Tara Fuller

Tara Fuller engages audiences in how to embrace differences. She makes hard conversations accessible by sharing her own stories of seeking to belong.

Topics

▪Diversity ▪Fraternity & Sorority Life ▪Leadership ▪LGBTQ+ Issues

Keynotes

▪Why Language Matters in Matters of Inclusion
▪The ABCs of Inclusion
▪Join Me, Won’t You?

Tara’s Bio

Tara Fuller has been passionate about understanding others who are different from her for as long as she can remember. Tara was adopted as an infant, has been challenged by mental illness, and identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community. She is grounded by her ability to build relationships and sees this as the foundation to making a big community impact.

Tara has worked in higher education and student affairs on a number of campuses for almost 10 years. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her experiences continue to show her the importance of relying on the support of others. She believes all people are on lifelong journeys to belong.

Keynotes

Why Language Matters in Matters of Inclusion

When people think about Fraternity & Sororities they tend to imagine an environment that centers heterosexual relationships. The reality is though, this assumption does not apply to all of our members. Through personal stories and engaging conversations, Tara presents a framework for combating heteronormativity and embracing inclusion in your chapters and community. This keynote is intended to help participants understand why it is important to affirm all identities of members, especially as a way to enhance the bonds of fellowship.

Our members are not one dimensional, nor should they be minimized to only one identity. This program will have students practice expanding the language they use in their daily interactions to create a more inclusive space.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to evaluate their membership experience as it relates to heteronormativity and LGBTQ inclusion,
  • how to identify ways current language and practices may isolate members who hold identities other than heterosexual or who are questioning their sexual identity,
  • how to recognize how they can support LGBTQ-identified members and be able to prepare examples of respectful language to use regarding sexual orientation and the experiences of LGBTQ individuals, and
  • how to support members through referrals to appropriate campus resources.
The ABCs of Inclusion

If there is a way to utilize language that includes rather than excludes, why wouldn’t we choose inclusive language? Answer: Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know.

Tara takes an interactive, engaging approach to helping students understand how Awareness, Belonging, & Courage set a foundation for creating more inclusive environments. Participants will begin with critical self-reflection of their own understanding of how their identities relate to others. Then Tara helps students explore inclusion from the lens of belonging and finishes by challenging students to think of ways they can courageously include others. Students will walk away with the building blocks to inclusions.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to distinguish their own identities and how those relate to their peers and community,
  • how to define privilege and recognize the impact institutional and/or organizational history plays on social identities,
  • the responsibilities of a being a positive impact and contributing member of their communities, and
  • the ways to incorporate inclusive language into their collegiate and/or membership experience.
Join Me, Won’t You?

Stories of people not fitting in are all too common, but often we don’t talk about times when we, ourselves, didn’t belong. Why? Because it’s scary, it feels icky, we don’t want the reminder of those times nor do we want to admit it to anyone–if we admit it, then it was real. These are just some of the thoughts that run through Tara’s head as she thinks about the concept of belonging. She will explore these thoughts with her audiences and share stories to illuminate how people can be more vulnerable in bonding over their desire to belong.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

    • how to identify experiences that have contributed to their sense of belonging and those that have distanced them from others.
    • how to define empathy and ways to challenge themselves to step outside their comfort zones.
    • how to utilize storytelling to discover common bonds that bridge gaps between themselves and others.