Cyepress Rite ’21, who is majoring in resistance in gendered blackness within the integrative studies program will be working with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life to create authentic spaces for intergenerational healing, holistic wellness, and belonging for Queer Trans* People of Color (QTPOC). Rite is working collaboratively with Hierald Osorto, Executive Director for Student Equity and Belonging and Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Together, and with an intimate pulse on the needs/desires of the QTPOC community, they have already began formulating ideas for events and keynote speakers.
*Trans is used as an umbrella term to acknowledge the fluid spectrum of gender identities, including transgender, non-binary, agender, genderqueer, genderfluid, and any other self-proclaimed term that stands to decolonize binary structures of gender.
“He’s so knowledgeable and intuitive in terms of knowing what people need, and how to support them,” Rite said. “I’m incredibly excited to work with him!”
Rite expressed gratitude for the opportunity provided by the President’s Fellowship to help implement more holistic approaches to supporting emotional and mental wellness in students of intersectionally marginalized communities.
“If Ithaca College wants to be an incubator for change, it must systemically dedicate itself to ensuring that Queer Trans* students of Color have resourced and decolonized spaces that celebrate the wholeness of their identities and equip them with transferable skills around pleasure activism and restorative justice,” they said.
The program is supported by the President’s Discretionary Fund for Education, a strategic resource for supporting faculty, staff and students as they explore their potential as learners, educators, leaders, professionals and human beings.