Submit your TIme to THRIVE workshop proposal form.

Time to THRIVE Workshop proposals are due by July 10, 2018. Please click here to submit your workshop proposal.

Take a look at our 2018 workshops lineup to get a sense of what you can expect at our 2019 Time to THRIVE Conference.

Friday, February 16, 2018
Pre-Conference - 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Pre-Conference: Exploring the rainbow! A Beginners Guide to Working with LGBTQ+ Youth
This workshop is an important building block for conference attendees who are newer to LGBTQ topics and/or those who’ve had limited experience working with LGBTQ youth.

Heather Wilkie, Director, Zebra Coalition; Ian Siljestrom, Central Florida Safe and Healthy Schools Coordinator, Equality Florida

Saturday, February 17, 2018
Workshops A - 10:00 am to 11:15 am

A Panel Discussion with Out LGBTQ K-12 Staff
One of the best role models for LGBTQ students is to have out LGBTQ Faculty. Come to this session and hear from a panel of Out LGBTQ Educators on their experiences of coming out and the challenges they have faced as educators. Hear how these educators have been able to overcome challenges and be able to become role models for their students.

Frank Burger, National Education Association; Emilly Osterling, GLBT Caucus Co-chair, Lakota Schools National Education Association

We like it R.A.W: Real, Authentic, Words
To educate youth-serving professionals on HIV education, prevention and treatment. This workshop will address the discrimination, misconceptions and stigma surrounding LGBTQ+ youth living with HIV while engaging and informing youth-serving professionals on how to initiate and navigate courageous conversations centered around sexual health and wellness including best practices.

Ashnika Ali, Director of Clinical Services, GLBT Community Center of Central Florida; Gabriel Martinez, UCF Sexual Wellness Coordinator; William Haubenestel, Prevention Contract Manager, Florida Department of Health; Daniel Downer, Early Intervention Specialist, Hope and Help Center of Central Florida

Legal Rights of LGBTQ Youth in K-12 Public Schools
The deck is stacked against young people growing up LGBTQ in American public schools. LGBTQ youth are more than two times as likely as non-LGBTQ youth to say they have been verbally harassed, called names, physically assaulted, kicked, or shoved at school. All students deserve to learn in a safe and supportive school environment. On the federal and state levels, HRC advocates for legislation that protects LGBTQ young people from discrimination, bullying, and harassment and promotes improvements to the ways current laws are implemented. Join HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow in a review of how the law protects LGBTQ students.

Sara Warbelow, Legal Director, Human Rights Campaign

The intersection of race, gender, sexuality and mental health: Creating an LGBTQ+ safe space through an experiential learning perspective
Research has shown that LGB trans people of color are at higher risk for mental and physical health disparities due to many things, including discrimination, victimization, and bullying. Tailored towards teachers, counselors, mental health professionals and related health fields, this highly interactive experiential learning workshop will help participants create a safe environment for LGBTQ+ youth. Vignettes will be used to discuss issues such as suicidality, mental health confidentiality, LGBTQ+ terminology, the coming out process, and mental and physical health disparities found in LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. Resources from GLSEN's safe schools and HRC's welcoming schools will be discussed.

Dr. Ron Holt, Psychiatrist, Author, Consultant; Sameer Jha, High School Junion, LGBTQ+ Youth Advocate

Take a Look in the Mirror: Identifying LGBTQ Bias in Helping Professionals
The helping profession is comprised of mental health workers, educators, case managers, and other community- members that serve our LGBTQ youth. Although helping professionals are often encouraged to explore personal bias in working with diverse populations, less attention is paid to the vulnerable LGBTQ community. This workshop will provide the opportunity for helping professionals to identify and explore ways in which they express bias toward the LGBTQ community. Additionally, this workshop will allow attendees to explore bias in language, non-verbal communication, and interpersonal interactions in themselves and others. Attendees will participate in a self- assessment, and engage in dialogue with other attendees.

Megan Boyd, Clinical Director, Grace Harbour Inc.

Promoting Resiliency: Supporting LGBTQ Youth With the Trevor Project
This interactive workshop will focus on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Youth serving professionals will learn hands on techniques for supporting LGBTQ young people. This workshop combines research, case studies, best practice recommendations, and practical steps for reducing the risk of suicide and promoting resiliency in all young people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Chris Bright, Senior Training & Education Manager, The Trevor Project

It’s Elementary: Tools and Resources to Create LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive Elementary Schools
Looking for research based professional development and high quality, developmentally appropriate resources for E-5 classrooms? Welcoming Schools has you covered!  In this session you will learn how the Welcoming Schools program provides educators with the training and tools to work toward developing LGBTQ and gender inclusive schools, embracing family diversity, preventing bias based bullying and supporting transgender and non-binary students. Additionally, participants in this session will have the opportunity to learn from and ask questions of educators in a successful Welcoming Schools' school district.  The Madison Metropolitan School District has embraced the Welcoming Schools program by developing a strategic approach to providing ongoing professional development to staff, being transparent with families, and deeply implementing the core tenants of the Welcoming Schools program.  This session will be a bright light to all professionals that work with elementary age children!

Cheryl Greene, Deputy Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Jennifer Herdina,Welcoming Schools Lead, Madison Metropolitan School District; Sherie Hohs,  LGBTQ+ Lead Social Worker, Madison Metropolitan School District

Advocating for Transgender Rights in Schools
Parents, educators, and other allies are critical in creating and implementing policies that support transgender students. This workshop will provide information on how to advocate in schools for transgender youth, work with transgender youth on these issues, updates on Title IX and school-related litigation, and thoughts on staying optimistic in the current political climate.

Rebecca Kling, Community Storytelling Advocate, National Center for Transgender Equality

Developing Curriculum for Trans & QPOC Youth
Time Out Youth Center is developing and implementing 10-week structured discussion group series to meet the growing demand of inclusive programming for transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming youth and for queer youth of color. This workshop session will review the development, implementation and evaluation phases of the structured discussion groups ‘Tea-Time’ and ‘Melanin & MagiQ’ for transgender, gender non-conforming & non-binary youth and youth of color respectively. Participants will leave with tools and resources to help further develop engaging programming for underserved youth identities.

Rebby Kern, Assistant Director of School Outreach, Time Out Youth Center; Parker Smith, Programs Assistant, Time Out Youth Center

Using LGBTQ Curriculum to Create an Inclusive School Climate
According to GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey, schools that utilize LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum create more welcoming and safe environments for LGBTQ students. Students in these schools hear fewer homophobic remarks, feel safer and register fewer absences, and have more comfortable and positive interactions with school staff about LGBT issues. Join ADL’s education staff to gain skills on implementing LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 curricular resources, including understanding heterosexism, affirming transgender students and critically examining gender. This workshop focuses on identifying and addressing challenges associated with school policies that may hinder implementation, sharing lesson plans and ideas for implementation to positively affect school climate.

Caterina Rodriguez, Associate Education Director, Anti-Defamation League

Inviting LGBTQ+ Families as Fierce Advocates in Schools
The families of all LGBTQ+ students have a tremendous capacity to show-up as fierce advocates in public school settings. Their support for student groups, inclusive curriculum, and supportive policies could change the trajectory of LGBTQ+ affirming initiatives. Join in this workshop to learn and share strategies to engage and empower your LGBTQ+ students’ allies at home. LGBTQ+ family leadership models from two multi-racial, large urban school districts will be shared.

Mary Hoelscher, LGBTQ+ Program Specialist, Saint Paul Public Schools

Developing Strategic Partnerships to Increase HIV Testing Rates Among Youth At-Risk for HIV
As HIV resources become more scarce, funders are increasingly requiring organizations to form strategic partnerships to maximize the impact of programs. This workshop will highlight the Midnight Stroll, an after-hours monthly outreach event targeting homeless LGBTQ youth and trans sex workers in the Hollywood area. The Midnight Stroll is a partnership between APAIT, the Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Office of Los Angeles City Coucil member Mitch O’Farrell. The workshop will highlight the formative and implementation phases of the project, and the importance of strategic partnerships to remain competitive in future funding opportunities.

Peter Cruz, Associate Director of HIV and Health Equity Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Jazzmun Crayton, Special Service for Groups/APAIT Testing Counselor

Local Advocacy: Ending Conversion Therapy in Your Community
Conversion therapy” is a dangerous and discredited practice that falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. These practices can lead to serious lifelong harm including depression, anxiety, drug use, and suicide. Ten states plus D.C. currently have laws or regulations to protect youth. In recent months however, municipalities have taken the lead. Over thirty cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York and Arizona currently safeguard minors from this abusive practice. Join us as we review existing laws and learn from local advocates who helped Florida become home of the most local protections in the country.

Xavier Persad, Legislative Counsel, Human Rights Campaign; Judge Rand Hoch, Palm Beach County Human Rights Council President and Founder; Dr. Rachel Needle, Licensed Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist Center for Marital and Sexual Health of South Florida

Saturday, February 17, 2018
Workshops B - 11:30 am to 12:45 pm

Why NEA Cares about LGBTQ Students and Members
The National Education Association is the nation's largest labor union representing educational employees in public schools. NEA has a long stand history of standing up and supporting LGBTQ students and members. In this session, participants will learn about what NEA has to offer to support schools from training to other resources available to help LGBT Students and members.

Frank Burger, National Education Association; Emilly Osterling, GLBT Caucus Co-chair, Lakota Schools National Education Association

Viral Suppression Prevents HIV Transmission – Now What?
This workshop will go over the significance of CDC's recent announcement on viral suppression and its implications for HIV-prevention programs and services moving forward. Additionally, the workshop will highlight the disparity in the number of HIV-positive youth, aged 13-24, who are unaware of their status compared to other age groups. The workshop will highlight the social determinants that prevent LGBTQ youth from getting an HIV test and accessing essential support services.

Peter Cruz, Associate Director of HIV and Health Equity Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

At the Intersections: Resisting Racism In Our Community
LGBT students of color face multiple forms of oppression in their lives and may feel isolated and/or invisible at school. Challenging all forms of oppression and empowering students and staff begins with recognizing existing issues of bias and facilitating open dialogue about how these biases affect others. In this workshop participants will gain a more in depth understanding of how to serve youth using an intersectional lens. I will provide tools to help discussing issues of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression become less intimidating. You’ll leave with strategies and tangible examples of how to make queer spaces truly inclusive for ALL.

Aneesah Smith, Social Justice Educator, Aneesah Diversity Consulting Services

From the Local School Board to the U.S. Congress: How to Effectively Impact Public Policy
Public policy at the federal, state, and local level can have a substantial impact on the lives of LGBTQ young people. This workshop will teach conference attendees how to use their unique experience to effectively engage in the policy-making process to promote policies that positively impact LGBTQ young people as well as defending against harmful policy. Attendees will learn about major policy proposals and strategies for how best to successfully engage with their elected representatives at all levels of government.

Jennifer Bailey, Senior Public Policy Advocate, Human Rights Campaign; Ryan Wilson, Associate Regional Field Director, Human Rights Campaign

School-Based Practices to Support LGBTQ Youth: National Trends in Implementation and Strategies for Consideration at the Local Level
In this 75-minute workshop, 3 presenters will provide surveillance and programmatic perspectives on school-based practices for supporting LGBTQ youth, such as safe spaces, gay-straight alliances, and professional development for school staff. First, we will describe trends in implementation of eight school-based practices, using state-level School Health Profiles data from 2008-2016. Second, we will present specific programmatic strategies to support the implementation of these practices. Finally, we will focus on one specific practice, professional development for school staff, and present the American Psychological Association’s RESPECT curriculum, highlighting examples of its use to increase support for LGBTQ youth in schools.

Riley Steiner, Health Scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health; Catherine Rasberry, Lead Health Scientist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health; Lacey Rosenbaum, Director of Safe and Supportive Schools Project, American Psychological Association

Creating Inclusive Mentoring Relationships: Lessons Learned from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America LGBTQ Pilot
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBS) is leading the way to create inclusive and affirming mentoring relationships for LGBTQ youth. This session previews insights gained from a national pilot which is helping to update programming in 20 sites across the country to more intentionally train volunteer mentors and update policies for inclusion and safety. Participants will learn about our approach during the pilot, hear about lessons learned from our pilot sites, and interactively explore ways to update their own programs using a newly developed climate assessment tool.

Christian Rummell, Principal Consultant, Mentorist; Hillary Bardwell, Director, Foundation Grants, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

#Day1: Prevent Bullying on Day 1!
#Day1 is an innovative campaign, rooted in research, to stop bullying before it begins. Bullying is a public health challenge, an education equity challenge and civil rights issue. The Tyler Clementi Foundation works to address all online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces and faith communities. In this session, Jane Clementi will share the story of Tyler Clementi, a gay young man who was lost to suicide following a devastating case of cyber-bullying while at college. This workshop will give youth serving professionals and students the opportunity to learn the #Day1 approach to bullying prevention and participate in a demonstration of #Day1.

Jane Clementi, Co-founder, Tyler Clementi Foundation; Jason Cianciatto, Executive Director, Tyler Clementi Foundation

A Parent's Love in Action: A Discussion with Parents of Transgender Children
In 2016, HRC launched the Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a fierce and fiery group of parents from across the country who have taken their stories to the public square in an effort to achieve transgender equality and justice. From school board meetings, to pediatric conferences, to the halls of their state capitols, these parents are changing hearts and minds--and policy, by introducing their children to the world. Members of the Parents Council will share their stories, answer questions, and inspire others during this informal, interactive discussion.

Ellen Kahn, Director, Children, Youth, and Families Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Members of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council

A Trauma-Informed Approach to Affirmative Practice with LGBTQ2S+ Youth
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth experience significant adversity, including anti-LGBTQ+ stigma and victimization. Emerging data (n=6,500) indicates that LGBTQ+ youth experience disproportionate rates of childhood trauma which predict health and mental health disparities in adulthood (CDC, 2013). This workshop introduces AFFIRM, an affirmative, trauma-informed intervention for addressing psychological distress among youth exposed anti-LGBTQ+ stressors. AFFIRM has the following key components (a) an affirming stance toward sexual and gender diversity, (b) awareness of LGBTQ+ specific sources of stress, and (c) strategies delivered within an affirming and trauma-informed framework and was designed for delivery in school, community or mental health settings.

Ashley Austin, Social Work Professor, Barry University; Shelley L. Craig, PhD, LCSW, Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

Special Education Systems and LGBTQ Students
LGBTQ students often experience bias and discrimination during referral, evaluation and placement in special education programs. This workshop will use Minnesota Student Survey data to examine the disproportional representation of LGBTQ youth in Alternative School placements, discuss the co-occurrence of neurodiversity among gender diverse students, and explore the ways anti-LGBTQ bias impacts eligibility determinations for special education services. Participants will learn to identify bias in due process documentation case examples, and receive training on addressing discriminatory school staff behavior. Resources to proactively create and maintain LGBTQ affirming program climates will also be shared.

Dave Edwards, Lead Instructor, Emotional Behavioral Disorder/Welcoming Schools Faciliator, University of MN Twin Cities, HRC's Welcoming Schools

Engaging with K-12 Schools on LGBTQ Topics in Conservative Areas
It is challenging to engage with schools in conservative areas of the country on implementing supportive policies and staff trainings related to LGBTQ topics, particularly in states without laws protecting LGBTQ students or staff. Although North Carolina has been in the spotlight recently for its discriminatory laws attacking the LGBTQ community, local organizations have had success in moving forward with inclusive school policy regulation updates and training K-12 staff to support LGBTQ youth. This session will provide participants with examples of successful strategies and ways to navigate hostile environments to further the mission of supporting LGBTQ students and staff members.

Todd Rosendahl, Director of Youth Policy, Equality North Carolina; Rebby Kern, Assistant Director of School Outreach, Time Out Youth Center

Harnessing the Power of the Family-Teacher Team to Build Inclusive Classrooms
Do you have elementary-age children in your life? Elementary children spend a significant portion of their time in school. How can we work together to create inclusive classrooms that welcome and honor all children? Join elementary school teachers Jessica Cisneros and Susan Freye as we explore how to build a family-teacher partnership that works towards creating safe and inclusive classroom environments for all!

Jessica Cisneros, Lead Teacher, Two Rivers Public Charter School; Sarah Freye, Lead Teacher, Two Rivers Public Charter School

Strategies to Build Your Organization's LGBTQ Training Capacity
In order to translate into better outcomes for LGBTQ youth, an organization’s LGBTQ staff training efforts must be ongoing and embedded in all content areas. Many organizations struggle to identify internal resources for providing this training, instead looking to external trainers for the expertise necessary. HRC’s All Children - All Families project, in collaboration with Children’s Home Society of Florida, has launched a “Training of Facilitators” program in order to build the internal LGBTQ training capacity of agencies. This workshop will detail this pilot process, providing lessons learned and tips for organizations seeking innovative and sustainable solutions for their staff training needs.

Alision Delpercio, Deputy Director, Children, Youth, and Families Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Rene' N. Ledford, MSW, LCSW, BCBA, Director of Behavioral Health Quality, Children's Home Society of Florida

Saturday, February 17, 2018
Workshops C - 2:45 pm to 4:00 pm

Results from the 2017 HRC/UCONN LGBTQ+ Teenn National Survey
In 2017, UConn and HRC conducted one of the largest national LGBTQ+ surveys done to date among 13- to 17-year-olds -- we heard from more than 12,000 youth about their health, school, bullying, trans-specific and family experiences. Some findings were very surprising, some were expected given the challenges continually faced by this population and others demand a call to action! The survey was attune to intersectionality, and we heard from more than 5,000 transgender young people. First and foremost, we will present the findings at this workshop. We will also facilitate a discussion related to the next steps in research and practice. Last, we will brainstorm how ongoing research papers and reports might best report the main findings pertaining to diverse groups of LGBTQ youth.

Ryan Watson, Assistant Professor, UCONN; Liam Miranda, Senior Research manager, Human Rights Campaign

Love is not enough, you have to DO something: Bridging the gap between affectional orientation and race/ethnicity
This presentation is meant to be a beginning ‘courageous conversation’ between QPOC, their Caucasian counterparts, and allies. We will discuss ways that we, as a Queer community, can address ‘isms’ from within our own community as we simultaneously engage in the parallel process of working within the larger communities to decrease the disenfranchisement of LGBTQI+ people.

Joel Filmore, Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator- Springfield College, Clinical Therapist- Lighthouse Professional Counseling Center; Michael M. Kocet, Ph.D, LMHC, NCC, ACS, Professor and Department Chair, Chicago School of Professional Psychology

LGBTQ Cultural Inclusivity in Your Schools
Everyone has a role play in ending LGBTQ youth homelessness, especially educators. Yet, they often lack the baseline cultural competency needed to fully address or understand the unique needs and backgrounds of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. This session will cover topics such as The Prevalence and Unique Needs of LGBTQ Youth Experiencing Homelessness, Using Personal Gender Pronouns, and How Systems of Oppression Perpetuate the Cycle of Homelessness for LGBTQ Youth. Participants will also be introduced to tools and resources to take cultural inclusivity trainings back to their organizations and create a culture that is inclusive and affirming of all young people.

Christa Price, Senior Program Officer, True Colors Fund

What Would You Do? Tough Scenarios for Youth Advocates Supporting LGBTQ Youth
Sometimes even the most dedicated youth advocate can run into situations with families and caregivers where they’re not sure how to react—or whether a reaction is even warranted. In this fun and interactive workshop with PFLAG National, participants will discuss great practices and new resources from PFLAG/Straight for Equality for youth-serving professionals who want to show support for LGBTQ youth and encourage acceptance by their families. They’ll also participate in group activities to discuss how they would navigate common (but tough) scenarios LGBTQ youth face with their families– and how to do it with kindness and style.

Jamie Henkel, Learning & Inclusion Manager, PFLAG National

“You mean we have to worry about that too?”:  What you need to know about LGBTQ teen dating violence
The Centers for Disease Control research shows that physical and sexual dating violence are experienced by LGB students at two times the rate and questioning youth at almost four times the rate as heterosexual students. This interactive workshop will provide information on healthy relationships and warning signs of abusive relationships by discussing two new resources developed by Yachay Consulting including the LGBTQ Youth Equality Wheel and the LGBTQ Youth Power & Control Wheel. By tailoring these classic resources to the realities of LGBTQ relationships, counselors, leaders, and parents can understand this still taboo subject and bring back resources to share.

Amy Loudermilk, Director, Yachay Consulting

Best Practices in Promoting Inclusion and Wellbeing in Mental Health Care: Understanding the Intersection of Culture and Gender Identity
From the first appearance of transsexualism in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III in 1980 to our current understanding of sexual differentiation, gender identity has evolved from a deviant fetishistic behavior to a biopsychosocial phenomenon. This workshop presents how dramatic shifts in culture impact perspectives on etiology, diagnosis, and best practices for integrated treatment of transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) clients. Best practice approaches to the provision of mental health services are discussed, along with an examination of current theories of gender identity. Participants will receive concrete guidelines on provision of care when working with TGNC clients and their families.

Kurt Choate, Chair, Department of Psychology & Counseling, Northeastern State University - Broken Arrow; James Scholl, MA, Doctoral Candidate, The University of Tulsa

How To Help an LGBTQ Colleague Who Is Afraid to Come Out
Research has shown that LGBTQ people who are closeted are at higher risk for mental and physical health disparities due to many things, including the fear of being rejected and the emotional consequences of living a closeted life. Tailored towards K-12 educators, this highly interactive experiential learning workshop will help participants create a safe and open environment for their closeted LGBTQ+ colleague. Vignettes will be used to discuss issues such as LGBTQ+ terminology, the coming out process, role playing, and the importance of not forcing someone out.

Dr. Ron Holt, Psychiatrist, Author, Consultant; Sameer Jha, High School Junior, LGBTQ+ Youth Advocate

Coalition Models: A Community Approach to Reducing Substance Use Among LGBTQ Youth
This workshop will introduce the coalition model and best practices to reduce substance use among LGBTQ youth through three major strategies: bullying prevention, cultural competency and creating safe spaces.

Heather Wilkie, Director, Zebra Coalition; Brett Burlone, LMHC, Clinical Manager, Zebra Coalition

Building School and Community Support for Gender Inclusive Schools
One of the barriers to creating gender-inclusive schools is the fear of a negative response from parents or others in the community. Yet, across the country, schools are successfully engaging parents and the school community to create schools that are inclusive of transgender and other gender expansive students. While there is no recipe to protect against negative community responses, there are strategies to proactively engage communities that lessen the likelihood of negative responses. Film clips and case studies will be used to highlight overarching principles and actions that can move communities forward in this arena.

Kim Westheimer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Gender Spectrum

Building and Sustaining Systems of Support for LGBTQ Youth
This workshop is for school and education agency leaders who are working to build and sustain systems of support for LGBTQ youth. This workshop will focus on specific strategies and resources leaders can use to establish safe and supportive school environments and promote inclusive sexual health education for LGBTQ youth. National NGOs, the American Psychological Association (APA) and Advocates for Youth, will share examples from education agencies who have built sustainable systems of support for LGBTQ youth and provide resources that participants can use to provide professional development, develop policies and guidance, and adopt inclusive curriculum.

Lacey Rosenbaum, Director, Safe and Supportive Schools Project, American Psychological Association; Mary Beth Szydlowski MPH, CHES, Senior Program Manager, School Health Equity, Advocates for Youth

Want to Connect w/ LGBTQ Students? Try YouTube
FACT: Of U.S. Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17, 91% are on YouTube. Chances are, some of the 30 million people that log on to YouTube every day are some of your own students. But while YouTube can be a great place for makeup and video game tips, it also connects kids like LGBTQ+ youth to a larger community. That's huge! The It Gets Better Project is just one organization that helps to make that happen. Come to our session, and walk away with new skills, lesson plans, discussion guides, and more to help you do that, too.

Justin Tindall, Director, Education and Global Programming, It Gets Better Project

The Teachable Moment: Effective Responses to Comments and Questions Related to Race, LGBTQ, and Gender Topics
“Can girls marry each other?” “Are those both his parents?” “That’s so gay!” Effectively responding to the teachable moment-- in particular, related to LGBTQ, gender, and race topics-- models for all students that they will be safe in your classroom. Welcoming Schools knows what questions and comments students, families, and staff often ask about LGBTQ, gender, and race topics-- -and we have developed resources for you that suggest possible, age-appropriate responses! During this session, we will review and practice responses, so that participants are prepared to effectively respond when the teachable moment occurs.

Johanna Eager, Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Just As They Are: Protecting Our Children from the Harms of Conversion Therapy
In September, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Lesbian Rights released Just As They Are, a comprehensive resource for parents on the harmful practice known as “conversion therapy.” The guide helps parents recognize when and how conversion therapy is promoted, provides information about the dangers of the practice, and outlines best practices for parents seeking to promote the health and well-being of their LGBTQ child. Join us in discussing the contents of the guide and what families and youth-serving professionals can do to end these dangerous practices.

Carolyn Reyes, Youth Policy Council, National Center for Lesbian Rights; Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Director of Latinx and Catholic Initiative, Human Rights Campaign; Peter Cruz, Associate Director of HIV and Health Equity Program, Human Rights Campaign

Saturday, February 17, 2018
Workshops D - 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm

Getting Bi+ Youth
From the White House to Miley Cyrus, bi+ people are moving an agenda. In this session, we’ll smash the myth of bi+ privilege, interrupt biphobia, and put our pansexual people in the spotlight as we rocket beyond sexual orientation binaries. You’ll leave ready to support those attracted to more than one gender in your GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance). We’ll highlight resources like HRC’s Supporting and Caring for our Bisexual Youth and a guide for making student groups bi+ affirming.

M. Clark Hoelscher, LGBTQ Program Specialist, Saint Paul Public Schools

Do No Harm: Trauma Informed Care for LGBTQI+ Individuals
Trauma does not discriminate, and yet LGBTQI+ individuals experience trauma and violence at higher rates than straight and cis individuals. Sadly, there is also potential for treatment providers to re-traumatize clients inadvertently, or through a lack of sensitivity to their unique needs. This session will explore challenges facing LGBTQI+ clients, and introduce how trauma informed care strategies can support clients and avoid re-traumatization. Further, strategies for helping to position LGBTQI+ clients for progress in counseling, and potentially for post traumatic growth, will be explored.

Gerard Lawson, President, American Counseling Association

What if I'm Straight, Cis, and White? Intersectionality, Privilege, and Fierce Allyship
What does it mean to have intersecting identities? How does the awareness of our privileged identities inform the way we develop and display allied behavior? This workshop is an opportunity to explore our intentions---and more importantly, our impact as allies to trans and non-binary people, people of color, LGBTQ people and communities experiencing marginalization daily. Through self-reflection we will focus on, and commit to, the most positive practices possible in conscious allied living.

Johanna Eager, Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Nicole Cozier, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Empathy: The key to creating allies and reducing overall bullying behavior
What is empathy and can it be taught? The answer is yes! This workshop will provide participants with strategies to help build empathy within the context of reducing bullying behavior. We will explore the critical role that building empathy plays in helping students become allies as well a specific strategies for fostering ally behavior in students and adults. We will specifically address the role of ally behavior to LGBTQ youth.

Cheryl Greene, Deputy Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Faithful, Queer, and Not From Around Here
What's a therapist to do when a client identifies as both religious, culturally and as a sexual minority, and finds these identities to be in conflict? This workshop focuses on utilizing values and acceptance and commitment therapy to help LGBT youth navigating the complex terrain of integrating religious, cultural, and sexual identities. An activity designed for clinical use with individuals seeking to explore values related to cultural, sexual, and religious identities will be presented.

Angelica Terepka, Psychologist, New York Presbyterian Hospital; Dr. Christina Elkind, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Faulk Center for Counseling

Online mental health support for LGBTQ youth
Since 2014, MHA has provided individuals with free, anonymous, and confidential screening tools that allow people to explore their mental health concerns through our MHA Screening program (at Although about 4 percent of individuals identity as LGBTQ in the US, among MHA screeners, 26 percent of individuals report identifying as LGBTQ. Our workshop will present findings from LGBTQ screeners at MHA Screening and open a dialogue about how to engage and reach out to youth in rural areas and better support individuals who are increasingly turning to the internet to look for supports.

Theresa Nguyen, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Mental Health America

Using Twitter to Advocate for Equal Care for LGBTQ+ Patients
One of the largest contributing factors of LGBT health disparities is the inequitable hospital care that LGBTQ+ individuals receive. This workshop will present strategies on how to leverage online social networks to document discrepancies in care for LGBTQ+ patients. This session will showcase our online patient experience surveillance system. We will showcase how LGBTQ+ persons and their families can use the system to identify which hospitals are LGBTQ+ friendly and how to leverage our system to amplify their concerns about discriminatory hospital care.

Yulin Hswen, Harvard Research Fellow/Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital; Kara Sewalk, Program Coordinator for Research on LGBTQ+ Patients, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital

After DACA:  Serving Undocumented Youth
There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the USA. Over 2 million identify as LGBTQ and many are under the age of 25. These facts mean many Queer Undocumented students are currently attending schools across the country. As of 2018 hey will the protections established by DACA. How can we help these students thrive in the current climate? How can organizations such as United We Dream, Immigration Equality and others offer local support? We will focus on the issues and questions above and aims to help the professionals working with "dreamers" to formulate sound strategies for support and engagement.

Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Director of Latinx and Catholic Initiatives

Seeking Gender Congruence
The public discourse around transgender and nonbinary youth often focuses on gender transitions, primarily medical and surgical measures. Little attention is given to the goal of these and other measures: supporting young people so they can experience congruence in their gender. In this workshop we will discuss four aspects of gender congruence (social, medical, surgical and legal), the importance of helping all youth to identify what congruence looks like for them, and ways to identify and address barriers to living authentically.

Lisa Kenney, Executive Director, Gender Spectrum

Unlikely Bedfellows: Forging Alliances Between Parents and School Administrators to Support Transgender and Gender Expansive Students
Parents of transgender and gender expansive students contact school administrators about protecting and supporting their child. School administrators work closely with parents while also dealing with potential pushback from vocal constituencies in their school-community. The Michigan Department to Education partnered with the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health to create a unique workshop, bringing together these stakeholders to dialogue, listen to each other’s perspectives, and develop win-win solutions. In this interactive workshop, participants will discuss Michigan’s experience creating, marketing, and implementing this workshop. They will analyze lessons learned and leave with concrete strategies for forging alliances between parents and administrators.

Laurie Bechhofer, HIV/STD Education Consultant, Michigan Department of Education; Kim Phillips-Knope, Safe and Supportive Schools Consultant, Michigan Department of Education; Taryn Gal, Managing Director, Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH)

#IamFrederick: Rallying a conservative school district around its Transgender/GNC students
When the Trump Administration rescinded the Title IX guidelines in February 2017 trans students, their parents and teachers in conservative Frederick, MD jumped into action to protect trans students. Hear how this trans student led group educated local educators and residents about trans issues, and mobilized hundreds to attend rallies, Board Of Education meetings etc. This advocacy resulted in the passing of one of the most inclusive and affirming policies ever in June 2017. Shortly thereafter the policy was attacked by a nationally recognized anti-LGBT organization. The students and the community fought back!

Nicola van Kuilenburg, UniServe Director, Maryland State Education Association; James van Kuilenburg, High School Student Mentor, GLSEN National Student Council

The "I" Doesn't Stand for Invisible: Becoming an Intersex Ally
"LGBTQIA" -- the "I" is often seen but rarely understood. Intersex people represent nearly 2% of the population (the same as redheads!) but others often assume they don't know any intersex people or need to support them. Do you understand what the intersex experience is like or the oppression intersex people face? Two young intersex advocates are here to share their stories and help you learn what intersex is, how it intersects with your work and the ways you can become an ally.

Emily Quinn, Communications Manager, interACT: Advocates for Intersex youth; Jonathan Leggette, Student, The Evergreen University Olympia WA, 2018 HRC Youth Ambassador

Sunday, February 18, 2018
Workshops E - 9:00 am to 10:15 am

Coming Together, the lessons of Pulse
After the June 12 tragedy at Pulse Nightclub, we observed people from various communities coming together in response to the events of that early morning.   Members of the Latinx, LGBTQ, Muslim and ally communities began working to support the survivors, help with those lost, and heal the fissures exposed by the events.  This workshop will explore lessons learned in collaboration , coalition building and healing that came out of the Pulse heartbreak. Our quests will include representatives of the communities most affected and those still in the trenches fighting to provide solace and resources to all affected.

Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Director of Latinx and Catholic Initiatives, Human Rights Campaign; one or more co-presenters to be assigned

Supporting Schools to Respond to LGBTQ Pushback in the Community
Frustrated from the pushback when supporting an LGBTQ student or reading “I Am Jazz” in your classroom? Across the country educators and school districts are targeted by hate groups and unwanted media attention for simply doing their job---providing a safe and welcoming school climate for all students. In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to review a number of case studies in which schools and school districts persevered and continued to support LGBTQ youth despite pushback. Talking points and a brief review of constitutional protections that continue to protect LGBTQ youth will be included in this discussion.

Johanna Eager, Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Project YEAH (Youth Education & Arts Advocacy on HIV)
Project YEAH (Youth Education & Arts Advocacy on HIV) is an after school HIV education and arts advocacy program. During the workshops participants will engage in an interactive workshop where they will learn about Project YEAH as well as the components that make Project YEAH a successful after school program. Participants in the workshop will also be able to engage in dialogue about their particular after school programs and how they can incorporate Project YEAH or components of Project YEAH.

Francisco Cortes, Youth Programs Manager, Galaei

True Colors Shining Bright: Providing Counseling and Supports to LGBTQ+ Youth
LGBTQ+ youth are often classified as a homogeneous group, but the diversity among and within them is more distinct than many people realize. The need for school-based counseling supports is evident due to higher rates of unhappiness, drug use, dropping out of school, truancy, suicide, harassment, and family discord. There is a wealth of resources to support the need for inclusive educational practices (GLSEN, 2011), but little is available in terms of resources to use in a counseling format. This program is designed to empower school-based mental health staff to provide counseling support for students, fostering resiliency in at-risk students.

Amy Cannava, LGBTQI2-S Chair, National Association of School Psychologists

LGBTQ-inclusive Sports and PE for K-12 Schools
Work with former NCAA athletes and LGBTQ advocates as we explore best practices, policies, considerations and guidelines for inclusive sports spaces. In this session, we'll cover current research, legal climate, and the intersection of sports and social justice in a youth-focused format that will give participants the tools to make lasting changes in and beyond sports. Sports is one of the greatest socialization mechanisms for youth, and therefore it’s imperative that we know how to weave intersectional LGBTQ inclusion and respect into the lessons it provides.

Liam Miranda, Senior Research Manager, Human Rights Campaign; Ashland Johnson, Director of Public Education & Research, Human Rights Campaign

Pathways to Permanency: Dismantling Foster Care’s Pipelines
Nationally, LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented in child welfare systems, the juvenile justice system, mental health systems, and amongst youth experiencing homelessness/displacement. Utilizing evidence-informed strategies developed through our research project with the Willliams Institute, we will discuss and challenge the barriers and outcomes LGBTQ youth of color face in systems of care, with an emphasis on child welfare. Blending community organizing, grasstops advocacy, and social work disciplines, participants will gain knowledge and tools needed to disrupt the intricate pipelines of rejection and negative outcomes for LGBTQ youth in systems of care at their local level.

Ariel Bustamante, Training & Coaching Instructor, Los Angeles LGBT Center; Joey Hernandez, Policy & Mobilization Manager, Public Policy, Los Angeles LGBT Center

YMCA and the Alliance: Building Capacity for LGBTQ Inclusion and Equity
Join a joint introductory workshop featuring the YMCA of the USA and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance where both organizations will share current and future efforts towards advancing LGBTQ inclusion and equity through creating safe spaces for learning, growth, dialogue and operationalizing inclusion.

Chad Nico Hiu, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, YMCA of the USA

The Do's and Don't's of working with LGBTQ youth in rural areas
This workshop will highlight the do's and don't's of working with LGBTQ youth in rural, conservative areas. Queer youth culture can be much different in areas that would be considered rural or conservative, so we can't assume that the kind of help and support needed in those areas is the same as everywhere else. This workshop will provide resources and real life stories and accounts from youth and adults who have lived in and dealt with negative stigma around queer culture in these rural areas.

Karlin Pyne, Youth Peer Support Specialist, The Living Room; Aryn Zanca, Program Coordinator, The Living Room

Health Disparities and Risk Behaviors Among Gender-Expansive Students
Gender expansive (also called gender nonconforming or nonbinary) youth are receiving a great deal of attention in the media and among educators and policymakers. However, until now there has been very limited population-based data about gender expansive students and their unique health disparities and risk behaviors. In this workshop, we will present newly available data regarding these vulnerable students from a report by Advocates for Youth based on Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data and discuss how this data may be used to support programs and advocacy.

Alison Gill, Consultant for Advocates for Youth

Reshaping Florida's Schools in the Direction of Equity: Equality Florida's Safe and Healthy Schools Work Across the State, Circa 2016 - Winter 2018
How does a mostly red, geographically southern state respond when their school districts are courted to engage in fierce talks about placing LGBTQ+ students as one of their highest priorities? Equality Florida has launched a statewide Safe Schools Project breaking through in 40 distrcts by bringing top district officials to the table for frank, ongoing consultancy about shifting district culture to institutionalize LGBTQ+ best practices. Traveling the state working with districts one on one, this new program has met with cautions, open-armed superintendents as they scurry to account for gay youth in a state that is not always about sunshine and flowers.

Ian Siljestrom, Central Florida Safe Schools Coordinator, Equality Florida

Queer at School: LGBTQ Adults Partnering With LGBTQ Youth
This workshop was designed for LGBTQ adults who work with LGBTQ youth. During the workshop, participants will explore why queer intergenerational collaborations can be challenging and learn strategies for creating effective youth-adult partnerships. Queer and transgender adults face a multitude of challenges when working with youth in their schools and communities. However, in order for adults to be able to support youth movements and young people, in general, they must know what those challenges are and how to overcome them. We will engage in self-exploration and bias exercises and develop strategies for establishing strong partnerships with youth.

Chris White, Director, Safe & Supportive School Project, Genders & Sexualities Network

Youth Panel: Developing Leaders through Youth-Guided Approaches (YOUTH ONLY)
This panel will provide a platform for youth to discuss leadership development for activists in the LGBTQ movement by exploring the following topics: the foundations of leadership, developing a youth board, supporting GSA’s and advancing educational justice for LGBTQ youth.

Heather Wilkie, Director, Zebra Coalition; Neil Rios Laverde, Youth Founder and President, Central Florida GSA Network, Zebra Coalition

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