Out to Lunch with Allies is a monthly event hosted by the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center, which is part of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Community and Equity (DICE).
“[It] helps build community for LGBTQ+ and ally students, staff and faculty,” said Matthew Barcus, program manager of the Resource Center.
Barcus, along with the student staff of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, hosts this event as a way to educate the Gonzaga community in an effective way that also builds allyship: with a conversation or presentation and a free meal.
During the fall and spring semesters on the first Monday of each month, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center holds this lunch event, which is open to all students, staff and faculty to attend, and be educated on an area related to the LGBTQ+ community.
For example, February’s Out to Lunch with Allies was focused on Queer Theatre in the United States from 1920 onward and was presented by one of the student employees of the Resource Center.
Andrew Briseno, a member of the student staff, has presented at these lunch events in the past and plans to lead future ones. Briseno previously led a presentation on the topic of “pink capitalism” in the fall and will be leading more in the spring.
“Each employee leads at least one lunch, if not more, on any topic related to the LGBTQ+ community,” he said.
Barcus said the event has become an important part of the Resource Center as it builds relationships with the rest of the GU community.
“This [event] provides continuous opportunity to reflect and discuss LGBTQ+ topics in an inviting and culturally fluent environment,” Barcus said.
Out to Lunch with Allies has been hosted by the LGBTQ+ Resource Center for five years.
“This event allows for education of LGBTQ+ people and allies on a variety of topics, and gives space for community building between students, staff and faculty,” Briseno said. “Out to Lunch with Allies is a great event that helps to educate and join people over free food.”
This monthly event allows everyone from the GU community to come together for LGBTQ+ dialogue.
“It is important that, as a campus community, we have discussions regarding LGBTQ+ topics, in order to be an inclusive and equitable community,” Barcus said. “We need to learn from and with each other as we co-create the campus culture that provides support, affirmation and belonging for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.”
The Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center is located in John J. Hemmingson Center room 213, next to the Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC).
The next Out to Lunch with Allies is set to be held on March 2 at noon in Hemmingson room 314. As always, lunch will be provided and all are welcomed and encouraged to attend.