Babs Siperstein Humanities and Medicine Seminars take an inclusive and intersectional approach to broaden the understanding of LGBTQIA+ issues. The goal is to build health care workers' capacity and knowledge base, thus increasing their ability to provide more comprehensive and holistic health care. This series is named in honor of Barbra (Babs) Casber Siperstein (1942–2019), a transgender activist based in New Jersey. Siperstein advocated for marriage equality, workplace discrimination reforms, and amendments to discrimination laws to better protect transgender people.
The Seminar Series is a collaboration between Rutgers New Brunswick Libraries, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and the Babs Siperstein PROUD Gender Center of NJ at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Rutgers Center for Social Justice & LGBT Communities.
The landmark Babs Siperstein Law, PL. 2018, c. 58, named for Siperstein, went into effect on February 1, 2019. The law streamlines the process for New Jerseyans to change the gender marker on their birth certificate, removing the outdated and invasive “proof of surgery” requirement; adding a third gender option (“X” for non-binary/undesignated); and removing the provider certification and replacing it with Self Attestation.
Originally titled Literature and Medicine Seminar Series, the seminar series started in spring 2018 with a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, It was renamed Babs Siperstein Humanities and Medicine Series in 2019, honoring Babs Siperstein, the NJ transgender activist.
The seminar series is a collaboration between the Rutgers University Libraries, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Women's Health Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Babs Siperstein PROUD Gender Center of NJ,.
Since 2020, the seminar series continues in virtual format.
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