Voices of Allies: Communicating Within the LGBTQIA+ Community

Thursday, February 9, 2023 5 pm to 6:30 pm

Prohibition Room View map
Cost: $25

You know you are an LGBTQIA+ ally. But in a society of quickly changing language and ideology, it can sometimes be intimidating to voice your support in an inclusive and respectful manner. Join GGFWLC as we welcome a panel of local LGBTQIA+ advocacy leaders for a discussion of activism techniques and resources in Greater Grand Forks.

This event is free to current 2022-2023 GGFWLC members and $25 for non-members. Advanced registration is required.

Complimentary appetizers and cash bar available.



Brian Samson grew up in Grand Forks, ND. "I went to UND and double majored in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science (B.S. in CJS). While at UND I took a lot of Anthropology classes as history interests me. After graduation I moved to St. Cloud, MN where I was a Correctional Officer for 9 years. I was a field training officer and I was a PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) trainer. While there I obtained my Master's Degree from St Cloud State in Criminal Justice. I was also on the St Cloud Pride board and volunteer at the Rural Aids Action Network. I moved back to Grand Forks, ND in 2015. I started to work as a CSO for GFPD then became a Police Officer. Currently, I am the Cultural Diversity Officer, social media officer, alcohol/tobacco compliance, train officers on LGBTQ+ topics for law enforcement/overcoming biases, and cultural diversity. This semester (Fall 2022) I am teaching Intercultural communication at UND, as well. I am also on the Grand Forks Pride board and the Salvation Army board of directors. "

Dr. Jeff Maliskey (he/him) joined the Pride Center at the University of North Dakota as the inaugural Director in August 2022, previously serving as the Assistant Director for Student Diversity & Inclusion on campus. His work focuses on LGBTQIA2S+ identity support, gender and sexuality education, and advocacy. Jeff brings over a decade of student affairs experience working with student affinity-based resources and support centers at Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College, and the University of North Dakota. Jeff's higher education practice is student-centered and justice based as means to work towards equity and inclusion in higher education.

Jeff received his Ph.D. in Education, Health, & Behavior Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education from the University of North Dakota. As a scholar, Jeff's research focuses on queer historical inquiry, providing a base of knowledge to better understand contemporary LGBTQIA2S+ student experiences in higher education.

Merie Kirby grew up in California and earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota. She worked for an electrical engineering company as their writer/editor and then as their Marketing Communications Manager for six years, then taught English at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. After moving to Grand Forks, she began teaching in the University of North Dakota’s Honors Program, where she teaches courses on a variety of interdisciplinary topics, and is an affiliated faculty member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, as well. Kirby is also a writer who has worked with composers on art songs and operas, as well as publishing her poems in a variety of literary journals (these can be found through her web site www.meriekirby.com). In 2021 she began working to found a Greater Grand Forks chapter of PFLAG, a nationwide organization dedicated to support for, education about, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people and their families. The chapter became official in September 2022 and holds monthly peer support meetings.

306 Demers Ave, East Grand Forks, MN 56721

https://www.ggfwlc.com/events.html #GGFWLC

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