Of Balance and Being: South Asian Queer Students Experience on College Campuses


 Monday, November 29th, 2010

5:30pm - 7:00pm

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Queer People of Color (QPOCs) often face marginalization as a result of heterosexism and white privilege. Within this community, South-Asian Queer people (SAQs) have a unique experience due to a lack of support from the South Asian & Queer communities and absence of role models within higher education. SAQs frequently struggle with having to prioritize some identities over others and being pressured with cultural values around gender, sexuality and race. Come engage in a ground-breaking effort to understand characteristics and issues SAQs face in navigating various communities and how you can create inclusive spaces and intentional dialogues to create change on campus. This interactive presentation provides findings from a recent qualitative study of SAQ students, staff and faculty from campuses across the U.S. in an easy-to-understand format.

 About the Presenter

Raja Bhattar is the Assistant Director of Campus Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Redlands, Redlands, CA. He is a first-generation South Asian/Desi-American immigrant and is involved with community organizing around issues of gender, race, class, sexuality and access to education. He holds a Master of Education degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish from Boston University, Boston, MA. In his current role, Raja coordinates diversity and social justice initiatives for the campus and surrounding community. He also serves at the Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community Co-chair Elect for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (www.naspa.org) and as the People of Color Constituency Chair for the Consortium of LGBT Resource Professionals in Higher Education (www.lgbtcampus.org).  Raja has received several national and regional awards for his work and research.