Promoting Social Justice and Equity for Sexual and Gender Diverse Communities

The Wayne State University School of Social Work is proud to launch our 2023-2024 community series, "Promoting Social Justice and Equity for Sexual and Gender Diverse Communities". This series is designed to help social workers, students, faculty, staff, and community members develop a critically conscious awareness regarding the lived experiences of transgender and gender diverse individuals. We encourage all to join us for this three-part series of open, respectful, and enlightening conversations. Social Work continuing education credits will be offered at each event. 

Event #1: Health Equity and Access in Transgender Communities in a Time of Changing Policies

Thursday, October 26, 2023
3:30 - 5:00 pm EST
The Thompson #105 Multi-Purpose Room

(4756 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201)

Event flyer

The first event in this series, our annual Edith Harris Endowed Memorial Lecture, was a discussion of health equity and access in Detroit’s transgender communities. We will be examining the changing landscape for health access for transgender communities in the U.S. and discussing innovations in health care organizations working to serve the needs of these communities.

Panelists include:

Emme Zanotti, Director of Advocacy & Civic Engagement at Equality Michigan, served as moderator at this event.


Event #2: Promoting Social Justice and Equity for Sexual and Gender Diverse Communities

Thursday, March 7, 2024
3:30 - 5:00 pm EST
The Thompson #105 Multi-Purpose Room

(4756 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201)

RSVP now

Event flyer

The second event in this series will explore the student perspective, in an effort to help social workers, students, and community members working with members within the LGBTQIA+ community to "Embrace Diverse Perspectives and Addressing Sexual Fluidity", when creating policies and/or programming for transgender and gender diverse individuals. 

Thomas Charnley III


Thomas Charnley, III (he/him) is a Wayne State University undergraduate student working towards a BS in Computer Science. Tom is Pansexual. Tom has not been out as pansexual for very long, and much of it was during the pandemic. This part of Tom’s life still feels somewhat new and Tom is happy to share the experiences related to this part of life at the upcoming event.

Megan Hofman


Megan Hofman (she/her) is a Wayne State University Masters of Occupational Therapy student. She moved to the east side of Michigan from Grand Rapids two years ago for the OT program. Megan cares deeply about accessibility and developing a healthy and happy lives for community members through an intersectional and holistic approach. In her free time, Megan enjoys hiking with her dog and partner, playing sports (pickle ball, tennis, volleyball), listening to audiobooks, and arts and crafts. 

Amanda Mies


Amanda Mies (she/her) is a senior in the Wayne State University School in the Social Work Bachelor of Social Work program. Amanda is passionate about helping young children and adolescents with mental health. Her current practicum is with Wayne Pediatrics as a medical social work intern. If she is not studying, Amanda loves hanging out with her nieces and nephew, seven cats, and her wife. She enjoys traveling, medical dramas and crime shows, and video games. Amanda will be starting her MSW at Wayne State in June. She is a peer mentor and an ambassador for the Social Work Health Career Opportunity Program. Amanda hopes to pursue a career in inpatient/outpatient therapy working with children and adolescents through the many transitions and hardships growing up may have imposed upon them.

Mister Whitfield


Mister Whitfield (he/him) was born and raised in Detroit and has been a noteworthy leader in the LGBTQIA+ community. His achievements include forming the first Queer Trans* People of Color organization on Wayne State University’s campus; ensuring that Queer individuals of intersectional communities have a voice within collegiate institutions. Mister can also be credited for his contributions to social justice activism and community based work since the age of 17. Currently, Mister holds the title as the Ending The Epidemic Coordinator at UNIFIED – HIV Health & Beyond; working closely with community members to bring awareness, education, and preventative methods combating HIV- related stigma in all aspects. With continuous acknowledgements in building communities, Mister’s overall goal is to implement creative spaces through Non-profit work for Queer and trans+ youth of color experiencing hardships through systemic racism, social injustice, and lack of equity and equality, expressing themselves in various creative mediums.

Gabriel DeLong


Gabriel DeLong (he/him) is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at Wayne State University and a doctoral temporary limited licensed psychologist (DTLLP). Gabriel has 10+ years of working with adolescents within the LGBTQ+ community in community building and advocacy. With a commitment to cultural humility, his research and practice are centered on the adolescent and young adult population, with specializations in LGBTQ+ identity development, ADHD, adolescent development, body image dissatisfaction, EDIJ, and racial identity development. Gabriel spends his free time searching for a new show to watch, watching musicals, and weight training. Gabriel will serve as moderator at this event.

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