As intern for communications and development, Chris Chavers ‘21 spent a lot of time honing his communication skills at the Transgender Law Center headquartered in Oakland, CA. “It was a lot of writing, but it was okay because I like to write,” he explains. He wrote press releases, articles, and social media posts — Chris even worked on the backside of the Transgeder Law Center website, learning how to navigate and use WordPress, a content management system.
A number of campaigns were in progress during Chris’s time at the Transgender Law Center, including one for Postiviely Trans (a project focused on health advocacy and research centered around the lived experience of transgender people of color and women who are HIV positive) against the Trump administration’s efforts to remove healthcare rights for transgender people, which would allow healthcare providers the right to refuse people care based on the providers’ religious beliefs. Chris pulled information from about 40 different videos of transgender people of color and women living with HIV to include their lived experiences in the campaign.
You can read some of Chris’s work on the Transgender Law Center website. This piece focuses on a groundbreaking report released by Arianna’s Center, which is supported by Positively Trans. Chris explains the findings of the report about needs and conditions for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals living in Florida and provides background on Arianna’s Center, which was founded by Arianna Lint to support the South Florida trans community.
Reflecting on his time in the Bay Area and his experiences there, Chris mentions that he had opportunities to learn outside of his Co-op job, including more understanding of the intersectionalities and inequalities in the LGBTQ community. He also found inspiration in the ability to make a movement and a campaign out of anything and finding the intersectionality between one’s communities and advocates, which can make a movement successful. While Chris will work to define his major this academic year, he also came away from this experience with a focus towards law school after finishing his Bachelor’s degree. He sees a law degree, and the knowledge acquired at law school, essential to being able to make lasting, positive change.