2009 Pancake Breakfast

17th Annual Pancake Breakfast April 15, 2009

 The 17th Annual GLBT Pancake Breakfast was held on April 15, 2009, in the MUB Granite State Room, where a community gathered to honor its progress toward equity and inclusion and to celebrate those who have brought positive change to UNH.

President Huddleston presented the Kidder Awards recognizing outstanding efforts in fostering understanding and advancing opportunities for those whose sexual orientation and gender identity or expression differ from the majority in our culture. This year’s winners were Provost and Executive Vice  President Bruce L. Mallory; Vice President for Student and Academic Services Mark Rubinstein; WSBE Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Research Christine Shea; graduate student Sara Morrow; and UNH-M undergraduate student Joshua Albair. A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Associate Provost for Academic Achievement and Support Judy Spiller.

Dr. Bruce Mallory was honored for his consistent support for the inclusive recruitment of students, faculty and staff. In a 2004 letter to colleagues, Bruce wrote, “As a public land-grant university, we have both a moral and legal obligation to address social problems that impede the full participation of, or cause harm to, any groups in society.”

Dr . Mark Rubinstein has been an advocate for a more safe and welcoming campus through his work with OMSA, Financial Aid, the Counseling Program, CFAR, SHARPP and Athletics. His work to improve inclusion and equity in campus life may be found in everything from advising to Residential Life programs and includes special admissions systems and staff who work with under -represented students. In incidents of bias or bigotry or in finding resolutions for GLBT students with financial, emotional or social struggles to stay at UNH, he has listened and acted.

Dr. Christine Shea plays an active role in the building of community. She currently serves on the Diversity Strategic Planning Task Force helping to develop strategies and action steps that would result in measurable outcomes to advance diversity. She has mentored under-represented junior faculty through Promotion and Tenure Workshop panel discussions and helped those under-represented faculty gain valuable information toward their promotion. She has served on the President’s Commission on the Status of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues to promote equity and inclusion in employment and education at UNH.

Sara Morrow has fostered a greater understanding of sexual orientation in this community through her work at Seacoast Outright where she trained volunteers, trained professionals at a variety of local agencies, provided phone consultation for counseling professionals, and presented at state conferences. At UNH Sara has presented herself as a knowledgeable resource in all of her classes and is a leader and advocate for LGBT individuals. During her internship at a local high school, she has revitalized a Gay/Straight Alliance, presented awareness programs to f aculty and will conduct a climate survey.

Joshua Albair is a leader in the GLBTQ community at the UNH-Manchester. He began his work at a community forum in response to the results of a UNH-M survey on diversity. Representing the GLBTQ students, he spoke to the lack of support for, and visibility of, a GLBTQ community. His panel presentation awakened people to consider the ways that the University was including or excluding students. Joshua then created the first GLBTQ support group at Manchester, called “Common Ground” that has taken an advocacy role and is recognized on campus as part of the college culture. He also worked with the Diversity Committee to bring “Safe Zones” training to UNH-M.

 Judy Spiller has given generously of her time to promote the resolution of issues for the GLBT population on campus and in the community. Through her persistence, strategic planning, and more meetings than one person can usually endure, she has helped to create a more welcoming environment at the University of NH. Her work to convene an Ad hoc committee with Cari Moorhead over the past year on the university system’s domestic partner benefits is one notable example of her willingness to search for solutions and talk about tough issues for the betterment of individual rights and the strengthening of community.

Co-chairs Heather Barber and Cari Moorhead presented Pink Triangle Awards honoring GLBTQA leaders and heroes. 2009 winners were undergraduate students Katie Brym, Ava Fields, Kevin Linton; graduate students Sam Edelman and Lindsey Fong; USNH Trustee Carol Perkins; the College Democrats; and Our Group, which is a student-led LGBT Athlete Support organization.

 Rev. Irene Monroe spoke on “The Intersection of Race and Sexual Orientation: The Post-Inaugural Climate” to an audience of 200 plus students, staff, faculty and community members. She began her address with the words of Chief Justice Warren in his supreme court definition of marriage as “a basic civil right”. Reflecting upon this 1960’s court consideration of marriage between Blacks and Whites, state courts have recently been called upon to recognize that the right of marriage should not depend on a person’s difference or on likeness to the majority. Monroe said, “A person’s sexual orientation should not be the basis on which to deny any right. As we develop our democracy, we work to bring all people’s full participation in society. Democracy’s roots are justice and social change.”

 Yet many Californians voted to deny basic rights when they voted for Proposition 8, subsequently dubbed “Proposition Hate” changing the state constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminating same-sex couples' right to marry. The measure had an article reading: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." In response to this, Monroe stated, “What we should pay attention to is how our government failed to protect the inalienable rights of all its citizens. When religion (the “one man/one woman” words used in the Bible) is used as a governing tool to address the changing needs, values and mores of a growing society, it is not only looking for simple solutions to complex questions, but it is also looking for scapegoats in order to avoid addressing the question. A government is ethically bankrupt when it legally frames a minority’s civil rights as a ballot question.”

She asked the audience to consider and honor their individual histories. She asked that we also consider how we may reach outside those histories to help one another. She told the group, “Though we must understand that we all carry multiple identities, these –isms continue to separate us, and we must stop competing. She concluded by calling on us to remember that “-isms keep us fractured instead of keeping our common goal of a participatory democracy.”

The film “Ask Not” was introduced by former navy Captain Pat Gormley, who would host the full screening of the film in the MUB Theater later that day. She said, “Since the enactment of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy in 1993, we are turning people away because of their sexual orientations, even though our military is still an all-volunteer force, hurting for good people.” She invited the audience to follow the issues of gays in the military and write their senators to do the right thing for positive change.

Cari Moorhead presented more than $1500 from funds raised to support Seacoast Outright, which seeks to change the social climate for GLBTQQ youth in the NH Seacoast region.

Moorhead thanked the award winners and the community for a year of support.