Social Diversity: LGBTIQ+ Awareness Project Completed

A social diversity project to increase LGBTIQ+ awareness, prepared by OzU Psychology Department third-year student Uğur Cihat Özküsen, has been carried out under the umbrella of the OzU Sustainability Platform Social Equality Cluster. The project was prepared under the scope of “The Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) Student Leaders" Program, organized by the Meridian International Center in partnership with the U.S. Department of State.

Özküsen’s research project has been carried out under the consultancy of OzU Gender Equality Expert, Dr. Nurseli Yeşim Sünbüloğlu and Psychology Department faculty member Dr. Celia K. Naivar Şen, in cooperation with OZU LGBTIQ+ Club and OZU Women's Studies Club. The workshops and seminars organized within the project are as follows:

As the opening event, Prof. Dr. Sibel Yardımcı from Sociology Department at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University gave a seminar entitled "Gender Performativity, Queer Theory and Dis-identification" on 6th March 2020.

The following event was a workshop under the title of "Creating Safe Zones with LGBTI+ Individuals", which was moderated by İrem Ege Tuğcu from Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Association (SPoD) on 10th March 2020.

The program was closed by an online talk, entitled "LISTAG: Being a Parent of an LGBTIQ+ Individual", held on 17th April 2020 with four volunteer mothers at LISTAG, an organization based in Istanbul to provide support and solidarity for friends and families of LGBTIQ+ individuals.

Three workshops that had to be postponed due to Covid-19 measures are planned to take place when on-campus education is resumed.


“The Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) Student Leaders" Program

 Our student Uğur Cihat Özküsen received intensive training in the summer of 2019 on topics including leadership, awareness-raising, and social volunteering projects under the theme of civic engagement. The training program lasted for five weeks at Bard College in New York. Almost 100 students from 20 countries were selected for this program fully funded by Meridian International Center, and Özküsen was one of four students representing Turkey.

Mr. Özküsen designed a social awareness project at the end of his training at Bard College. His research project was first selected to be presented on the closing Forum held in Washington DC and was then awarded by the Meridian International Center with a $ 1000 grant. The primary aim of the project is to raise awareness of university students about prejudice and discrimination against LGBTIQ+ individuals and about gender stereotypes.