UMBC is a university that takes pride in its diversity. From one glance, it is clear to see that the student body is comprised of students that come from all walks of life and identify in many different ways. The same is true among faculty and staff.
The OutList on the faculty diversity page demonstrates that fact, neatly displaying all of the faculty and staff who self-identify as LGBTQ.
According to the website, “the OutList promotes greater visibility of the LGBTQ community and reflects the commitment to diversity and inclusivity at UMBC.”
First released on October 11, 2013, also the 25th anniversary of National Coming Out day, the OutList was created with a message of inclusion in mind. Susan McDonough, affiliate assistant professor of gender and women’s studies, explained why this list of names is so important, in a BreakingGround statement released at the time of the list’s debut.
“Its message is simple: it says to members of the LGBTQ community that they are not alone and are well-represented at UMBC,” said McDonough, who was at the helm of creating the list.
She also discussed how widespread the effect of creating such a list would be.
“It gives faculty and staff a group to turn to for supports … it gives students a list of go-to people with whom they do not have to use ambiguous or neutral language about one of their central aspects of themselves.”
The site also has many diversity initiatives like the Emerging Scholars Program and the Committee on Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence, or more briefly, STRiDE. Both of these are aimed at aiming dispelling discrimination and raising awareness when it comes to diversity.
The coordinator of the Women’s Center, Megan Tagle Adams discussed the importance of representation. Tagle-Adams also appears on the OutList.
“The Women’s Center is open to all women of color and tries to make connections with faculty as well.”
The Women’s Center, as pointed out by Tagle Adams, is intended to provide a welcoming environment for self-identifying women, regardless of sexual orientation.
Another staff member who appears on the list is Joseph Levin-Manning, the graduate coordinator for LGBTQ programs. He was in charge of an event from last semester called Out in Greek, which consisted of a student panel of LGBTQ students who were a part of an organization in Greek life. Diversity and inclusion efforts don’t end with the student body, but extend to faculty and staff as well. Individuals on or interested in the OutList are also encouraged to join the LGBT Faculty and Staff Association.
The OutList includes everyone from professors and lecturers to staff members who work with UMBC Transit. Even though there are quite a few faculty and staff members on it, the list is still growing. Faculty and staff who wish to be included can simply email OUTLIST@umbc.edu.