Are you interested in social justice, public policy, or LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual) issues? Did you know scientific research on these topics is slim? Did you know that we have an organization on Eastern’s campus dedicated to helping bolster/create more of this research?
We had a chance to sit down with Eastern Michigan University’s Equality Research Center (located in 329 King) and ask a few questions about their work. Below are responses from the center’s director and Professor of Communication, Dr. Michael Tew.
What exactly is the Equality Research Center (ERC?)
The ERC serves to stimulate, disseminate and promote research on LGBT and social justice issues. Our purpose is to inform and educate policy makers, advocates, and communities about LGBT equality.
Your biggest initiative is the Equality Knowledge Project (EKP). Can you tell us more about that?
The EKP is a research stimulus project intended for faculty and PhD candidates that provides support for new academic research on contemporary LGBT community issues. As part of the project, researchers participate in a lecture series here on EMU’s campus and provide reports of their findings which are posted on the ERC’s website.
Do people receive anything for participating in the EKP?
The EKP provides direct financial support for their research to award recipients.
How old is the project? Are there some good examples or highlights?
The EKP has been in existence for four years. Noteworthy projects include the development of a best practice manual for social workers with transgender clients, guidance for activists working on LGBT community building, an assessment of long-term care for LGBT elders, and a report on experiences of LGBTQ homeless youth.
What do you have coming up that is of interest to undergraduate students?
Each award recipient brings their new, completed resource to campus to present. The lecture-based Speaker Series provides a good research-oriented place for students interested in learning more about LGBT equality and inclusion. LBC credit is provided for attendance at all knowledge project lectures.
The next presentation is on April 14th
at the Student Center. OUTcasts: LGBTQ Homeless Youth Surviving in the South will focus on ethnographic findings, interviews, and the experiences of LGBTQ identified youth at drop-in shelters in Texas. More information about the event can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/258681631132777/
For further resources and information on the great LGTBQIA+ oriented programs provided by Eastern Michigan University, visit the LGBT Resource Center in person (354 SC) or on the web at https://www.emich.edu/lgbtrc/