on campus, adding that a request has been made to Oxford Dean Dana Greene for a lactation room on the Oxford campus. Carini also said she would submit a report to Alice Miller, vice president for Human Resources, on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) brown bag lunches. Elaine Gossett added the committee intends to study a dozen peer institution’s mentor programs next semester.
Dykes said the women in leadership committee is “thrilled” with the president’s decision to fund two Emory representatives to attend the HERS Program. She said the next step is developing a nomination and selection process.
Crown gave the liaison report for the Center for Women and said the keynote speaker for Women’s History Month, March 23, will be Julianne Malveaux, an economist, writer and syndicated columnist, who earned her Ph.D. in economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In new business, Gilbert announced that Provost Earl Lewis asked the commission to come up with the top three priorities for the next semester.
PCSW has changed its meeting date from the first Thursday of each month to the third Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. Its next meeting will be Jan. 20 in 500 Goizueta Business School.
If you have a question or comment for PCSW, send e-mail to Chair Susan Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employee Council weighs in on strategic planning
Employee Council is participating as a staff advocate in Emory’s strategic planning process, and the council’s initial work was presented at its most recent meeting, Dec. 15 in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library.
In November, Provost Earl Lewis met with the chairs of the president’s commissions, University Senate President Sharon Strocchia and council President Susie Lackey and asked for contributions to the strategic planning process.
In response, the council formed a working group led by historian Woody Woodworth. The result is a working document that outlines several themes involved with making Emory a “destination employer.” They include efforts related to leadership, community, work/life balance, internal career advancement, benefits, compensation and training.
The document contains an action plan that not only identifies themes (“Enable an attainable and rewarding career path at Emory for employees at all employment levels” is one of the goals under “internal career advancement,” for instance), but also suggests how to make those ideas a reality—such as, “Establish an all-inclusive employee mentor program.” Lackey submitted the action plan to Lewis on Dec. 13. She said the plan is a living document and that new ideas will be added frequently.
In other business, Sylvia Ennis of the communications committee said Tuesday, March 8, has been confirmed as the date for the spring town hall meeting with President Jim Wagner. Ennis said the format is still being planned.
Reporting for the membership committee, Lackey estimated that half the council members do not have alternates. She asked all members to identify their alternates or if they don’t have one, to designate a person who could attend meetings in their absence.
Leading off the meeting was guest speaker Gloria Weaver, associate director of Equal Opportunity Programs and director of the Office of Disability Services, who spoke on the “Myths and Realities of Affirmative Action.”
“It is not an entitlement program,” she said during her 70-minute presentation, which explored affirmative action from several angles as well as outlined Emory’s policies. “It’s a plan to recruit and encourage the hiring of qualified individuals from diverse backgrounds.”
The next Employee Council meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 19, in the seminar room of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.
If you have a question or comment for Employee Council, send e-mail to Susie Lackey at email@example.com.
BY Katherine baust and eric rangus