Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Love mixes so well with Love

Ifeoma Utom
Two students playing UNO together

The LGBTQ+ Program and Student Activities hosted an LGBTQ+ Welcome Mixer welcoming all under, allied, and associated with the pride flag to enjoy games, food, and festivities on Jan. 31.

The event was held in the haven of the Equity Center located inside Santa Barbara Building from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m though students were welcome to stay beyond the event’s end time.

As students and faculty poured in, music filled the air encouraging the natural flow of conversation and laughter as bodies of people engaged in various activities that were placed at their disposal.

Attendees could partake in games such as UNO, arts and crafts, karaoke, or even just have a place to do homework. The purpose was to welcome and be at leisure to do as you please, with respect and courtesy to those around.

The purpose of the event was to welcome all LGBTQ+ members, allies, and supporters into the Equity Center, encouraging them to mix and mingle with each other and gain familiarity with one of the supportive spaces on campus.

Antonio “Nio” Lavermon, LGBTQ+ program facilitator, explains the meaning of the Equity Center being that it is not only a place but a tangible feeling.

“The Equity Center is all about embracing what intersectionality means and how each and every single one of our students is navigating that journey for themselves,” Lavermon said, “this space is a space to not only affirm that but to explore it in a safe environment.”

The center offers resource connections through the equity programs but are not limited to LGBTQ+, Undocufalcons, and the recently added Justice Scholars Program.

As the karaoke loosened up the crowd, the Mediterranean food replenished energy and the games brought conversation, an overwhelming essence that filled the room was the feeling of safety and it indeed felt tangible.

Oscar Oliva, a political science major, is just one out of many in the crowd of attendees that can physically feel the safety the center brings every time he steps in.

Being a frequent face, Oliva expressed the feeling of being in the equity center stating “It’s a very accepting place, very welcoming,” he said, “It’s the one place where people can seek comfort and not feel judged by who they are and I feel that.”

Oliva says that when he’s in the Equity Center the theme song to the show “Cheers” comes to mind, where everybody knows your name.

“It’s really cool to have people that know you, it really builds community, socializing and making connections with people that’s really important. I can either study or I can talk to people and that’s what I really like about this place.”

The Equity Center is an advocate for the inclusion of all people from different backgrounds, and the mixer is just one of the ways the center welcomes students and faculty into the haven, making sure voices are heard, respected, and encouraged.

“We try our absolute best to highlight the majority of the experiences and amplify the voices for whom our events is taken place for,” Lavermon said.

Lavermon mentions how the center and the programs it provides make diligent and intentional efforts to ensure that students are involved in the growth and process of developing programs.

He said, “ No matter how hard it gets, we try our best to never lose sight of that.”

The equity center is committed to fostering safe and brave spaces for all student populations, particularly those that experience any sort of oppression or marginalization, to assure that a safe space for all students on campus of all different backgrounds is provided.

For the Equity Center programs, inquire [email protected] .

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About the Contributor
Ifeoma Utom, Co-News Editor
Ifeoma Utom is the co-news editor for Talon Marks covering all things news related on Cerritos College campus. When she is not news reporting, Ifeoma loves to enjoy a nice book to read or hanging out with her friends. She writes poetry in her spare time and enjoys the fine arts of opera and ballet. Ifeoma will graduate this spring semester and plans to take some time off to travel and explore what the world has to offer.
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