GLOBES is a diverse organization of faculty, staff, and administrators whose mission is to advocate for, develop, and nurture UGA’s LGBTQ communities. In partnership with our allies, including students, alumni/ae, and local community members, we strive to educate, to improve the climate on all UGA campuses, and to foster progressive change as we visibly work for social justice, equity, and queer rights at UGA and beyond.
Before GLOBES, there was the Committee on Gay Education (CGE) at UGA, which was founded in 1971 (two years after Stonewall). In 1972, the CGE held the first gay dance at a southeastern university. In 2005, the newly founded LGBT Resource Center sponsored the first annual Lavender Graduation. Between 1972 and 2005, many people and events created the environment we struggle with and celebrate in today.
In 1994, Annette Hatton, an editor at The Georgia Review, along with Nancy McNair and Vernon Wall, founded GLOBES to support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender faculty and staff. During her tenure, GLOBES focused on four main efforts:
- Provide a communication channel for LGBT faculty and staff via the email distribution list;
- Promote the visibility of the community and the organization through social events where people could see each other;
- Co-sponsored spring picnics with Athens PRIDE starting in 1998; and
- Organized panel discussions and speakers for the campus and community once or twice a year.
GLOBES got off the ground, literally, with the support of the Lambda Alliance, which began in 1992 and was originally a faculty, staff, and student organization. Annette felt there was a need for a group that focused on faculty and staff needs. The President of the Lambda Alliance officially signed as President of GLOBES so that GLOBEs could have meeting space on-campus. GLOBES was formed in May 1994 and held its first Welcome Reception in September 1994 upstairs at The Globe. From the beginning, GLOBES has invited local politicians and administrative officials to its event. GLOBES met monthly for book discussions, movie discussions, social gatherings, as well as education, outreach, and social and political displays on campus. The organization was the face of the gay community on campus, and in later years, it grew to represent the larger Athens community as well.
In 2005, GLOBES worked to pass “soft benefits” for domestic partners, and spearheaded an effort for full domestic partner benefits that was stymied by the inaction of the President and deflated when the 2004 Super DOMA was passed in Georgia. Another effort to secure domestic partner benefits occurred in 2012. In 2013, the University System of Georgia extended voluntary benefits to domestic partners. In 2014, GLOBES helped to pass a resolution through University Council to add “gender identity and expression” to the University’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment (NDAH) and Equal Opportunity (EO) policies.
Annette continued to chair GLOBES after her retirement from the University in 2006 because there was no one prepared to step into her role. In 2007, an out UGA faculty member received a death threat on an anonymous student evaluation and GLOBES was not in a position to play a central role. Corey W. Johnson, a relatively new faculty member in the College of Education, partnered with Chris Cuomo, then Director of the Institute for Women’s Studies, to facilitate community meetings to generate community discussion and involvement in LGBTQ issues on- and off-campus. These meetings resulted in the writing of a mission statement and by-laws, and to the formation of an executive committee structure for GLOBES, which solidified a structure for continued existence. In January 2008, Corey W. Johnson assumed the role of chair and led the organization for three and a half years.
Under his leadership, GLOBES focused on three goals:
- Increase visibility of GLOBES as THE organization for LGBT issues on campus;
- Improve relationship with faculty/staff of color and have them represented on the Committee; and
- Lobbied to include transgender issues (and people) in the organization.
In addition to these goals, Corey felt strongly that the GLOBES acronym was historically outdated and less inclusive than it could be and that instead of standing as an acronym, it should just be brand recognized as GLOBES, a queer organization. He felt it crucial that GLOBES also focus on:
- Improving the Welcome Reception, and
- Including graduate students in the organization (since they are employees of the University).
Also significant to the development of GLOBES is Janine Aronson, a Professor of Management Information Systems with the Terry College. She joined GLOBES in 2010, is the first out transgender faculty member at the University of Georgia, and the first transgender faculty member to serve on the GLOBES Executive Committee. During her time on the Committee she has served as Communications Officer and Treasurer.
After Corey’s tenure ended, Debra Haas served as GLOBES chair during the Fall of 2010. Corey resumed as interim Chair in the Spring of 2011 and Ricky Roberts assumed the position of Chair in July 2011. In Spring 2013, Deirdre Kane became Chair.