Trans Rights Are Human Rights

‘Trans Rights Are Human Rights’ panel discussion at Gaston College

The Gaston College True Colors Club and the Multicultural Affairs Committee are hosting a panel discussion to promote the understanding of issues related to transgender people. “Trans Rights Are Human Rights” will cover topics including history, terminology, and laws such as HB2, the controversial bill that has been in North Carolina and national news since early 2016.

Gaston College students, faculty, and staff, and the public are invited to attend the free event, which takes place on Wednesday, November 8, from noon to 2 p.m. in Room 160 of the Myers Center on the Dallas campus of Gaston College.Transgender Image

The moderator for the discussion is Lori Metcalf, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and Psychology instructor at Gaston College. “We are excited to discuss this important topic at Gaston College,” said Metcalf. “We believe that discussion, information, and education help to alleviate stigma and inequality. Trans rights are human rights!” Serving on the panel are Joshua Burford, Mary Costner, Sherry Sherrill, and Sid Sowers.

Burford is an archivist, activist, and a radical educator with over 20 years of experience working with queer communities and social justice education. He is the Assistant Director for Sexual & Gender Diversity at UNC-Charlotte, where he is also an affiliate faculty member in the Department of American Studies.

Costner, a Cleveland County native, volunteers as an animal care technician at the Schiele Museum in Gastonia and is an active member of Agape Lutheran Church in Gastonia and Ascension Lutheran Church in Shelby. She is on a journey to advocate for herself and the trans community.

Sherrill served as co-facilitator for the GLBT support group at UNC-Charlotte while she was earning her Master of Arts in Clinical-Community Psychology there. She has been a Psychology instructor at Gaston College for 14 years. Sherrill is on the Faculty Senate and the Global Distinction Committee, and she organizes undergraduate research opportunities for her students.

Sowers holds degrees from Mitchell Community College, UNC-Charlotte, Appalachian State University, and Wingate University. He is the lead instructor for Political Science in the Behavioral and Social Sciences department of Gaston College and he serves as Secretary of the Faculty Senate. Sowers and Robin Pollard, instructor of Early Childhood Education, are the Faculty Advisors to the True Colors Club.

The True Colors Club was formed to provide support and education for all Gaston College students, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students and their allies. The club hopes to increase awareness and respect on campus and within the community.

The mission of the Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC) is to develop and deliver an array of activities to expose the Gaston College community to diverse cultures. MAC presents a variety of programming on the Gaston College campus throughout the school year. Programs include town hall meetings, movie events, seminars, and musical performances.

For more information about “Trans Rights Are Human Rights,” contact Robin Pollard at 704-922-6274 or Sid Sowers at 704-922-6314. The Gaston College Dallas Campus is at 201 Highway 321 South, Dallas, North Carolina.

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