Thursday, November 02, 2006
Accredit Love Not Condemnation
My colleague, Erica Meiners, and I attended the Illinois Association for Colleges for Teacher Education on Friday the 13th of October. The conference was held at Wheaton College (apropos the date?), and its conveners opened the event with a prayer (it was a public event, so why the coercive calls to Jesus?--a moment of silence would have been more respectful of the diverse attendees' views). We hoped that many of the folks attending would accept a hot pink button (fist in apple--power to the teachers!), and that even more would sign the Accredit Love Not Condemnation Pledge (we are asking that only teacher education programs that promote love and respect for lesbian and gay students, families, and community members, be accredited; see previous post for more about the pledge and to read about teacher education programs that endorse condemnation, rather than love). The buttons were more popular than the pledge, though. We collected three of these (thanks, friends). The best part of the conference--meeting our fellow queer educators (yes, Wheaton--there were many of us "condemned" ones on your campus that day). Worst? That's a toss-up--maybe that so many people wouldn't make eye contact with me (making it so damn hard to cruise...oh!...that's what they were afraid of!); maybe that there's a building named after Billy ("this [Jewish] stranglehold has got to be broken") Graham; maybe that we saw a car in the parking lot with "disabled person" plates and a bumper sticker proclaiming "No Civil Rights Without Citizenship"; maybe that a sister passed her signed pledge to Erica in the women's bathroom (but again, thank you); maybe that Sharon Robinson, the President (and CEO--odd?) of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and a featured speaker, wouldn't say that sexual orientation should be an aspect of diversity that is addressed in all teacher education programs. With love, of course, not condemnation! Well, we plan to attend the spring meeting of the group in greater numbers and with more and better props (but please...not at Wheaton). Care to join us?