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Press Release for Thursday, February 4, 2016

UNF Leadership Series Encourages ‘Listening with Care’

Media Contact: Andrea Mestdagh, Specialist

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2192

The University of North Florida’s Taylor Leadership Institute’s Speakers Bureau Series and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center will host “Listening with Care,” a presentation featuring Dr. Judi Herring and Mx. Anunnaki Ray at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Student Union Auditorium, Building 58W, Room 2704.


In the presentation, Herring, drawing from her leadership experience as a U.S. Navy officer and later as the chief of urology at UF Health Jacksonville, and Ray, an intersex man and LGBT activist, will present the why, what and how for developing the critically important leadership skill of listening with care. Herring will discuss the stakes, operational challenges and steps necessary for mastering the skills of a listening leader. Ray will then give the audience an opportunity to practice listening with care.


“There is no better time than now to encourage the effective and unifying message of “listening with care” to find ways forward through polarized politics and social unrest,” said Kaitlin Legg, assistant director of the LGBT Resource Center. “This unique partnership between Taylor Leadership Institute and the LGBT Resource Center will provide students and community members with skills they need to lead our diverse communities into the future and to build a better world with care.” 


As a champion for self-determination and bodily autonomy, Herring dedicates her life and career to amplifying the voices of vulnerable individuals who live on the margins of influence. Her 2014 TEDx Jacksonville talk struck a nerve with diverse groups in the local community as she described the complexities of gender and sex development as well as the growing concern regarding medically unnecessary cosmetic genital surgery on intersex children.


Ray has spent a lifetime navigating systems, which demand acceptance of assignment to a rigid binary of either male or female. Now as a gender/intersex activist, Ray works through personal narrative, education and art to help build bridges of understanding, so that all people, no matter how they label themselves, may experience the wholeness that is a basic human right in a socially just world.


Immediately following the presentation, attendees are invited to a reception catered by Chartwells. This Leadership Speakers Bureau event is free. To register, visit the website . For more information, contact Alison Noonan, events planning coordinator, at .


The Leadership Speakers Bureau offers attendees a unique, face-to-face experience with leadership-centric speakers with esteemed backgrounds, motivating stories and illuminating question-and-answer segments about leadership.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.