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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group Hosts First Event


A new Employee Resource Group (ERG) for LGBTQ+ staff at Georgetown University held an inaugural meet and greet for potential members over breakfast Jan. 18.

The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action (IDEAA) officially recognized the resource group in October 2022, according to Evan Fossen, the director of events and brand experience at the McDonough School of Business.

The event organizers aimed to introduce the ERG to members of the campus community in an informal environment, said Dash Kees, a senior developer at University Information Services and one of the event organizers.

“We are still growing and trying to make sure that we are reaching to LGBTQ staff and faculty on campus,” Kees wrote to The Hoya. “This event was just a way to bring folks together at the start of the semester, the start of the year, and the start of the ERG itself.”

Fossen said around 30 people attended the event that was available both in person and virtually.

While Georgetown provides several resources for LGBTQ+ students, the new resource group is a milestone for support offered specifically for employees, according to Fossen.

“As far as I’m aware, this is the first LGBTQ+ group specifically focused on employees,” Fossen said.

Rosemary Kilkenny (LAW ’87), vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, said ERGs are managed fully through IDEAA and human resources to facilitate staff well-being, and the LGBTQ+ group is the newest one.

“We recognize and are grateful that many faculty and staff have long been involved in community-building, mutual support and common service to the university, and we are glad to formally support these efforts through the ERG program,” Kilkenny wrote to The Hoya. 

ERGs are an integral step to creating an inclusive work environment that encourages employees of all backgrounds to do their best work, according to Kilkenny.

“We view ERG’s as a welcome institutional partner as we seek to continue to strengthen the diversity of our workforce and ensure that all members of our community feel welcome and supported,” Kilkenny wrote. 

Kees said they met with a small group of LGBTQ+ employees a few times before campus life became virtual in March 2020. Kees and several colleagues decided to pursue the opportunity later when IDEAA launched the employee resource group program.

ERGs seeking official recognition from the university must have a designated leader, at least five members and a mission that is consistent with university values, according to the IDEAA website. 

Georgetown University | A new resource group for LBGTQ+ employees at Georgetown held an initial event over breakfast.

Kees, Fossen and the other founding members of the ERG met regularly last summer to discuss the group’s values and draft their charter before submitting it to human resources in the fall, according to Fossen.

“A lot of the conversation was centered around making sure that the group was primarily focused on community building, connecting the LGBTQ+ employees and their allies on campus — to give them a space to network with each other, support each other and just find that sense of community at Georgetown,” Fossen said. “That was kind of the primary driving force.”

Kees said they hope the LGBTQ+ group will interact with other ERGs at Georgetown in the future, particularly to support members who belong to more than one resource group.

“We’re hoping to build an inclusive and affirming environment for LGBTQ+ employees and allies at Georgetown,” Kees said. “But we’re truly hoping that we can be a place where members can come together to build connections and to stand in solidarity with members of other ERGs since we know that the identities represented within our groups are intersectional.”

According to documents obtained by The Hoya, the group’s charter indicates four key elements of its mission: to build a culture of inclusion, to offer employee activities that align with the university’s mission, to provide professional development opportunities and to offer unique solutions to decision-makers within the university.

Fossen said he hopes to eventually expand the reach of the resource group as a way to promote important discussions and bring visibility to LGBTQ+ resources on campus.

“We’re also at some point in the future planning on trying to post campus-wide events where we can bring in someone to talk about a queer issue and have those conversations on queer topics on campus for the broader Georgetown community,” Fossen said.

Kees said they also envision the resource group growing and adapting in the future.

“The last thing I want is for us to become just another committee for people to join,” Kees said. “I hope the ERG becomes something vibrant within the Georgetown community.”

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Emily Han
Emily Han, Senior Multimedia Editor
Emily Han is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Los Altos, Calif., studying government and economics. She was a ball kid for Roger Federer and Bill Gates when they played doubles together at the 2018 Match for Africa. [email protected]

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