Born This Way: Gender and Sexuality
What is Posse?
The Posse Foundation and Posse Scholars
The Posse Foundation's mission is to "identify recruit and train student leaders from public high schools to form multicultural teams called Posses. These teams are then prepared, through an intensive eight-month Pre-Collegiate Program, for enrollment at top-tier universities nationwide to pursue their academics and to help promote cross-cultural communication on campus. The program is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students - a Posse - carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development."
The Posse Foundation has three goals:
- To expand the pool from which top colleges and universities can recruit outstanding young leaders from diverse backgrounds.
- To help these institutions build more interactive campus environments so that they can be more welcoming for people from all backgrounds.
- To ensure that Posse Scholars persist in their academic studies and graduate, so they can take on leadership positions in the workforce.
Mount Holyoke College welcomed its first Posse in fall 2010 from Miami, Florida.
What is the Posse Plus Retreat?
Every spring, Posse Scholars across the nation at partnering institutions organize a "Posse Plus Retreat" that attract students, faculty, and staff to participate in a focused discussion around common issues over the course of a weekend. The retreat includes a range of activities designed to appeal to various discussion styles and concludes with action planning to return innovative ideas and strategies back to campus. A key goal of Posse and its programs is to ensure that all discussion returns as a positive contribution to and cultural evolution at the home campus. The retreat provides an opportunity to think and share issues of diversity from a perspective of the heart and mind, which can link to the highly intellectual and intense academic environment on campus.
This year’s theme is "Born This Way: Gender and Sexuality". The theme will help participants reflect on how gender and sexuality shape our college experience and how other facets of our identity—our race, our class, our politics, our religion interact with gender and sexuality. Some of the questions/topics we’ll be grappling with include:
- What are the expectations of being a woman or man on campus?
- What happens when you don't adhere to these expectations, let alone don't fit cleanly into a category?
- What happens if your "outside" doesn’t match your "inside"?
- How did you learn about gender and sexuality in the first place? And how many of us really understand "the difference between who you want to go to bed 'with', and who you want to go to bed 'as'."
You may have been grappling with these questions all of your life. You may just be arriving at your own personal crossroads. Regardless of where you stand or how you feel about these issues, we hope that you’ll take risks this weekend to engage this simultaneously visible and invisible aspect of your identity. We’ll explore the ever-changing state of femininity and masculinity in our society, on campus and from within. We'll talk about being women or men, being gay or straight, or all of the above, and everything in between. We'll talk about what it means when you fit neatly into a dichotomy or travel along a continuum. Whether it's pink or blue, going Dutch or paying first, true intimacy or just sex, staying single or falling in love in the 21st Century at the PossePlus Retreat.
Where and When does the Retreat Take Place?
The spring 2012 Posse Plus retreat will take place at Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Conference Center, in Becket, Massachusetts. Buses will depart at 4 pm on Friday, February 3, 2012 and return Sunday, February 5, 2012 by 3 pm.
What is Required of Me?
Your open mind and committed attendance. That’s all. OK, that and a few toiletries, warm clothes, and fun attitude. The retreat is completely funded by the College, but we need your commitment to be a full participant.
Posse Plus Retreat registrations are due Wednesday, January 11, 2012 by 5 pm.
Once your registration has been returned, you will receive an email with a schedule, packing list and information about completing an insurance/liability form prior to your attendance.