LGBTQIA+ Advocacy History at San Diego Mesa College

In the early days of LGBTQIA+ advocacy on the Mesa Campus, support for Queer students, faculty, and staff primarily took the form of student support groups, speakers, individual campus events, and a student Gay-Straight Alliance (later renamed the Gender-Sexuality Alliance).

Growing out of discussions held during CDAIE meetings (Committee on Diversity, Action, Inclusion & Equity) on the need for Safe Zone Training on the Mesa campus, a group of faculty and staff prepared and began holding regular LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone Trainings in Fall 2017. The Safe Zone Trainings have been a normal part of campus professional development ever since.

Following the first California Community Colleges LGBTQIA+ Summit in Fall 2017 at UC Riverside, the Mesa College LGBTQIA+ Task Force (later renamed as a subcommittee of CDAIE) was founded, holding its first meeting in Spring 2018 to further the equity work inspired by the summit.

Although the need for a Pride Center on the Mesa College campus was expressed regularly in various meetings and committees on campus in the years leading up to its official creation, it was in October 2021, during a meeting with then President Pamela Luster, that the Pride Center was given the go-ahead to be created. From there, the LGBTQIA+ Subcommittee identified the center's space and goals.

In February 2022, Lucio Lira was hired as the counselor coordinator to start the planning and development of the Pride Center. The Pride Center aims to provide equity-minded services was created to assist the LGBTQIA+ community at Mesa College. The goal of the Pride Center is to provide a safe and brave space for anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic heritage, and cultural background.

The LGBTQIA+ Task Force is a collaboration among Mesa faculty, staff, and administrators dedicated to educating the greater campus community on ways to ensure a safe, brave, and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ individuals at Mesa College.

Dr. Kevin Branson
Dr. Michael Harrison
Dr. Bridget Herrin
Lucio Lira
Dr. Gloria Kim
Dr. Bryan Malinis
Dr. Mary Gwin
Rocio Sandoval
Jorge Villalobos