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GII Seed Fund

The Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) in collaboration with the Women's Center accepted proposals from staff, faculty, and students for seed funding initiatives to promote gender inclusion on Northwestern’s campuses.

The awarded winners support gender inclusion at Northwestern in one of the following categories: climate; health; systems and policies; facilities; teaching and research. 

The awardees will present about their projects at an end of year celebration in May 2024.

Seed Fund Award Winners

A Colloquium on Trans Poetics, Affects, and Histories

Year-long colloquium including graduate students, undergraduates, and English faculty to participate in reading groups, pedagogical workshops, community events, and attend lectures by major scholars in the field of trans studies.

Primary Contact: Smith Yarberry, English Department, WCAS

 Panel at ASECS Annual Meeting

Host a panel on special topics in Trans and Queer Studies at the 2024 annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. Offer a special session hosted by the Global Eighteenth Century Studies Colloquium to share ideas presented at ASECS with the Northwestern community.

Primary Contact: Smith Yarberry, English Department, WCAS

Cultivating Black Queer Joy in Non-Black Heteronormative Spaces

Interactive activity and discussions on Black queer joy led by smallWORLD Collective, a Chicago-based organization that uplifts Black queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming people through informative, cultural, and artistic programming.

Primary Contact: Ashanti Hatchett (Black Health and Wellness Collaborative (BHWC)

Expanding Our Excellence: Developing a Gender Expansive Community of Practice in Advising

Sponsor The Chosen Collective to lead the Weinberg college advisors in a series of workshops aimed at improving advising of trans, non-binary, and other gender expansive students.

Primary Contact: Shelby Hatch, Weinberg College Advising Office/OUSA

Fostering Inclusion by Enhancing LGBTQIA+ Popular Literature Collections at NU Libraries

Expand representation of LGBTQIA+ lives and voices in the Libraries’ popular literature collection including titles that address intersectionality and non-English language works. Host curated displays in the first floor “Book Nook” during the 23-24 academic year.

Primary Contact: Anne Zald, University Libraries

Gender Inclusion at ‘Cats Closet

Intentionally make ‘Cats Closet a gender inclusive space through print materials, supplies, clothing, and educational programming.

Primary Contact: Valerie Schoonover, Career Advancement, Student Affairs 

Gender Inclusive Mini Courses (Workshops & Courses)

Develop a series of LGBTQIA/queer and trans-centered courses and workshops that promote community and wellness. 

Primary Contact: Linda Luk, Norris Mini Courses

GSRC Binder Closet and Support Program

Providing Northwestern students with a sample binder closet binder fittings and funds to purchase their own binders.

Primary Contact: Matt Abtahi, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

Northwestern Welcomes Ericka Hart

Inviting Ericka Hart, a queer Black non-binary femme educator, to campus for a series of events including a daytime small group gathering hosting at the GSRC, an afternoon large venue lecture, and a “dinner and dialogue” at the Black House for Black undergraduate student leaders on campus.

Primary Contact: Liv Harmening, Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance


Quarterly programming support for Northwestern’s Society for Transgender and Non-binary Students.

Primary Contact: Matt Abtahi, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

Supporting Graduate Womxn in Physics and Astronomy

Fostering a secure and supportive environment for graduate women in physics and astronomy through community building, events, and social programming and hosting a seminar series.

Primary Contact:  Rachel Zhang, Graduate Womxn in Physics and Astronomy (GWIP)

Theatre Arts Leadership & Innovation Course: Evaluating Creative Spaces and Practices through an All-Gender Inclusive Lens

Northwestern and DePaul students will research, assess, and ideate innovative solutions to address inclusion, equality, and representation within theatre practices. Bring in guest speakers in the areas of all gender inclusive casting, sustainability, and access/disability and host a Leadership Summit.

Primary Contact: Barbara Butts, Theatre Department, SOC

Trans in Classics: Creating Gender-Inclusive Spaces

Sponsor and host a lecture/workshop event featuring Ky Merkley, the founder of “Trans in Classics.” The lecture/workshop will be open to all interested students and scholars at Northwestern.

Primary Contact: Nick Winters, Department of Classics, WCAS

Transition Talks

Quarterly Q&As featuring NM Student Health Services and external therapists to talk about transition services available on campus and in the community.

Primary Contact: Matt Abtahi, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center