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Public events staged during leadership, activism conference

Oct. 16, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A talk on "What's Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?" by Dr. John Corvino and a concert by urban-folk artist Liz Snavely will be presented later this month at Western Michigan University.

The two events are free and open to the public, and being staged in conjunction with WMU's inaugural Student Leadership and Activist Development Conference, set for Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 23-25. The deadline to register for the conference was Oct. 6.

Corvino, associate professor of philosophy at Wayne State University, is the conference's keynote speaker. He will talk at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the Fetzer Center's Kirsch Auditorium. A reception will follow his presentation, which is being co-sponsored by the Kalamazoo Gay/Lesbian Resource Center, Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality, Kaleidoscope of Kalamazoo College and WMU Ethics Center.

The concert by Snavely, who performs under the name LVNMUZIQ, pronounced "love'n music," starts at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, in the Bernhard Center on the Bronco Mall Center Stage. It is being co-sponsored by WMU's LBGT student services office and Student Entertainment Team.

Corvino is a writer, speaker and gay-rights advocate. He has written more than 100 articles and opinion pieces for academic journals, regional and national print media, and online sites such as 365gay.com, one of America's most read gay news sources.

Since 1992, Corvino has been asking audience members whether there is anything "wrong" with homosexuality. If the answer is yes, he challenges people to explain what is wrong and if the answer is no, he challenges them to explain what all the fuss is about.

Known as "the Gay Moralist," Corvino uses humor, sensitivity and intellectual rigor to examine and dismantle the most common arguments against homosexual conduct and encourage others to rethink some of the "easy assumptions" on both sides of the debate.

LVNMUZIQ is the brain child of singer-songwriter Liz Snavely of Grand Rapids, Mich. Earlier in the day of her WMU concert, she will appear live in the studio of WIDR, the University's student-run radio station.

Snavely is a former graphic designer who performs toe-tapping folk music with an urban, sometimes raw edge. She plays the harmonica and acoustic guitar, and has been described as a cross between Tracy Chapman and Grant Lee Phillips.

WMU's Student Leadership and Activist Development Conference is being organized by the WMU Division of Student Affairs and its Office of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services, with generous funding from the Arcus Gay and Lesbian Fund.

Students from WMU and across the Midwest have registered for the event, which seeks to develop their leadership and activist abilities by providing education and information that focuses on a variety of social-justice aspects of leadership and activism. The conference will feature interest sessions and workshops led by representatives from campus and community organizations, including such national groups as Advocates for Youth and the Center For Progressive Leadership.

Among the sessions and workshops being offered are: "WMU's Gender Identity Training Program: Train the Trainer"; "LBGT Students and Residence Life," which will focus on issues LBGT students living in residence halls face and how hall officials can facilitate a safe and welcoming environment; the "Disability Resource Center of Southwest Michigan," the message of which is providing an inclusive environment means including everyone; "From Values to Policy"; "Why Volunteer?"; "Practicing Collaborative Leadership"; and the youth-oriented "Redressing Homophobia in Communities of Color."

For more information about the Office of LBGT Student Services or its Student Leadership and Activist Development Conference, go to lbgt.wmich.edu or contact Sarah Strangle, WMU coordinator of LBGT student services, at lbgt-coordinator@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2123.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400