LGBTQ Issues to be Discussed at Day-Long Summit at CSUSB

csusbBy Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – The inaugural Q-Summit to acknowledge the work that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally groups are doing in the Inland Empire to build strong, resilient LGBTQA inclusive communities will be held at Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday, April 25.

“Meeting at the Intersections” is designed for college students, graduate students, local high school seniors, professionals and community members and will be held at CSUSB’s Santos Manuel Student Union, from 10:15 a.m.-6 p.m. Opening remarks will begin at 10:45 a.m.

Admission is free for all CSUSB students, faculty and staff. General admission for high school participants is $15; for off-campus undergraduate and graduate students, $25; and for off-campus professionals and community members, $35.  Parking in Lot D only will be free to all attendees.

“The summit is meant to be a conference for queer identifying students across Southern California for a day of movement-building, skill-sharing, and best-practices development, with an emphasis on building a stronger connection with local gay-straight alliances and youth groups in the Inland Empire,” said Jonathan Higgins, event organizer and coordinator of academics and leadership for the CSUSB Office of Housing and Residential Life.

“The LGBTQ Faculty, Staff and Student Association recognizes that little attention has been given to this work in the Inland Empire area, and we are hoping that by providing this conference to those in the community, we can bring awareness to the issues that LGBTQA youth are facing both locally and nationally,” said Higgins.

The morning keynote speaker will be Sumun Pendakur, associate dean for institutional diversity at Harvey Mudd College. She serves as the chief diversity officer, working with her college’s academic affairs area to focus on campus-wide efforts related to access, equity, campus climate and inclusion.

Pendakur also provides diversity training for a variety of departments. Among her many awards for her work in diversity, she received the 2007 University of Southern California LGBT Service Award for Outstanding Dedication and Commitment.


The closing keynote speaker, Justin Tindall, began working with the It Gets Better Project organization in 2014 and has been working with youth since 2009. He also joined Teach For America as a bilingual teacher in a low-income elementary school in San Antonio, Texas. Tindall will focus on the importance of being an ally for those who are struggling with LGBTQ related issues.

Conference workshops will address topics such as “Queer Sex Ed: What You Should’ve Learned in School and What Your Parents Won’t Tell You,” “Why I’m Done with Ally 101: Eradicating the Ally Industrial Complex,” “Addressing the Needs of Transgender College Students,” “Queering Relationships: A Conversation on Consent, Healthy Relationships and Playing Safe,” “More than a Fag Hag/Fag Stag,” “Always Unique, Totally Interesting, and Yet Mysterious,” “Radical Self-Care: A Workshop on Queering Wellness and Cultivating Balance,” and many more.

The afternoon will feature a Queer People of Color panel of professionals and LGBT activists including: Jonathan Higgins, CSUSB coordinator of academics and leadership for the Office of Housing and Residential Life; Ronnie Veliz, Southern California program manager for GSA Network and Civil Rights Organizer; Sara David, of the It Gets Better Project and a 2015 Lambda Literary Emerging LGBTQ Voices Writing Fellow; and Pat Cordova-Goff, transgender activist and student-elect for Citrus College in Glendora.

For more information on the Q-Summit, contact Jonathan Higgins at (909) 537-4167 or To register for the conference, visit

The event is sponsored by the CSUSB LGBTQA Faculty, Staff and Student Association; Office of Housing and Residential Life; University Diversity Committee; Santos Manuel Student Union Pride Center; Career Center and the CSUSB Office of Alumni Affairs. Other sponsors include the It Gets Better Project and the Gay Straight Alliance Network.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit

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