Faculty members, campus organizations honored as ‘Awesome Allies’

Bee Chaney, president of The Alliance, recognizes Dr. Juliana Flinn as an "Awesome Ally."

University of Arkansas at Little Rock professors and campus organizations were honored as “Awesome Allies” by The Alliance during an awards ceremony on Dec. 12. 

The Alliance is a student organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or questioning (LGBTQ) students and allies to come together in an open environment to discuss topics related to both gay and straight communities. “Awesome Allies” are faculty members and campus offices who have shown support through LGBTQ inclusive curriculum, classroom behavior, or campus practices.

Dr. Juliana Flinn, professor of anthropology, and Dr. Rachel Tennial, assistant professor of psychology, were named “Awesome Allies” for their gender-inclusive curriculum and classroom activities.

“I feel honored,” Flinn said. “I didn’t know I did anything special, so it feels like an extra honor.”

“By choosing to honor these faculty members, we are hoping to inspire other faculty to include more gender-inclusive classroom activities in their curriculum,” said Bee Chaney, a junior psychology major and president of The Alliance.

The Alliance also honored campus organizations Safe Zone and the UA Little Rock Student Social Work Organization.

“We are honoring Safe Zone for their commitment to employee education on LGBTQ issues and the Student Social Work Organization for partnering with us to hold a successful Little Rock Pride Fest booth in October,” Chaney said.

Safe Zone provides training about LGBTQ issues and safe zones where individuals affected by homophobia, hateful acts, and sexual violence can safely go for support and assistance from trained faculty and staff. Meanwhile, the Student Social Work Organization’s mission is to represent, lead, and unify the student body with the School of Social Work.

All of the “Awesome Allies” award recipients received a rainbow cord to wear during commencement.

The Alliance holds meetings every Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. in Donaghey Student Center 201T, where participants discuss campus education, activism, and fundraising opportunities. Additionally, the group meets Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. to provide a safe space for students to socialize.

The Alliance is fundraising to send four students to the Creating Change Conference in Detroit in January 2019 to learn about LGBTQ initiatives that can be brought to campus. Donations can be made online at Facebook.com/UALRsAlliance.

In the upper right photo, Bee Chaney, president of The Alliance, recognizes Dr. Juliana Flinn as an “Awesome Ally.”

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