Friday, December 10, 2010

Week of December 6, 2010

From Anne:

This was a busy week at the Gender Identity Center. It seems that drop in hours are really starting to pick up. Several current, active members stopped by to enjoy the Christmas lights and visit with each other and some brand new faces also came in this week!  We were able to get to know the new visitors and help them access some great community resources.

There was also a big meeting at The Center this week, where community leaders and members got together to discuss new ideas, concerns and goals for the upcoming year. Much talk has been centered around bullying of LGBT youths as well as suicides in this community that has been in the news lately. Even though some goals change, education and tolerance stay constant.

From Cinda:

Monday at the GIC.  We had planned to do a sewing day at the Gender Center, but it fell through.  I couldn't afford fabric and a pattern, but I had brought a pair of pants that I needed to hem.  Since we didn't sew, I ended up putting up the information on volunteers and education on the website.  Monica dropped in as well.

Tuesday, Kate, Karen and I met with a representative from the Gill Foundation.  Looks like I'll be involved with the grant writing process, which is exciting (and a little scary) for me.  I have wanted to learn how to do grants and this will be an opportunity to do so, so I'm grateful.  Our deadline is January 15th so it'll also be happening pretty quickly.

Thursday it was just Anne and I.  One of our volunteers also came and hung out with us.  Turns out we have two more potential volunteers who e-mailed as well.  I managed to get the volunteer form up, but there is a bug when you try and send it to my e-mail account.  I e-mailed Beth on that.

Friday is was Anne and I again, with a volunteer.  A photographer and a member up at the Lambda Community Center in Fort Collins also dropped in.  Nice lady!  And great photographer.  She is going to send us some photos of the 2009 Gold Rush and 2010 Denver Pride so we can put them up online.  So, watch for those to appear.  I worked on the blog and asked Kate about the problem with the volunteer form.  Anne and I got the information up for the clinical track at Gold Rush, now we need Kate to add us to the registration page!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Week of November 29, 2010

From Anne:
This week I began collecting information on social services agencies in surrounding counties. Our goal is to contact and have participation from close communities, but also the counties that are more isolated and smaller. If one social service worker  is educated in this clinical track, that could potentially change the culture of her department, her agency and influence the quality of care given to transgender individuals seeking care there.

From Cinda:

Monday at the Gender Center was exciting.  Karen and I meet with Kate and Courtney from The LGBT Center, talking about ways we can collaborate.  I think it's great that we and the LGBT Center are finding ways to help each other.  I'm looking forward to the Transgender Job Fair that The Center will be hosting in May, 2011.  It sounds like it's going to be a great opportunity for gender variant folks to find employment and to hone work search skills.  I came back to facilitate the Monday night open forum support group, but Spring Marie was already here (thank you, Spring!), so she and I chatted for a little bit and then I headed home.

Tuesday was quite, although we had several folks drop in today, which was wonderful.  I sent Karen the draft of the volunteer page for the website, and the first pass on the resource manual.  I also completed the form for my field liaison, and will print and bring it for Karen to sign on Thursday.  While everyone was sitting and talking, I added the volunteer page to the website with Beth's help.  It was rather fun since Beth was on Facebook and we IMed so I could ask questions.

Wednesday, more reading in the new text book.

Thursday back at the Gender Center.  Anne and I cleaned up a little, then tried to see if we could get to the holiday decorations out in the storage unit.  Unfortunately they are well and truly buried.  We had a volunteer student here from UCD.  She is going to help us with the resource manual, calling to be sure that the information online is correct.

Week of November 22, 2010

From Anne:

This was a short week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. We’ve started doing some heavy duty planning for this year’s Gold Rush conference. In the past, the workshops have been geared toward a Transgender audience. This year, the board and staff decided to add a Clinical Track to the conference. The clinical track will be geared toward clinical professionals who want to learn more about the history, culture and standards of care for transgender individuals. Karen had some great ideas to co-op professionals in the area to speak to the clinical track participants. We plan to contact social service agencies as well as schools in the area to find clinical professionals as well as student who plan to go into work with this community.

From Cinda:

Monday it was back to the Gender Center.  Karen and I met, and then Kate and Courtney joined us for the rest of the day.  It was a productive meeting and it looks like we will be helping some with the transgender job fair that The Center will be hosting in May of 2011.

Tuesday it was Karen and I at the Gender Center.  Karen's mom dropped in, along with her two older sisters, and we had a wonderful visit!  Karen's mom is going to pick up some stuff so we can put up some window cornices, to make the place more homey.

Wednesday I finished off the volunteer material so it's ready to go up after I get an okay from Karen and Kate.  And I started reading a new textbook.

Friday I came in and worked with Anne.  Monica dropped in and we had a great chat!  I pulled the resources off the GIC webpage to begin work on the resource manual.  I formatted the material I pulled off the web on Sunday.

Week of November 15, 2010

From Anne:

Off this week!

From Cinda: 

Monday it was back to the Gender Center!  Nice to be back.  Karen, Anne and I chatted and worked on ideas.  Tuesday was a repeat with Karen and I.  We had a few folks drop in each day.  At home on Wednesday I worked on the volunteer materials, trying to get them ready to put up online. This was the last week of classes at school so we now move into our "winter break," which lasts until January, but we will still be working at the Gender Center over the break.

Week of November 8, 2010

From Anne:

This week, Karen and I met with a non profit consultant named Briana Dolby. She and I met a couple weeks back and she volunteered her time, experience and knowledge to the Gender Identity Center. We talked about our mission statement and goals of the board for the year and the future. Brianna was incredibly helpful in her evaluation of our program, our goals and what we need to do to accomplish them. We are going to work on the ideas that Brianna gave us as a starting point, and then we’ll set another meeting when we have collected the data and information that she needs to move forward.

From Cinda:

By Monday the 8th I was feeling closer to being a human again, although I developed an upper respiratory infection - joyful.  But I made it back to classes on Thursday and Friday.  And I managed to get finals done, but that wiped me out!  I'm still sleeping a couple of hours more a night than usual, but I'm slowly getting my strength back.  And only one more final to do next week, thank goodness.  And I finished the Lev book, so there was a silver lining to this!

Week of November 1, 2010

From Anne:

This is a very exciting week at the Gender Center! Our Grand Opening/General Membership  meeting is this Saturday. We have an open invitation to all members, community members, our new neighbors and friends. The barbecue was great, the weather was beautiful. A 70 degree day in November! Member and staff decorated and cooked out for guests to come enjoy the new space, meet new people and see old friends. Through some very generous donations, we also  almost reached our goal of raising enough money to be matched by the Gill Foundation.

From Cinda: 

Sunday, October 31, at 1 a.m. I was hit with flu - nasty, icky flu.  Swine flu…  The first two days were the worst, but the next five after that I only had energy to sleep, sit and stare at the television, or doze!  I didn't go to school or anything.  But I was able to just sit and read, so I read more of the Lev book.

Week of October 25, 2010

From Anne:

We did a lot of unpacking, organizing and planning this week.  Kate, Miranda and some other volunteers brought the office supplies, files, records and old periodicals down from the old location.  I spent my time inventorying files and boxes of periodicals and setting up the new space. We  had several visitors come to take a look at the new space and have been getting to know the landlords and neighbors.

From Cinda:

Monday was the first day of our new open hours, and we had one drop in!  Whoohoo!  Anne and Karen and I talked about what we were doing, and how it was going.  Then Kate dropped in at 2:30 and helped us get the wireless set up, and gave Anne and I a crash course on editing the Gender Center's web page.

Tuesday it was just Karen and I for a while.  We did supervision and talked.  We looked at some of the boxes and talked about maybe scanning in the old newsletters to have as a historical resource.  We also plan to send a fund raising letter to the welcoming churches to see if they want to give a small donation for the holidays.  I need to work on that this weekend.

Week of October 18, 2010

From Anne:

Still getting settled in at the new location and everything is going great! The landlords are spectacular and have made us feel right at home. The neighbors have also been welcoming. There’s still quite a bit of work to do! A lot of organizing and putting together our new home.

Also this week, Cinda and I had the opportunity to meet with a woman who has been involved in the community for quite some time. She explained some of the transition process, as in names changes, finger printing, etc.  She also gave us some great advice about how to help get a new clinical program up and running, including a volunteer core, grant writing and building relationships within the community.

From Cinda:

Monday I posted my journal entries to the blog, then headed to campus for an advising meeting as part of the preregistration process.  Now I should be able to register for classes when my time comes up.  Then it was home to work on polishing the learning plan and the text for the web regarding volunteers.  I also needed to spend some time going through e-mails and putting appointments on my Google calendar so I don't forget anything!

Met with a terrific lady!  We talked at length about volunteers and other things that the Gender Center might do.  Too lots of notes!  Came home and did notes on a volunteer recruitment plan.  I need to brainstorm with Karen and Anne and folks at the Gender Center on where we might post fliers.

I reviewed my learning plan and added a couple of items, too.

On Tuesday we met at the new location – nice!  Karen and I reviewed the IFEP and looked over some of the stuff I've been working on – forms, web page material, volunteer recruitment plan, and tweaked them a little.  I need to go over those with Anne as well and talk to her about the forms.  Later Joan stopped by and we went over the IFEP.

Wednesday was spent editing the IFEP form.

Thursday was the first student night and it was interesting to see classmates at the Gender Center.  But it went well.  Friday at school I checked in with as many of the students as I could find, and the professor who also attended, and they all thought it went really well.  The one suggestion was to provide a Gender 101 handout before student night so they have more time to listen to the stories and ask questions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week of October 11, 2010

From Anne:

We found a home!! The new location, at 1151 S. Huron, is a perfect fit for us! After the board members approved the location, Kate signed the lease and we are moving in this week. Christopher Leach, who is a board member at The Center, also has a business selling office furniture, so I got to go on a shopping trip with Monica and Kate to pick out new furniture.  Then the movers  came to help us with the desks and the chairs….and I remembered how much for fun it is to pick furniture out, than it is to move it <grin>. 

From Cinda:

Monday turned out to be a medical day for me.  I dropped in to the Health Center on campus for MMR immunizations since I can't find my records.  Wednesday I got a flu shot.  Note to self, NEVER get two shots in the same week.  I was sick all day Thursday, but had to be in class anyway.  Ick.  Worst part was missing the Gender Center board meeting that Thursday night... grumble...

Tuesday I headed over to Panera to wait for Miranda, had a croissant and from fruit and looked around the Gender Center web page.  When forty minutes had passed I finally checked my e-mail and saw that she wasn't going to be able to make the meeting.  We rescheduled for Wednesday next week, at the new Gender Center center.  I headed home and read another chapter in Lev.

I started on the first draft of my learning plan.  This took a lot longer than I expected, in part because I'm not sure exactly what will be happening in open hours at the Gender Center, because we haven't had open hours yet!  I'm trying to figure out ways to guess broadly and have it make sense in the plan.  I'm glad Karen will look this over as I have a hunch I'll need to reword things.

Week of October 4, 2010

From Anne:

Cinda, Karen and I met with Courtney, the Transgender Advocate from the Center for lunch this week. She has a lot of good ideas for ways to grow our programming while co-oping with other organizations around town that serve the LGBT population. For a new agency, it’s important to not only build clientele, but also good relationships with other organizations around town. There is a LOT of cross over in clients, staff and board members with the Gender Identity Center, The Center and One Colorado. Looking forward to building relationships with other folks in this community.
From Cinda:

Started off Monday with a meeting with Courtney, Karen and Anne.  We met a DNote from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and had a great conversation about what The Center is doing with regard to transgender issues.  Collaboration and cooperation were key concepts that we all embraced.  With luck we will be involved with some of The Center's activities, which will give me a broader view into transgender community and the issues that are important.
Tuesday I had planned to meet with a longtime member of the community at 10 in the morning, but at 7:30-ish Jody came running into my room with the announcement:  Come quick!  The sink is backing up and I can't keep up!  We bailed for about an hour before we could get a maintenance man to come look.  He went though the apartment building, banging on doors and telling folks above us to stop using the water.  Jody and I continued to bail.  Then a call to the plumber, but he won't be here for a couple of hours.  At least we could stop bailing around 10 since everyone had been told to stop using the water.  When the plumber arrived it turned into a major production with sink being removed so he had access to the wall and the pipe behind it…  It was a mess all day, but at least he was able to get it fixed.  The following day they brought in folks to replace the drywall, the sink and clean the carpets since we couldn't keep all the water from overflowing!  It was an adventure.

Read another chanter in Lev.  It's still taking a good chunk of time to get through each, but boy does she do a great job laying out the history and the various approaches.  This really is an invaluable text.  I created Word forms for volunteer and drop-in person sign in sheets.  Received contact information from Kate and I e-mailed Kim and Miranda.  Miranda and I have a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday to find out about the Gender Center web page.

Week of September 27, 2010

From Anne:

I spent a LOT of time this week getting to know the market for small business real estate in Denver. I have been looking for properties that meet the requirements of the Gender Identity Center; a reasonable price, enough room for support groups and our new drop in hours, centrally located, in a safe area, access to public transportation, and ADA compliant buildings. Whew! The real challenge has been finding property managers and landlords who are supportive of our mission and clientele. I’ve been very surprised at a broker’s initial willingness to talk with me, and then how quickly their attitudes change after hearing who we are and what we do. How frustrating it must be for our clients to deal with discrimination on a daily basis….

From Cinda:

Read another chapter in Lev.  This is a great text, but it's taking me about 2-3 hours to read through her chapters, which are dense with information.  I have e-mails out to several folks.  I'm waiting to hear back from them to get appointments set up next week.  If it works for her, Anne and I will see one wonderful lady on Tuesday at 10 a.m.  I'm still looking at other similar organizations online and not finding as much volunteer activity as I would have expected.

Week of September 20, 2010

From Anne (second year intern from DU):

Karen and I got to spend some time talking this week about the goals for this year. We discussed my role in finding a new space for the Gender Identity Center as well as a clinical track to add to the Gold Rush Conference coming in February 2011. In the past, the Gold Rush has been a conference comprised of workshops geared toward the Transgender population that discussed mostly medical issues, surgery, hormones and other services. This year, we would like to add an additional track for helping professions, such as social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors, who would like to learn more about clinical care for the Transgender population.  We discussed a number of different topics that would be important for professionals working with our population to have competencies in. Karen’s idea is to co-op practicing professionals in the area, who are experts in this field, and having each of them run a one hour workshop for a total of two days of education. I will be working with DORA to see if we will be able to offer the professionals who attend the clinical track continuing education units. I will also be working on marketing this event to clinicians and students in Denver and outlying areas.

From Cinda (first year intern from DU):

          Monday started out at the Denver Zoo.  Karen and Anne and I had the chance to walk through the zoo and get to know one another as well as ask questions and just chat.  It was an enjoyable morning.  We headed into the grill to grab lunch and sat for a couple of hours, talking.  Then it was back out to see the baby tigers - too cute!  We didn't wrap up until nearly 3 in the afternoon, but I have to say I enjoyed the entire day.
Tuesday Karen and I met to look over my education plan, as well as discuss what, exactly, I'm be doing this quarter.  I was able to ask questions that have come up for me reading the Lev text, as well as others that emerged out of the conversation.  I really appreciated the chance to get my questions answered.  I came away with a list of things to do.
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday I started in on the list.  First was a quick look at various blog-hosting spots.  I was looking for ones with minimal or no ads, easy to use, and easy to edit.  Blogspot fit the bill.  I set up an account to play around and I think this will work just fine for us.  Now I need to ask some questions about what we want on the homepage.  I also looked at a few websites for organizations that utilize volunteers in ways that we envision and checked out their info.  I think I have some good guidelines to work from for creating a policy and forms, which I hope I can do this week.  Still waiting for contact information from some of the Gender Center board, I'm shooting Kate an e-mail on that next.
I'm finding the Lev book to be a really great learning source and I'm trying to get a chapter done each week.  I'm also starting to see how to tie the skills class into my work at the GIC, which is really nice.  That class is definitely the most immediate applicable.