Fall 2021 Speaker

Jennicet Gutiérrez

The inaugural speaker for the Trans Studies in Education (TSE) Speaker Series was Jennicet Gutiérrez. Jennicet is a transgender Latina organizer born in Tuxpan, Jalisco, Mexico and a founding member of the justice-oriented community organization, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (TQLM). Jennicet’s personal and professional work has centered on the voices of trans women of color who have experienced deportation, incarceration and criminalization. She is well known for her demonstration in 2015 at White House event for LGBT Pride Month when she asked President Obama to consider immigration reform as a key part of LGBTQ+ advocacy in the United States.

Jennicet delivered a campus-wide talk on Wednesday, October 13 at 4pm to a digital audience of over 175 participants and an intimate student specific session on Thursday, October 14 at 1:30pm with undergraduate and graduate students from various university communities. In her campus talk, Transgressing Borders: Liberatory Praxis for Immigrant and LGBTQ+ Rights, Jennicet shared her story, the impact that the schooling process had on her identities, and her path towards activism. Jennicet also described how her experience in the White House was a pivotal moment for furthering conversation about the lives of transgender immigrants held in U.S. detention centers. She highlighted her work with the #EndTransDetention campaign.

During her session with students, Trans as/in Community: Collective Organizing for Immigrant and LGBTQ+ Rights, Jennicet began the conversation about how education served as a key part of her developing a political consciousness. Jennicet spoke with students about the ways that activism helped create a space for her full authentic self. Additionally, Jennicet met with faculty on Thursday through a praxis-based session sponsored by Faculty Affairs. During this session, Jennicet expanded on her experiences with education in Mexico and the United States. Connecting education to activism, Jennicet highlighted how trans movement building and activism must occur as a global phenomenon. Jennicet’s transnational organizing served as a bridge for faculty to explore the role of transdisciplinary work in their research and teaching.

Jennicet’s visit was co-sponsored by multiple campus departments including: the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Practice, the Center for the Study of Higher Education, HSI Initiatives and Faculty Affairs, Guerrero Student Center, and the Women's and Gender Resource Center. You can learn more about Jennicet’s visit here. Jennicet’s campus talk was recorded, as well as an interview with Roman Christiaens, a doctoral student in the Higher Education Department and member of the TSE planning team. These recordings can be accessed on the Recorded Talks subpage.