Hudson County Community College to Host Its First Annual LGBTQIA Conference on April 8th

April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has prepared a daylong conference to address issues facing members of the LGBTQIA community. The HCCC First Annual LGBTQIA Conference will take place on Friday, April 8th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the College’s Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City – just two blocks from the Journal Square PATH Transportation Center. The event is open to all members of the community. Tickets are free for HCCC students; the $15 charge for faculty, staff, and members of the community includes lunch.

The event, which is part of the College’s celebration of LGBTQIA month, is being presented by the College’s Student Activities Office and the HCCC Georgia Brooks Stonewall Project. The presentations are designed to engage participants in “bringing themselves to the table” and encouraging others – especially those who are historically marginalized voices in the community – to “come to the table”.

To register for the conference, please visit

The conference will begin with registration and welcoming remarks from the Student Activities Consultant David Clark. There will also be a luncheon keynote presentation by Ebony Jackson, Graduate Coordinator of the LGBTQ Center at Montclair State University. Ms. Jackson is a member of the social justice group #NJShutItDown.

There are there are nearly a dozen workshops scheduled for the conference, including:

  • “My Girlfriend Did It,” which will focus on same-sex abusive relationships, and will be presented by Donnalynn Scillieri, human rights advocate, board member of the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, and adjunct professor at William Paterson, Kean, and New Jersey City Universities.
  • “Queer ABCs: Using Inclusive Vocabulary” will explore the identifiers used by various members of the community and the utilization of inclusive language. Presenter Nicole Rizzuto, M.A. is a history instructor at HCCC, graduate candidate at Drew University, and human rights activist.
  • “Have You Checked Your Privilege Yet Today?” is an interactive presentation examining identity and the relationship to privilege led by Amanda DelGaudio, B.A. Graduate Residence Director and a graduate student at Ramapo College.
  • “Gender 101” will focus on understanding gender identity and transition as well as the social, physical, and legal steps of transitioning. It will be presented by Dana DelGardo, APNc from Alliance Health, who is also an Air Force veteran and an advocate for the LGBT community.
  • “Understanding Gender Diversity through Experiential Methods” is an interactive session about cultivating empathy and respect for gender diversity in families, schools, and workplaces. The session will be led by Jennifer Whitlock, L.P.C., founder and Director of True Colors Center for Creative Therapy.
  • “Understanding the ‘T’ in LGBTQIA” will explore the misunderstandings of being transgender. The workshop will be presented by Stev Lewis, a tutor for HCCC Academic Support Services who was born Steven A. Lewis.
  • “About the Label” will navigate through the labels used by the LGBTQIA community and examine the emerging movement to eradicate the use of labels. The presenter, Jenny Henriquez, M.A., is an adjunct psychology professor at HCCC and a member of the College’s Advisement and Counseling Center.
  • “Tired at the Table: Social Justice Work and Self Care” will provide instruction on recognizing the signs of compassion fatigue and burnout, as well as ways to care for oneself while engaging in social justice work. Session leader Bekki Davis, M.A. is Assistant Director of the HCCC Advisement and Counseling Center, adjunct professor at Montclair State University, and LGBTQ advocate and educator.
  • “Intersectionality: The Process of ADDRESSING Everyone” will examine the concepts of privilege and intersectionality, and their relevance to the LGBTQIA community and social transformation. The presenter, Carol M. Brower, M.A. is a counselor, educator, and advocate who is experienced in inpatient, outpatient, and higher education settings.
  • “‘I, Too’: What Langston Hughes’ Response to Walt Whitman Can Teach Us All About Inviting Others to Our Table.” This multimedia presentation is designed to help participants identify and overcome their blind spots. It will be led by HCCC English composition instructor Robert Hyers, whose collection of short stories about queer youth in the 1990’s club and rave scenes will be published this summer.
  • “Understanding Sexuality” will examine the challenges of being a member of the LGBTQ+ community and being a person of color. Presenter Tyree Oredein, DrPH, a health educator and trainer from Hudson Pride Connections Center, has developed and delivered trainings and workshops on LGBTQ+ issues to create and strengthen social support systems for sexual minorities.

“The College is proud to celebrate the diversity of all of the people who live in Hudson County. Through events like this conference, and all of our cultural affairs offerings, we hope not only to foster greater understanding of one another, but greater appreciation as well,” Dr. Gabert stated.

Now through May 1st, the community may also view “Looking Back/Looking Forward: NYC’s Gay Pride Parades 1979 – 1995,” an exhibit of photographs by Stanley Stellar, in the College’s Benjamin J. Dineen, III and Dennis C. Hull Gallery, 71 Sip Avenue in Jersey City. The exhibit was curated by Hunter O’Hanian and is being presented by the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

On April 27th, the College will hold the Second Annual Georgia Brooks Memorial Fund Celebration Breakfast in the Sixth Floor Atrium of the College’s Library at 71 Sip Avenue in Jersey City. The keynote speaker for that event, which is sponsored by the College’s Georgia Brooks Stonewall Project, will be Hunter O’Hanian. Proceeds will benefit student scholarships at HCCC.