LGBT Institute Exceeds Endowment Goal

La Monica Everett-Haynes and Susan Stryker
Sept. 13, 2012

The University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies has raised more than $100,000 for the Miranda Joseph Lecture endowment, exceeding its original fundraising goal.

The funds will ensure the future of the Joseph Lecture Series in perpetuity, said Susan Stryker, the institue's director.

Named in honor of UA faculty member Miranda Joseph, a founding figure in the development of LGBT studies at the University, the lecture series is intended both to commemorate and to continue in new ways the work of the "Sex, Race, and Globalization" project that Joseph spearheaded a decade ago.

Designed to bring leading scholars from across the country to present cutting-edge research, the first two lectures were delivered by professors Afsaneh Najmabadi of Harvard University and José Muñoz of New York University. The free annual lecture is the institute's signature event and is open to the general public as well as the campus community.

“I am so grateful to all the donors who came together to help us meet our goal,” Stryker said. “The support from Miranda’s parents and family, as well as her friends and colleagues and other faculty and staff of the UA has been truly remarkable. We have also enjoyed amazing support from the UA’s two immediate past presidents, Robert Shelton and Eugene Sander.” 

Stryker credits the institute’s development director, Tom Buchanan, with shepherding the endowment campaign to a successful conclusion. She added that support from the LGBT-Straight Alliance Fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona allowed the lecture series to begin while endowment funds initially were being raised. Also, a recent commitment of funds from the UA Crossroads Collaborative was key in helping the institute meet its three-year campaign goal in less than two years.

Stryker herself donated speaking fees from her keynote address at the first-ever Arizona statewide LGBT Behavioral Health Conference, in the name of the sponsoring organization, the Southern Arizona Behavioral Health Network.

The third-annual Joseph Lecture will be delivered in early March by Andrea Smith, associate professor in the department of media and cultural studies at University of California, Riverside.

Smith earned her bachelor's degree at Harvard University in comparative study of religion, her master's of divinity at the Union Theological Seminary and her doctorate in history of consciousness studies at University of California, Santa Cruz. Smith founded the group INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, as well as the Boarding School Healing Project.  She is author or editor of such books as "Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide; Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliance," "The Color of Violence" and "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex." Smith also currently serves as the U.S. Coordinator for the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians.

Photo credit: Beatriz Verdugo/UANews


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