Supporting Excellence: Organizing for Racial and Gender Justice

Popular media consumption of trans identities like those in Orange is the New Black, The Danish Girl, and I Am Cait has increased. And yet, the murder rate of trans women of color has reached epidemic proportions, with the majority of the victims of hate violence homicides identified as transgender women.

On March 11, a group of Macaulay Honors College Goldsmith scholars committed to racial and gender justice host a day of positive conversation and exploration of these intersecting issues.

Supporting Excellence: Organizing for Racial and Gender Justice proudly welcomes keynote speaker Reina Gossett, Activist Fellow at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women, a filmmaker and writer. Reina is joined by Macaulay student Danica Pagulayan '16 (Hunter) and alumna Ianna Hawkins Owen '08 (Hunter).

The event is free and open to all; lunch will be provided. Please RSVP below.


10:00am Welcome and introductory remarks from Elizabeth Reis, Macaulay's Visiting Professor of Transgender Issues, Reproductive Technologies, and Medical Humanities; Associate Director of Student Development Drew Adair and Mike Lamb, Associate Director of Immersive and Personalized Education

10:30 Reina Gossett will deliver the keynote address

10:45 Panel discussion with Macaulay student Danica Pagulayan, alumna Ianna Hawkins Owen and Reina Gossett

11:15 Q & A session

12:00-1:00pm Lunch

TH Reina GossettREINA GOSSETT is a activist, writer, and artist and the 2014-2016 Activist-In-Residence at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women. As the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project from 2010 to 2014, Reina worked to lift the voice and power of trans and gender non conforming people and took part in the successful campaign to end healthcare discrimination to low income trans and gender non conforming New Yorkers. Prior to joining the Sylvia Rivera Law Project Reina worked at Queers for Economic Justice where she directed the Welfare Organizing Projected and produced A Fabulous Attitude, which documents low-income LGBT New Yorkers surviving inequality and thriving despite enormous obstacles.

Prior to her work at Queers for Economic Justice Reina worked with Critical Resistance organizing with low income LGBTGNC New Yorkers in a campaign that successfully stopped NYC’s Department of Corrections from building a $375 million new jail in the Bronx.

Reina is a 2009 Stonewall Community Foundation Honoree as well as a filmmaker collaborating with Sasha Wortzel to write, direct and produce Happy Birthday, Marsha! a film  detailing the lives of Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P Johnson in the hours leading up to the Stonewall Riots of 1969. The film builds upon the archival research and published writing she has done over the past decade about Sylvia Rivera and STAR , published on various print and online platforms such as Captive Genders in 2011 (AK Press), The Scholar and The Feminist Online and her personal blog on  @reinagossett

TH Ianna Hawkins Owen IANNA HAWKINS OWEN earned her BA in Africana Studies from CUNY Hunter College where she graduated as the valedictorian in 2008. While at Hunter she was a Mellon Mays fellow, a Macaulay Honors scholar, organized with a popular education activist group called All City, and worked for the anti- police and hate violence working group of the Audre Lorde Project. Ianna received her MA in African American Studies from UC Berkeley. She is currently completing her dissertation for the PhD in African Diaspora Studies. Her essay, “On the Racialization of Asexuality” appears in the edited volume Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives(Routledge, 2014); she is also the co-author of “Creating Outside Agitators” in Reclamations (UC Berkeley, 2010). In 2014-2015 she served as the editor and designer of Insurgency: The Black Matter(s) Issue, a special issue of The Diaspora responding to the #blacklivesmatter movement.

THDanica PagulayanDANICA PAGULAYAN is a senior, double-majoring in English Literature and Gender & Sexuality at the Macaulay Honors College, Hunter College, CUNY on a full merit scholarship. Her research focuses on postcolonial literatures and feminist theory.  She is a Pipeline Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center and a Horace W. Goldsmith Scholar.

ABOUT THE EVENT The Macaulay Honors College Supporting Excellence conference is a unique tradition. Developed over five years ago by a group of Goldsmith Scholars at Macaulay, the annual event is produced by students dedicated to diversity and inclusion. The result: a day-long conference addressing critical issues that underrepresented students face at American colleges. These events includes prominent guest speakers, expert panelists and workshops.

Students wishing to participate in producing this important event please contact Drew Adair.


Reina Gossett photo by Alice O'Malley

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

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