At the 2019 Creating Change Conference in Detroit, I received the Dr. Sheltreese McCoy Award for Outstanding Social Justice Practice from the Consortium of Higher Education LGBTQ Resource Professionals! I accepted the award with loving and supportive friends by my side. Special thanks to my colleagues and collaborators, Jen Self and Priya Frank for nominating me! ICYMI, here are my remarks:
“Thank you to the people in my life who see me and give me the love and support I need to thrive…especially jen and Priya who nominated me, and my friends in Detroit who are here in support.
Thank you to the Consortium committee for recognizing and lifting up black leadership. Representation and affirmation of TQPOC is so important. One of the greatest mentors and models of this I know is Dr. Sheltreese McCoy.
It feels bittersweet to accept this award. Today was an emotional day because it’s hard to be at this conference without seeing Treese. She was one of the first people to welcome me into Creating Change, and she held me up at times when I struggled the most with institutional racism and burnout. She listened, loved, comforted, and recharged me with her fierceness. I learned so much from her brilliance and thought leadership while co-authoring a Consortium publication. I am grieving both the loss of a friend and the loss of a phenomenal leader in our profession.
I accept this award with the promise that I will continue her legacy of UNAPOLOGETICALLY creating spaces for queer and trans people of color to heal, thrive, and challenge anti-blackness. I envision spaces where people with multiple marginalized identities don’t have to leave anything about themselves behind to participate.
This year my work is centering healing, abundance, self love and BLACK joy. This is my daily act of resistance, and it would not be possible without people like Sheltreese who paved the way.”