UNC Pembroke celebrates Trans Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance


The Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity and the Trans Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance Planning Committee at UNC Pembroke recently announced events for Transgender Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance.

Transgender Awareness Week, typically observed the week of November 13-19, raises awareness of the transgender community through advocacy and education and leads up to Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors and memorializes victims of anti-transgender violence each November 20.

Due to the semester exam schedule, UNCP’s Trans Awareness Week will be celebrated virtually November 6-12 and Trans Day of Remembrance will be observed on November 13. Webex links and additional information on the virtual events are available on BraveConnect.

Director of Student Inclusion and Diversity Dr. Lawrence Locklear shared, “Trans Awareness Week increases visibility of the transgender community at UNC Pembroke, recognizes their contributions that make BraveNation the great place it is and addresses issues of importance to the community. We’re looking forward to the educational and celebratory events planned at UNCP.”

Events held during Trans Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance include:

Friday, November 6: iRest Meditation, 2 p.m.

iRest (Integrative Restoration) is a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditation. This guided meditation is generally practiced lying down or sitting comfortably and is a modern adaptation of the ancient meditation practice of Yoga Nidra. iRest can give participants powerful coping strategies to help deal with stress and overwhelm. Join us as we take a dive into deep relaxation! A raffle will be held for a free gift at the end of the event. This event is sponsored by Counseling and Psychological Services.

Saturday, November 7: Trans Storytelling and Open Mic, 6 p.m.

Join us for a night of creative expression about the joys and trials of identifying anywhere on the gender spectrum. Members of our community are invited to share stores in a virtual, supportive and liberating environment. Through storytelling, poems, performance, etc., we hope to create a space that radically affirms trans and nonbinary individuals to live their truth, authentically and powerfully. Whether you identify as trans and have a story to tell, or if you would like to come and participate in uplifting voices of trans communities, we invite you to join us for this night of creative expression and engagement. A raffle will be held for a free gift at the end of the event. Participants can submit expressive entries at: https://uncp.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9QwtmHomkQ2DD3T.

Monday, November 9: Self-care Day, noon-2 p.m.

Join us to learn powerful coping skills. We will explore some breathing techniques, experience a guided body scan and the technique of progressive muscle relaxation. We will also have a discussion space focused on self-care. A raffle will be held for a free gift at the end of the event.

Tuesday, November 10: Professional Development with Sheilagh Harrington, 4-5 p.m.

Sheilagh Harrington will present Counseling Individuals Who Identify as Transgender: Ethical, Legal and Practical Considerations. A raffle will be held for a free gift at the end of the event.

Harrington is a person-centered therapist who works with individuals, couples and families. She is skilled at working with mental illness, addiction and trauma. She has served people experiencing homelessness, immigrant and refugee populations, and has an extensive background in aging. She is LGBTQ+ affirming, trained in Kink-Positive Recovery Zone and honors all people no matter where they are in their journey.

Wednesday, November 11: Movie Night, 6 p.m.

Join us for a night of short film screenings and discussion. A raffle will be held for a free gift at the end of the event.

Thursday, November 12: Trans 101 Education and Advocacy Training, 4 p.m.

Trans 101 training is an introductory workshop designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to support transgender, gender non-conforming and gender-questioning individuals. This training is available to everyone and is sponsored by the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity.

Friday, November 13: Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil, 6 p.m.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Gwendolyn Ann Smith, TDOR founder, said “TDOR seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people—sometimes in the most brutal ways possible—it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.” The vigil will be held via Webex.

The week’s activities are sponsored by the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity, the Trans Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance Committee, Counseling and Psychological Services and Chi Sigma Iota.

For more information about Trans Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance, contact Dr. Whitney Akers at 910.775.4293 or whitney.akers@uncp.edu.