College of Canyons professor promotes tolerance on campus
College of the Canyons history professor Brad Reynolds received the CCA 2012 David A. Sanchez GLBT Award for his work in promoting tolerance and advancing acceptance of gay rights on campus.
“He leads by example,” said Luisa Howell, chair of the Faculty Equity and Diversity Committee, which makes the yearly award. “As a history professor, he incorporated, from the beginning of his teaching career, the history of the gay civil rights movement in U.S. history. This was even before they were incorporated into current history books.”
Noticeably moved at receiving the award, Reynolds surprised some in the audience by revealing that he was raised by two moms, who had been gay activists early on. In fact, his birth mom had written several books on gay rights that rest on his shelves in his office.
Mom faced opposition
“The award means a lot to me since I saw my mom face a great deal of opposition because of her stand on gay rights, which was long before it became an openly discussed matter,” Reynolds said later. “I think it’s good to let people know that folks of the same sex can be good and loving parents.”
Reynolds’ personal story has fueled his passion for civil rights for all. As president of his local he worked with the GLBT community on campus on issues such as domestic partner rights and has been serving as the advisor for the student GLBT club.
Reynolds has been a history professor for the past 38 years and served as History Department chair for the past 10 years at College of the Canyons. In addition he has been teaching part time at California State University, Northridge for the past 19 years. He is also a CCA board member.
Belief system is simple
“His acceptance of people for who they are, rather than who others think they should be, has been an inspiration to others,” Howell said. “His belief system is very simple: You are who you are. I am who I am. We are both equally important. We all need to accept one another.”
This marked the third time the David A. Sanchez GLBT Award was given. The award was created by the CCA Faculty Equity and Diversity Committee and named after CTA President David A. Sanchez, who was not only the first Hispanic CTA President, but also the first openly gay CTA President.
The prestigious award honors those who have supported, promoted, recognized and educated our community college family regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) issues.
This year’s committee included Josie Malik, DeAnna Jensen, Rachel Hollenberg, Dorothy Reina, Lisa Solomon, Linda Chan, John Sullivan, John Martin, Julius Thomas and Debra Blanchard, as well as the CCA officers DeWayne Sheaffer, Jim Weir, Lynette Nyaggah and Ron Norton Reel.