Contact: Nick Pfost, director of marketing and communications (

LANSING, MI—Join the Institute as members of its leadership team and board of directors highlight some of the major issues facing queer and trans+ individuals in our region. The 2nd annual State of the Region panel will take place at the 26th Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) in Omaha, Nebraska.

During their sixty-minute conversation, panelists will provide their views of the Midwest’s most pressing issues concerning queer and trans folx, recommend places for tailored attention, and propose considerations for the future. Through engaging with attendees’ own perspectives, the State of the Region aims to educate, motivate, and empower attendees around issues of organizing and doing queer work in a region that many outside of it don’t see as possible.

Panelists include Roze R.B. Brooks, Mariam Mustafa, Bryan Guffey, and TK Morton, and the conversation will be moderated by Nick Pfost.

  • Roze R.B. Brooks is the Institute’s director of operations and former co-chair of MBLGTACC 2014. An alumnx of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Roze graduated in 2014 with their BA in communication studies and English. In spring 2016, Roze completed their MSE in higher education-administration at the University of Kansas. Determined to continue doing work for queer and trans+ justice in the Midwest region, Roze currently serves as the Sexuality and Gender Equity Initiatives program coordinator at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Mariam Mustafa is the Institute’s climate assessment coordinator. They earned their bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2015 and are currently a graduate student at Western Michigan University. Mariam’s research and presentation experience have focused on the intersections of Middle Eastern identity and queer sexuality, and their current graduate work looks at comparative religion with an emphasis on digital expressions of faith and sexuality.
  • Bryan Guffey is a board member at the Institute. Born in Lawrence, Kansas, they moved to Ohio in the mid-90s, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Kent State University, and became actively involved in service and the performing arts. Today, Bryan is the president of the Delta Lambda Phi alumni association and a board member of the Women’s A Cappella Association.
  • TK Morton is a board member at the Institute. Originally from Michigan, TK is now a Program Coordinator at Edgewood College (Wisconsin), running a Multicultural Student Achievement Program that supports underrepresented students on campus, creates a sense of belonging, and builds professional skills to navigate Predominately White Institutions (PWIs). Ze is also a member of the Transliberation Art Coalition, a collective creating a more just environment for trans and gender non-conforming artists and performers in Madison and the greater Midwest.
  • Nick Pfost is the Institute’s director of marketing and communications. With over a decade of experience in queer advocacy, strategic communications, and leadership, Nick tells the Institute’s story and works to advance the organization’s mission through visibility and public engagement. He graduated with a BA in social relations & policy and international relations from Michigan State University and a master of public policy degree from the University of Michigan.

The State of the Region will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST at the University of Nebraska-Omaha (Dodge Campus), CPACS 101.

The Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity empowers students of diverse sexualities and genders to inspire sustainable change; leads higher education colleagues in relevant and inclusive practices; and advances knowledge of sexuality and gender through advocacy and expansive programming.