Making the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and its nine colleges more hospitable and responsive to LGBTQ students, faculty and staff was the topic of a meeting recently chaired by LACCD Board of Trustees member David Vela. Joining the meeting was District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, Ph.D.; Mr. Eddie Martinez, Executive Director of the Latino Equity Alliance and representatives for the District’s employee and faculty labor groups.
“The LGBTQ Advisory Group will meet routinely to advance and strengthen services to the LGBTQ community at all of our nine campuses,” LACCD Trustee Vela said. “We want to let all students know that we are here to help them achieve their educational goals and aspirations.”
The Feb. 21 meeting opened the door to future discussions about potential policies and practices that support the LGBTQ community and establishing partnerships between the District and the LGBTQ community, including increased access to the colleges, bolstering financial aid opportunities and enhancing student support services.
Discussion also included strategizing on state and federal policy advocacy that the District could sponsor and support.
“I want to thank Trustee Vela for his leadership on ensuring that the LGBTQ community has a strong voice in the Los Angeles Community College District. It is important that we continue to work together to create an open and welcoming environment for all students regardless of gender or sexual orientation,” LACCD Board President Mike Fong said.
“LGBTQ community college students too often struggle alone without appropriate support at a critical time in their lives because of who they are and who they loves,” Mr. Martinez said. “We welcome the opportunity to work with Trustee Vela, and with his leadership, we can ensure LACCD is a safe and welcoming place for the District’s LGBTQ student population, the majority of whom are working-class people of color.”
The LACCD has an estimated 10,000 self-identified LGBTQ students enrolled at its colleges.
Additional information about future meetings will be announced soon.