In his second semester, he interned for a Manhattan Borough President campaign. Last semester, he interned for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s district office. As a second-year student, Aman Islam is demonstrating what it means to be a go-getter, and he shows no signs of stopping.
Pace’s New York City and Westchester LGBTQA+ Centers have even more reason to feel proud.
In late February, the Leonard-Litz Foundation awarded the centers a $23,000 grant as part of their mission to "help LGBTQ+ people fulfill their potential....by funding organizations which advance the interests and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community through advocacy, programs, and services that meet the needs of LGBTQ+ people.”
Pace’s LGBTQA+ Centers have reflected this mission for years through leadership events, support groups, advocacy initiatives, and identity development services. Associate directors LaDarius DuPree and Rachel Simon applied for the grant to help fund their annual Q-Camp leadership retreat and a new program, the TGNCNB (transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary) and QTPOC (queer and trans people of color) Leadership Series.
Q-Camp seeks to disrupt that notion; Q-Camp seeks to heal.
Q-Camp has been a beloved event since 2015, bringing LGBTQA+ students from both Pace campuses together for an intensive leadership retreat. DuPree believes Q-Camp helps confront the misconception that LGBTQA+ people exist not as leaders but as outsiders, on the margins of society. He says, “Q-Camp seeks to disrupt that notion; Q-Camp seeks to heal.” One of the camp’s attendees echoes the importance of creating a queer-identified community, saying, “Q-Camp is important for LGBTQA+ students at Pace University because it gives students a space to really exist and feel safe in a space with other queer kids; it is imperative that queer kids get those spaces.”
The TGNCNB and QTPOC Leadership Series will bring experienced facilitators to the New York City and Westchester Pace campuses to provide semester-long engagement with undergraduate students in identity-specific spaces, not only to further offer support and engagement for queer students, but to help them go even further. According to DuPree, “Through our work, Rachel and I are fostering the next generation of Queer greats; a connected community of Setters that will go forth and add a little more vibrance to this world.”
More than anything, this grant reaffirms the importance of, as DuPree describes it, blending queer discourse with leadership development. With this new grant, there is little question that Pace’s LGBTQA+ Centers will continue to elevate queer voices and cultivate exceptional leaders.
Learn more about Pace’s LGBTQA+ Centers, and check out their resources, upcoming events, and more.