“The Power of Name Change” will discuss the importance of name and gender marker change 

The University of Saint Joseph’s Dr. Gina Rosich and three guest speakers will discuss “The Power of Name Change: Working with Members of the Trans Community,” on Saturday, March 23, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., in the Crystal Room of USJ’s Mercy Hall. 

Dr. Rosich, chair of the Department of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice; Betsy Linehan, Sister of Mercy Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Committee chair; Rev. Aaron Miller of Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford, and Pat Aidan Whittel, transgender awareness advocate and a USJ alum, will speak on gender identity development, and the importance of supporting name and gender marker document changes from professional, ethical, personal and theological standpoints. 

“Transition is a vulnerable time for trans-identified individuals. Social name and pronoun changes reflect ownership of identity. They are powerful symbols. Name change in itself has a rich Judeo-Christian biblical history. Name and Gender Marker change to legal documents represents a further significant milestone for transitioning individuals, as these are tied to human rights,” said Dr. Rosich. “This program will discuss where name change serves in the transition process, and how the Trans ID project serves as a structural intervention with mental health and human rights implication. Guest speakers will also explore their personal journeys and reflect upon how their faith and Mercy values and ethics associated with hospitality, and treating people with dignity and respect, foster love, inclusion, and expand our understandings of human diversity.” 

Continuing Education Credits are available for Licensed Social Work and Counseling professionals attending the program. Lunch will be served to all attendees. 

This event is brought to you by USJ’s Department of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice, Counseling Department, and Department of Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Studies and is supported in part by the Allyn M. and Mary V. Munger Lecture Fund at the University of Saint Joseph. 

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