feminism is for everyone – bell hooks

International QTBIPOC grad students met at the Center for Feminist Futures

As a part of its mission for supporting grad students across departments, the Center for Feminist Futures and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center are co-sponsoring a series of three-workshops for QTBIPOC grad students at UC Santa Barbara. These workshops are organized by a cross-departmental graduate student collaboration between Maisnam Arnapal and Yuri Fraccaroli from Feminist Studies, Kristy Ali from Linguistics, and John Jairo Valencia from Chicano/a Studies.

The first workshop was held on February 23, 2024, at the conference room of the Center for Feminist Futures with a special focus on international QTBIPOC grad students. Attended by grad students from six countries across eight different departments, the main objective was to provide a safe space for international students and deliberate on the unique challenges they encounter while attending UCSB. The discussion revolved around questions such as: “What does “coming out” look like in your home/land? What is your journey with understanding your own sexual/gender identity? Has being at UCSB influenced your own identity development in any way? Do you find any erasure of your identity/experience being in the U.S.?” and so on.

The workshop was held in a storytelling format and some participants made visual art on the spot. The participants came up with some common concerns and ideas which would be incorporated in the latter workshops. The other two workshops, scheduled in Spring 2024, will explore the themes of queer archives, memories and futurities and will take place at the Multicultural Center and Las Maestras Center. The vision of these workshops is to provide an exploratory container for students to learn, play, and connect with each other; they will be open to any QTBIPOC grad students and allies.

Queer memory by John Jairo Valencia produced at the workshop.
Queer memory by John Jairo Valencia produced at the workshop.