Leading Voice for Genderqueer Community is Keynote at CSUB’s 8th Annual Gender Matters Interdisciplinary Student Research Symposium

Jacob Tobia, a leading voice for genderqueer, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people, will give the keynote address at the 8th Annual Gender Matters Interdisciplinary Student Research Symposium scheduled for Friday, May 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the CSUB Student Union Multipurpose Room. The event is a forum to present gender-relevant student research across disciplines. Issues explored include gender in religious contexts, literature, and women negotiating gender roles, presented in student research posters and artwork.

Tobia uses gender-neutral pronoun “they” rather than the gender-specific “he” or “she.” Tobia came on the national scene in an interview on MTV’s “The T Word” and a profile in an episode of “True Life: I’m Genderqueer.” Tobia is a Point Foundation Scholar, Harry S. Truman Scholar, and recipient of the Campus Pride National Voice and Action Award. Their writing and advocacy have been featured on MSNBC, MTV, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Jezebel, among others. Jacob graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duke University with a degree in Human Rights Advocacy, and have worked at the United States Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. The presentation, “Glitter. Power. Love. A (Re)Introduction to Gender,” begins at 11:30 a.m.

“This event presents an opportunity for CSUB and the community to learn about evolving self- definitions of gender and related issues,” said Dr. Debra Jackson, Coordinator of CSUB’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

In addition to the research, the symposium is designed to raise awareness among CSUB students and faculty of the various gender-related resources in the greater Bakersfield community, and to forge stronger relationships between CSUB and the community.

This day-long event is free to the public and will feature a community resource fair that will highlight agencies that meet the diverse needs of men and women. These include Bakersfield PFLAG, Democratic Women of Kern, as well as various campus organizations, such as CSUB’s

Center for Career Education and Community Engagement, Advocacy Services, Safe Zone, and Title IX Advisory Board.

Refreshments will be available throughout the symposium. For more information about this event and complimentary parking for visitors, please call Dr. Debra Jackson at (661) 654-6829.

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