Adams State “Stands Strong” into the coming year


ASU standing strong flag

Against the backdrop of the Supreme Court's ruling in support of marriage equality last summer, a small group of dedicated faculty and staff created "Standing Strong: The ASU Equality Project" to celebrate efforts to create a more inclusive society by dismantling barriers to equality. Members of the LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, in partnership with the Theatre Department; CIELO (the Community for Inclusive Excellence); and the Office of Title V, Hispanic Serving Institutions grant initiatives, developed the week-long project exploring the power of diverse communities working together for equity and inclusion at Adams State University.

"In marking the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling and our endeavor, we reaffirm our commitment to Standing Strong for equality and against all forms of inequity in our society," said Dr. John Taylor, Director of Theatre.

In the past year, Adams State students, faculty and staff demonstrated on multiple occasions their commitment to Standing Strong for students, campus, and community. Most recently, this summer, Standing Strong expanded the powerful, affirming movement to include the greater Colorado San Luis Valley and demonstrated solidarity for the survivors and victims of the mass shooting in Orlando in a peaceful "Standing Strong" gathering and march. In showing this solidarity, they affirmed their hope for a safe world (and campus) for diverse communities.

"As we begin the new academic year, a focus on voting rights, the Suffrage movement internationally, and our role as a Hispanic Serving Institution will highlight our Standing Strong activities in support of social justice," said Dr. Carol Guerrero-Murphy, president's liaison for inclusion and equity; Dr. Beez Schell, Human Performance and Physical Education Department chair; and Taylor.

Guerrero-Murphy emphasized that as they work together with students, they seek to clarify that Standing Strong: A Movement, Not a Moment is guided by positive advocacy.

"We are inspired by the dreams, passions, and social justice concerns of our students," Guerrero-Murphy added. The originators of the Standing Strong project strive to distinguish it from processes for personal complaints or calls for specific administrative decisions. The Standing Strong platform is not meant for individual agendas or grievances.

"While a phrase such as 'Standing Strong' isn't 'owned' by anyone, we believe that the founding vision of a 'movement, not a moment' has the potential to increase our awareness of and skill in civic engagement for the common good," Guerrero-Murphy said.

According to Taylor, Adams State will continue the Standing Strong movement in matters of social justice that impact students' lives in the 21st century. "It is an ongoing and defining part of our mission, as articulated in our new ASU 2020 Strategic Plan, as we work to create a more dynamic and inclusive campus." Adams State's vision includes becoming the university of choice for historically underserved students and all who value inclusive excellence.

"Standing Strong is a movement, not a moment," Schell said. "Together, we will create a future where we will triumph over hatred and negativity by embracing change and working to make ASU and our community a better place to live and work."