ABINGTON, Pa. — Shaashawn Dial, an advocate for LGBTQQIAAP2S — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, allies, pansexual, and 2Spirit — communities celebrated National Coming Out Week with the Penn State Abington campus community.
Introducing herself with a poignant yet funny poem, Dial focused on the importance of discovering, using and re-finding your voice to advocate for yourself and others. It is critical to achieve holistic ownership of mental, physical, and spiritual health, she said.
“Don’t get paralyzed, your voice can create impact at any level,” said Dial, before explaining the four levels of change toward social justice and equity: individual, communal, organizational and institutional.
She encouraged the students, faculty and staff who attended to use mantras and descriptive language to help tune their voice.
“Paint pictures with words,” Dial, a board member of the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania, instructed. “Storytelling is a tool in our fight for social justice.”