Bingo balls, breakfast and big red carpets

Roze Brooks

LGBTQIA Programs and Resources hosts fundraising events for scholarships

“LGBTQIA Programs and Resources provides advocacy, education and support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and ally (LGBTQIA) community on campus” according to Joel Bolling, Coordinator of LGBTQIA Programs and Resources. This department is currently working on several projects and events to raise money for its scholarships.

Bolling listed the two LGBTQIA scholarships open to all students at UMKC. The Empowerment Scholarship, supported by the Division of Diversity, Access, and Equity, provides emergency funding for students who demonstrate “economic hardship”. This is in part aimed at LGBTQI -identifying students who “come-out” to their families, only to become financially cut off and unable to afford college.

Bolling said, “The goal of this scholarship is to ensure that students who support UMKC, being an educationally diverse environment ,have the resources they need to maintain their enrollment at the University.”

The LGBTQIA office hosts an annual Pride Breakfast, featuring keynote speakers and a buffet-style breakfast spread, and the Empowerment Scholarship was the first to benefit directly from funds raised through this charity event.

The second scholarship, UMKC’s LGBTQIA Scholarship, was spearheaded by the College of Arts & Sciences. Though this award is designed to support the LGBTQIA community, it is not restricted to students from that community.

The selection criteria include grade point average, community involvement and financial aid.

To help fund these scholarships, the LGBTQIA office will hosting two charity events in April. A charity bingo event April 11 at Hamburger Mary’s will be hosted by popular drag performer Miss Melinda Ryder. Each bingo card can be purchased for a suggested donation of $10, and prizes range from gift cards to tickets for local events.

The other event, hosted through the College of Arts and Science, is a red carpet premiere of “In the Family” on April 17 at the Tivoli Theatre. This includes dinner at Californos in Westport, a walk down the red carpet, and tickets to the film.

The Lavender Graduates Recognition and Awards ceremony will be held May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union.

“This ceremony recognizes the achievements of graduation LGBTQIA students and honors the support of campus and community allies,” Bolling said. “We recognize that it takes a lot for students to graduate but it can take even more effort overcoming challenges for LGBTQIA students.”

Bolling said anyone who wants to participate as a lavender graduate will receive a lavender stole to wear at commencement . To contact the LGBTQIA office: [email protected] or 816-235-6556.

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