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A University of Iowa assistant professor called Josh Coleman, who uses the pronouns he/they, sent an email to Stacy Ervin on Friday morning with a message for Teacher Education students.

“I am a new professor in English education, and I am currently working with a community group that is looking for volunteers to support with storytime –reading queer and trans picturebooks to young people,” Coleman wrote. “They are particularly interested in future educators who might be interested as the folks who run it are educators themselves.”

Coleman said he spoke with a person called Bobbie Bevins and she mentioned Ervin might be able to send out a message to students in teacher education.

“If that is possible, I would be so appreciative,” Coleman wrote. “I have included both their flyer and message below.”

Ervin received the message at 11:06 on Sept. 23. She forwarded the message to a student list at 12:44 p.m. on Sept. 23.

Here is the flyer, which asks:

“Do you enjoy working with kids? We need volunteers for planning, organizing and running queer inclusive youth and family friendly events. Training and resources provided!

Volunteers are needed for:
*Storytime Leaders
*Single Event Volunteers
*Planning New Kids Events & More
*Practicum & Internship hours are possible as well

Coleman is an assistant professor of English education in the Department of Teaching and Learning. He joined the College of Education in 2022. His research interests focus on “representation and equity in queer and trans youth literature as well as supporting queer and trans student and teacher well-being.”

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