Dr. Slesaransky-Poe is recognized for her work as an ally in inclusive and anti-oppressive education. Ensuring students—no matter their gender identity and expression, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, language, or other diverse identity —have an equitable opportunity to feel safe and welcomed, in an inclusive and affirming learning environment, is just one of her passions. Originally from Argentina, Dr. Slesaransky-Poe started her advocacy work as a disability support professional and has since become an advocate of the rights of gender diverse individuals and diverse communities around the globe.
“The center was built with the mission of helping at the local and global level create safe and affirming spaces for queer youth,” said Dr. Slesaransky-Poe. “In some of the countries where board members reside, it’s a matter of life and death. They don’t have the protection that other countries have to ensure the basic needs all individuals need.”
As an educator, Dr. Slesaransky-Poe celebrates the Center’s mission to promote education as a way to continue to make progress towards the rights and freedom of gender and sexually diverse individuals and communities, especially those that have been historically marginalized. he’s more likely use terms like gender and sexual diverse, non-binary, or expansive over the traditional LGBTQ+ or LGBTQIA+ in order to be more inclusive. “When we start enumerating, we’re more likely to leave someone out,” said Dr. Slesaransky-Poe. “As we are becoming more knowledgeable about the varied lived experiences of members of the queer commuinity, as allies, we should be mindful of using terminology that is affirming and inclusive to the lived experiences of the members of the community. Not what centers us, as allies, or makes us comfortable.”
Dr. Slesaransky-Poe hopes that there is more inclusion as schools return to in-person, especially with a new United States presidential administration that has started to expand protections of students against sex discrimination in learning environments under Title IX.