Agenda

Workshops

Thank you to everyone who attended our fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference! Miss any of the action? Check out our 2017 workshops to get a feel for the conference.
 

2017 Workshops
Friday, April 28, 2017

2:00 pm to 4:30 pm - Pre-Conference:


Not Your Parent's Rainbow: An Exploration of Gender and Sexual Orientation Today, Room: Maryland A-C
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. In this interactive *101* workshop we will explore and unpack the vast and evolving LGBTQ terminology to build a foundation of understanding. We will then discuss some of the key challenges and concerns facing LGBTQ youth today, and we will share best practices and resources that can be directly applied to the work. Come and explore this rainbow and be ready to launch into the amazing Time to THRIVE workshops ahead!

Sharifa Love, Communications and Development Coordinator, SMYAL; Sarah Beasley, Operations and Volunteer Coordinator, SMYAL; Adalphie Johnson, Programs Director, SMYAL

 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

10:00 am to 11:00 am - Workshops A:


Advocating for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care, Room: Maryland C
LGBTQ youth are over-represented in foster care and far too many of them enter systems that are failing to meet their needs. Learn how you can ​cr​​​​eate real change for LGBTQ young people in foster care​ by advocating for policy and practice changes.

Alison Delpercio, MSW, Deputy Director, Children, Youth & Families, Human Rights Campaign; Currey Cook, Esq., Director, Youth in Out-of Home Care Project, Lambda Legal

Beyond the Bathrooms: Supporting Transgender Students in North Carolina, Room: Virginia B
In collaboration with SHIFT NC, NC Healthy Schools developed "Supporting Transgender Students: A Primer for Administrators." This session provides guidance on creating a safe and supportive environment for transgender students; addressing questions; and offers recommendations for supportive policies, procedures, and protocols to support transgender students. This abbreviated version includes an overview of key terms, statistics, video/discussion, and a few scenarios to engage in practicing responses.

Susanne Schmal, MPH, HIV Policies and Program Consultant, NC Department of Public Instruction

Boosting Resilience in LGBTQ Youth, an Intervention, Room, Balcony A
Achieve a deeper understanding of resilience and why it remains the number one intervention for overcoming “adverse childhood experiences” also known as “toxic stress.”  This presentation presents recent neurobiological research on the correlation between childhood trauma exposure and adult poor health outcomes.  With advancements in neuroscience we know that “toxic stress” (exposure to child abuse domestic violence, bullying, homelessness and ANTI-LGBTQ BIAS) physiologically impacts the developing brain causing regulatory, sense-making and attachment difficulties, addictions, aggressions, anxiety and depression, poor cardiovascular and immunological outcomes.  Resilience helps to mitigate these poor health outcomes and boosts learning by teaching students how to utilize these eight simple principles.

Cory Schneider, LMFT, Educational Consultant, Inclusion, Affirmative Foundations

Bullying Prevention Begins on #Day1, Room: Balcony B
The Tyler Clementi Foundation works to address all online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities. #Day1 is an innovative new campaign, rooted in research, which aims to change school climates across the U.S. to prevent bullying, harassment and humiliation before it begins. This interactive 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. The presentation will include slides, video and other materials.

Jane Clementi, Co-founder and Trustee, The Tyler Clementi Foundation; Sean Kosofsky, Executive Director, The Tyler Clementi Foundation

Case Management for LGBTQ Youth: Creating a Safe Place and Advocating Properly, Room: McKinely
Our workshop focuses on the needs of the LGBTQ youth, allies and professionals involved in determining their care. This includes issues regarding their health and the systems in place to aid in their positive development throughout adolescents. We will give information on the most current trends within the LGBTQ , life skills, team building, and relationships. Lastly, how to better aid the LGBTQ population with housing (i.e.: Safe Place Shelters/Transitional living programs) and case management will be discussed.

Shannon DiBlasio, RN-BSN, BA, Program Director, Center for Family Services

Connect, Accept, Respond, Empower: How to Support LGBTQ Youth in the Classroom, Virginia C
This interactive, research-based workshop will provide an overview of suicide among LGBTQ youth and the environmental stressors that contribute to their heightened risk for suicide. There will be an emphasis on best practices, including how to teach a Lifeguard Workshop, and practical steps educators can take to promote a positive environment for all youth. The Lifeguard Workshop includes free online curriculum that teaches youth how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and respond to a friend who may be in crisis.

Danielle Orner, Senior Education Manager, The Trevor Project

Engaging Parents and Guardians In The Quest For Gender-Inclusive Schools (and Other Spaces), Room: Delaware B
Parent and caregiver engagement is critical to creating gender-inclusive schools. Effectively involving them increases the likelihood that they will understand and potentially support your efforts- and their own child's gender journey. This is particularly important for transgender and non-binary identified young people; research shows that parental support is one of the most important factors associated with their health and well-being. This workshop will provide an overview of strategies for engaging parents in school efforts, and include research related to effective parenting practices.

Lisa Kenney, Executive Director, Gender Spectrum

Intersectionality & Privilege: Showing Up for LGBTQ Youth in More Ways Than One, Room: Delaware A
What does it mean to be intersectional? Critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term to mean that each person has multiple, intersecting identities within the web of oppression and privilege that shapes each person's individual experience. In this highly interactive session, we will explore this term and others in order to provide an opportunity for youth-serving professionals to unpack how our privileged identities, in particular, may sometimes limit our ability to show up for LGBTQ youth in all areas of their lives. Specifically, participants will explore how their own socialization has had an impact on their understanding of who LGBTQ youth are and what it is they're facing. The workshop will close with a focus on developmental next steps appropriate to each participant, many of which can be applied immediately at the conference and the next day at work.

Johanna Eager, Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign; Noël Gordon Jr., Senior Program Specialist, HIV Prevention & Health Equity, Human Rights Campaign

It’s Up to Us: How to Build HIV Social Justice Leaders at Your Youth Organization, Room: Virginia A
Youth listen to each other far more than any other source about sex, relationships and their bodies. At the LGBTQ Center in NYC, youth go through a training program to gain skills to discuss with their peers consent, HIV, sexual safety, in an affirming and gender-inclusive manner. In this workshop, we will share these teaching tools, hear from youth graduates about how they are talking about HIV prevention in their schools and communities, and strategize how you can start a peer-led sexual health program.

Joanna McClintick, LMSW, Youth Sexual Health Specialist, The LGBT Community Center

Juvenile Justice and LGBTQ/GNC Youth, Room: Maryland A-B
A disproportionate number of youth in juvenile detention facilities in the United States identify as LGBTQ.  Although LGBTQ youth make up 7-9% of the U.S. population, they make up 20% of youth in juvenile justice facilities.  This workshop will provide educators, child welfare professionals, policy advocates, and youth an overview of harmful policies and practices that lead to overrepresentation, resources, and recommendations on what we can do at the federal and state level to ensure the well-being and safety of LGBTQ youth involved with the juvenile justice system.

Breanna Diaz, Legislative Counsel, Human Rights Campaign; Christina Gilbert, Senior Staff Attorney and Policy Counsel, National Juvenile Defender Center

Telling Your Story to Cultivate Respect and Create Safer Space for LGBTQ Youth, Room: Harding
Youth advocates are often asked to make the case for policies and programs that will create safer space for young people. This highly interactive session will teach you to think about your personal experiences, develop them into engaging narratives, and make a difference. With our opposition focused on shifting the debate using stereotypes and scare-tactics, LGBTQ people and allies need to know how to resist these efforts and how to reframe the conversation so that colleagues, friends and family understand the need for true equality.

Jamie Curtis, Field Manager, East Region, PFLAG National/ Straight For Equality

What is OUT for Safe Schools™?: Our Campaign and Your Approach, Room: Hoover
Participants will learn about the goals of OUT for Safe Schools™ campaign while analyzing what it means to OUT for Safe Schools™. Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and GSA Network, OUT for Safe Schools™ is in 9 major districts across the country to promote the visibility and support of adult allies on school campuses. We will highlight best practices of the campaign, introduce OUT for Safe Schools™ tools, and invite participants to analyze their practices as an adult ally to LGBTQ young people.

Krystal Torres-Covarrubias, OUT for Safe Schools Coordinator, Los Angeles LGBT Center; Joey Hernandez, Education Policy & Programs Manager, Los Angeles LGBT Center

11:15 am to 12:15 pm - Workshops B:
 

AFFIRMative CBT: An evidence-informed approach to working with LGBTQ+ youth, Room: Virginia B
This workshop will describe emerging best practices with LGBTQ+ youth through a presentation of a evidence-informed intervention with community based youth. The presenters will describe AFFIRM, a CBT coping skills group intervention for LGBTQ+ youth and their research findings that demonstrate that AFFIRM holds the promise of reducing depression and improve coping skills among LGBTQ+ young people. The presenters will describe clinical considerations for affirmative CBT and provide opportunities for the participants to engage in program activities.

Shelley L. Craig, PhD, LCSW, Associate Dean & Associate Professor, University of Toronto; Ashley Austin, PhD, LCSW, Associate Professor of Social Work, Barry University

Bisexual+ Youth: Challenging Stigma and Reducing Disparities, Room: Delaware B
Bisexual+ youth (bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid, etc.) comprise a majority of LGBTQ+ youth, and face higher rates of suicidality and intimate partner violence than even their lesbian and gay counterparts. In this program we will look at the concept of minority stress as it relates to LGBTQ+ people and highlight specific challenges faced by bisexual+ youth. We will challenge negative messages and stigma that surround bisexual+ identity, explore what it really means to identify as bisexual+, and discuss strategies for supporting our bisexual+ youth.

Robyn Ochs, Owner, Robyn Ochs Consulting

From M*A*S*H to PrEP: Remembering the Deaths, Protecting the Lives, Room: Virginia A
Led by veterans in the HIV prevention battle, this session explores how the history of HIV in this country impacts medical/behavioral threats and prevention counseling approaches for LGBTQ young people in 2017 and beyond. Why? Because it's not over yet! Mike's work began in the early 80’s, when AIDS was GRID and HIV was unidentified. Bill continues today, when PrEP is a powerful addition to our prevention arsenal. Getting young people to take life-saving precautions was, and is, a major challenge. Let’s win this battle.

William Hight, PhD, Licensed Staff Psychologist, Augusta University; Michael Kaiser, M.D. HIV Policy Activist; Dr. Catherine B. Roland, President, American Counseling Association, Professor and Chair, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington DC campus

Intentional Space; Creating Safer Spaces Through Assessment and Technology, Room: Virginia C
This workshop will explore the ways in which the True Colors Fund has utilized technology, tool kits, and assessments to create safer spaces for LGBTQ young people across the country. First, hear about the three-pronged survey tool True Inclusion, which helps build inclusive environments. Next, watch a demo of the brand new online interactive platform True U, a free resource that brings LGBTQ competency trainings directly to you. Participants will receive access to the 40 to None Network and checklists for creating safer spaces.

Justin Rush, JD, Director of Public Policy, True Colors Fund

Legal Rights of LGBTQ Youth in K-12 Public Schools, Room: Maryland A-B
The deck is stacked against young people growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer 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 for LGBTQ youth. Join HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow in a review of how the law protects LGBTQ students and an overview of pending relevant litigation and legislation.

Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director, Human Rights Campaign

Measuring Impact: How Effective Are Your Efforts to Make Schools Safe and Supportive for LGBTQ Youth?, Room: Balcony B
You work hard to create safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ youth in your school or community.  But how can you determine the quality and impact of your work?  In this workshop, participants will learn how the American Psychological Association uses evaluation to monitor and improve the Respect Workshop, which teaches professionals knowledge and skills to make schools safe and supportive for LGBTQ youth. Participants will then discuss ways they have used evaluation to monitor their impact on LGBTQ youth and/or youth providers in their schools or programs.

Jana Sharp, MPH, President/ Founder, Sharp Insight, LLC; Clinton Anderson, PhD, Director, LGBT Concerns Office, American Psychological Association

Serving Undocumented Youth, Room: Maryland C
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. What are signs to look for? How can we help these students thrive in the current climate? How do initiatives such as Deferred  Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can assists students? How can organizations such as United We Dream, Immigration Equality and others offer local support? This workshop will focus in the issues and questions above and aims to help the professionals working with this vulnerable population achieve a better understanding and obtain sound strategies for support.

Lisbeth M. Melendez Rivera, Director of Latinx & Catholic Initiatives, Human Rights Campaign

Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration Efforts on behalf of LGBTQ Youth, Room: Balcony A
This workshop will explore the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s work on behalf of LGBTQ youth including: resources on family acceptance, culturally competent care for individuals with mental illness, and ending conversion therapy; programs that reach LGBTQ youth related to suicide prevention, traumatic stress, and homelessness; and SAMHSA’s LGBTQI2-S Children’s Mental Health Initiative Workgroup.

Brian Altman, JD, Director, Division of Policy Innovation, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Amy Andre, M.A., M.B.A., Public Health Advisor, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Intersectional Lens: Envisioning Multiple Paths to Permanency, Room: Delaware A
LGBTQ+ youth of color in deep-end systems of care experience incredible disparities in juvenile justice, child welfare, runaway and homeless youth settings. Youth report disparate treatment in care, lower rates of permanency, higher rates of hospitalization, etc. An intersectional lens reveals that LGBTQ+ youth combat systemic barriers related to multiple types of oppression. In this workshop, participants will practice recognizing these identity-based barriers using stories from youth involved in multiple systems, discuss needed policy changes and share strategies for addressing barriers in their own communities.

Jesi Harris, BA, Training and Coaching Instructor, Los Angeles LGBT Center; Ange Castellanos, RISE Training and Coaching Instructor, Los Angeles LGBT Center

True Colors Shining Bright: Providing Counseling and Supports for LGBTQ+ Youth, Room: Hoover
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 for LGBTQ+ youth is evident due to higher rates of unhappiness, drug use, drop-out rates, decreased academic performance, truancy, suicide, harassment, family discord, and reduced referral rates for mental health assistance. Despite the need and demand, 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 serve as advocates for LGBTQ+ youth, provide counseling support for students in grades 6-12, and foster resiliency in at-risk students. Participants will leave with the ability to effectively advocate for sexual minority and gender diverse youth as well as implement an innovative counseling program within their own schools to support these students.

Amy Cannava, Ed. S., Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Chair, National Association of School Psychologists, LGBTQI2-S Committee

What's sex got to do with it: talking with clients about risk behaviors and harm reduction, Room: Harding
Reducing risk-taking behaviors and promoting harm reduction practices with youth and young adults requires real talk about intimacy, sexual practices, substance use, and self care. How we approach these topics may differ based on the age of the client, the practice setting, their history of trauma, or even our own comfort. Come ready to discuss risk and protective factors across the lifespan, review and share risk assessment tools, and how to initiate conversation on sex, sexuality, and harm reduction.

Evelyn P. Tomaszewski, ACSW, Senior Policy Advisor, National Association of Social Workers; Melissa Sellevaag, LCSW, Whitman-Walker Health

When the Door is Closed Find a Window: Advancing LGBTQ Policy in Michigan Schools, Room: McKinley
In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about Michigan’s turbulent story of working with the State Board of Education to develop a statement and guidance supporting LGBTQ students. Participants will analyze various approaches and how they apply beyond Michigan. We will examine key learnings, including building relationships within educational systems, framing messages, mobilizing parent and youth voices, knowing how and when to compromise. Participants will leave with valuable strategies and lessons learned for advancing LGBTQ policy and practice in less progressive states and local school-communities.

Kim Phillips-Knope, MSW., Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Michigan Department of Education; Laurie Bechhofer, HIV STD Education Consultant, Michigan Department of Education; Shane Shananaquet, Sophomore, Adrian High School; Stella Shananaquet, Parent

2:15 pm to 3:15 pm - Workshops C:


Bathrooms and Facilities: Collaborating with Students and Schools to Build Affirming Accommodations, Room: Virginia B
Transgender and gender-nonconforming students face enough challenges; being able to use school bathrooms consistent with their gender identity shouldn't be one of them. Using the District of Columbia Public Schools’ "Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Policy Guidance" as a model, this session will illustrate the strategies used by DCPS to partner with architects, families, students and school staff to coordinate bathroom accommodations across schools. Participants will hear directly these stakeholders identify ways in which school districts can make transgender and gender expansive bathroom access a priority.

Diana Bruce, Director, Health and Wellness, DC Public Schools

Building a Pool of Affirming Families for LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care, Room: Balcony B
LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in foster care and face worse experiences while in foster care and worse outcomes than their non-LGBTQ peers. Agencies across the county need new, focused strategies for recruiting, developing, and supporting a pool of foster, adoptive, and kinship families who can meet LGBTQ youths’ needs and can provide welcoming, affirming homes. This workshop will present strategies and key considerations for how to build a pool of families who can provide placement stability and permanency for LGBTQ youth—whether or not youth have self-identified as LGBTQ. This session will highlight how our organization is implementing our own processes to increase the number of resource families for LGBTQ youth and resources that agencies can use to help with their recruitment planning and implementation and will provide opportunities for discussion and learning from your colleagues.

Jill Marshall May, L.M.S.W., Project Director, The Adoption Exchange

Creating Gender Inclusive Schools for All Student, Room: Maryland A-B
This session will share key strategies for creating a gender-inclusive classroom, including an exploration of all of the ways that gender may impact students at school. Participants will have an opportunity to practice interrupting gender stereotypes as well as sharing ideas for affirming non-binary and transgender students. Welcoming Schools elementary school lesson plans and up-to-date book lists that look at gender identity with children will be reviewed and shared.

Johanna Eager, Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign; Todd Rosendahl, Director of Youth Policy, Equality North Carolina

Getting Bi+ Youth, Room: Balcony A
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.

Mary Hoelscher, LGBTQ+ Program Specialist, Out for Equity, Saint Paul Public Schools

Intervening Where it Counts: How to Get Schools to Adopt a Model Suicide Prevention Policy for LGBTQIA+ Youth, Room: Virginia C
New research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that LGBTQIA+ students attempt suicide at almost five times the rate as heterosexual students, and schools can play a big role in preventing suicide by having policies to address prevention, intervention and postvention. This interactive workshop will discuss and provide participants with The Trevor’s Project’s research-based Model School Policy on Suicide Prevention and an Adoption Toolkit to help teachers, parents, students and community leaders ensure their schools create a safe environment for youth.

Amy Loudermilk, MSW, Associate Director of Government Affairs, The Trevor Project

It’s Just a Locker Room, Room: McKinely
Akil Patterson of Athlete Ally is a formative Athlete in his own right, but the intersections of understanding Race, Faith and football lead him now a rocky path. In this workshop Akil will talk with a Panel of Athletes to discuss what makes a Locker Room just a locker room and how coaches, administration and players can use best practices to create an inclusive environment.

Akil Patterson, Community and Youth Programs, Athlete Ally; Isaiah R. Wilson, External Affairs Manager, National Black Justice Coalition, Senior Fellow, Laughing Gull Foundation

Models of Inclusion - Learning from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America LGBTQ Youth Initiative, Room: Harding
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) has been leading a national initiative to create responsive programming for LGBT youth—including updates to policies, intake, screening, training, and ongoing support—to ensure that equal and responsive access to the proven support of mentoring. This session profiles the latest research on mentoring, emerging and promising practices from BBBS affiliates, and gives participants opportunities to assess ways they, too, can updates to their programming.

Christian Rummell, Ed.D., Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research; Shivohn Garcia, PhD, Director of Program Design, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

#MyStoryOUTLoud: Storytelling as a Vessel for Change for Queer and Trans Students of Color, Room: Delaware A
#MyStoryOUTLoud utilizes the stories of QTPoC to raise awareness to the lack of intentional space provided for students that live at the intersections of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. It is through the use of these candid accounts that we call for a "re"dedication from campus and school administrations to provide safe and supportive environments for the most marginalized students, in a time where identity and individuality are constantly under attack. Students have the right to be safe, and campuses are obligated to deliver.

Louis “Louie” Ortiz-Fonseca, Senior Program Manager, Advocates for Youth

Taking the Disorder out of Gender Identity: Exploring Gender Using Play-Based Therapies for Children, Room: Hoover
Presenters will facilitate a conversation about this emerging counseling issue and discuss ideas for better advocacy for this population. As part of the growing emphasis on social justice within counseling, attention within clinical research and practice to the development of gender and sexual identity with adults has increased, but little of this attention has focused specifically on working with children. The presenters will provide opportunities for participants to reflect on their worries, biases, and awareness around sexual and gender identity issues with children.

Quinn Smelser, MA, LPC, RPT, NCC, Doctoral Student, Clinical Therapist, The George Washington University and The Gil Institute; Amanda Friday, MEd, Doctoral Student, The George Washington University

That's so Gay (The effects of internalized homophobia), Room: Maryland C
Internalized homophobia is defined as the involuntary belief by LGBTQ+ people that the homophobic lies, stereotypes and myths about them, delivered in a heterosexist way ARE TRUE. This workshop encourages LGBTQ+ and Allies to recognize and examine the harmful impact of a lifetime of homophobic / heterosexist messages on their own self image, as well as their attitudes toward other gay people. Dialogue, activities and skills are offered to challenge internalized homophobia, in our own lives, and in the lives of our students.

C. Samuel, Smith, Ed.D., Teacher, Palm Springs Unified School District; C. Scott Miller, MS. ED., Teacher, Santa Ana Unified School District

Using LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum to Improve School Climate, Room: Delware B
According to GLSEN’s 2013 National School Climate Survey, schools that utilize LGBT-inclusive curriculum create welcoming and safe environments for LGBTQ students. Students in these schools hear fewer homophobic remarks, feel safer, register fewer absences, and have more positive interactions with school staff. We will provide LGBTQ-inclusive and affirming resources for all grade levels on understanding heterosexism, affirming transgender students and critically examining gender, and discuss challenges associated with school policies that may hinder implementation and how they can be addressed to positively impact school climate.

Seth Gordon-Lipkin, Education Director, Washington, DC Regional Office, Anti-Defamation League; David Aponte, Anti-Bias Trainer for the Anti-Defamation League

What Do I Do? A Workshop for Understanding Health & HIV, Room: Virginia A
Even as we make tremendous progress in the fight for LGBTQ equality, who you are and where you live still has an enormous impact on how HIV is likely to affect your life. This workshop will explore the current realities of HIV — including new prevention strategies such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) — through the lens of supporting LGBTQ youth. Participants will leave this workshop more knowledgeable about HIV and better equipped to connect the youth in their lives with LGBTQ-affirming resources about HIV.

Noël Gordon Jr., Senior Program Specialist, Human Rights Campaign

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm - Workshops D:


A Parent's Love in Action: A Discussion with Parents of Transgender Children, Room: Maryland A-B
Last November, 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.

Members of HRC's Parents for Transgender Equality Council

An Intersectional Approach to Proactive Measures that Prevent Bias Based Bullying, Room: Delaware A
Research is clear that without addressing bias we cannot fully address bullying. The overwhelming majority of bullying in schools occurs as a result of bias. The more marginalized identities a student has, the more at risk they are of not feeling safe at school. This workshop will provide the foundation for understanding the necessity of taking an intersectionality approach to bullying prevention measures. Strategies will be shared that can be used to engage the whole school community in preventing bullying as well as tools for educators to use in the classroom to provide a safe and respectful learning environment for all students.

Cheryl Greene, Welcoming Schools Assistant Director, Human Rights Campaign

Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality, Room: Delaware B
This program explores the landscape of sexuality, and how we “map” sexual orientation. No two people are alike. Given that, how do we assign labels to our complicated and unique experiences? In this interactive workshop we will conduct an anonymous survey of those present, and look together at the data. Where do we fall on the sexuality continuum? How do we label? How old were we when we came to our identities and to our sexualities? In this fun and interactive program we explore different experiences of identity; the interplay between gender and sexuality; the complexities of attraction, and more.

Robyn Ochs, Owner, Robyn Ochs Consulting

Creating Safe, Caring, Inclusive Schools and Classrooms for ALL Students, Room: Maryland C
Every educator, regardless of personal beliefs, must be a support and a resource for LGBTQ students.  Today, educators are often unsure how to support their LGBTQ students in a meaningful way.  By building a foundation, starting with school leadership, we can share the skills and strategies to create a climate where some of the most vulnerable students (and STAFF) feel safe and valued.  By developing inclusive policies and nurturing practices, administration, counselors, teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff have the ability and power to create an environment that is safe, supportive and welcoming to ALL students (and staff).

Mitch Klages-Bombich, M.S. Ed., Professional Development Coordinator, Positive Learning Collaborative, United Federation of Teachers; Patricia Crispino, UFT Special Representative, United Federation of Teachers

Creating Safe Spaces for Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion and Equity, Room: McKinley
Join an interactive facilitated dialogue with local and national YMCA leaders to identify strategies, approaches and models to have conversations related to LGBTQ inclusion and equity in today's challenging socio-political landscape. Hear examples of youth-led dialogue, talk through strategies to break through organizational challenges and barriers and hear what the Y and other organizations/entities are doing to create safe spaces for these critical conversations with staff, participants, volunteers and the broader communities we collectively serve. Why is having these conversations so hard? Let's talk.

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

Don't Try to Fix What Ain't Broke: Ending "Conversion Therapy" with LGBTQ Youth in Faith Communities, Room: Vigrinia C
LGBTQ youth experience efforts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity as family rejection, resulting in negative health and mental health outcomes. This “conversion therapy” may be practiced by licensed therapists, but in many cases takes the form of informal “treatment” at the hands of faith leaders. Join us in discussing how "conversion therapy" manifests in faith communities and what faith leaders, youth-serving professionals, and families can do to help end these dangerous practices.

Carolyn Reyes, Esq., MSW, Youth Policy Counsel, National Center for Lesbian Rights; Lisbeth M. Melendez Rivera, Director of Latinx & Catholic Initiatives, Human Rights Campaign

Gender Diversity in Youth: How Systems Can Work Together to Support Their Health and Wellness to Eliminate Health Disparities, Room: Virginia B
Gender Diverse children face high rates of rejection, discrimination, victimization, homelessness, and life-time suicide attempt rates. This session will be taught from the collaborative perspective of a managed care organization and a provider agency they are contracted with. Discussions will include the implementation of federal laws and standards addressing equitable care as well as challenges and what can be done to eliminate them. Participants will learn how to create supportive environments which will reduce health disparities and improve the health and wellness of transgender and gender diverse children.

Amy D’Arpino, BSW, Inaugural Parent Advisory Council for Transgender Equality, Human Rights Campaign; Yvette Jackson, Director of Operations, Devereux Arizona

Intergenerational Queers: Creating Effective Youth-Adult Partnerships for LGBTQ Adults, Room: Balcony B
During this workshop, we will focus on preserving and protecting the progress we have made over the past eight years around making our schools safe for LGBTQ youth. Research has shown that campuses with GSA Clubs or similar student led clubs have less reported violence and name calling, feel safer, and that all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, report feeling more welcome and connected.  Participants will explore why queer intergenerational collaborations can be challenging and learn strategies for creating effective youth-adult partnerships. Queer adults face a multitude of challenges when attempting to work 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.

Christopher White, Director, Safe and Supportive Schools Project,Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network; Thomas Rodriguez, Project Coordinator, Safe and Supportive Schools Project, Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network

Telling Your Story to Cultivate Respect and Create Safer Space for LGBTQ Youth, Room: Hoover

Youth advocates are often asked to make the case for policies and programs that will create safer space for young people. This highly interactive session will teach you to think about your personal experiences, develop them into engaging narratives, and make a difference. With our opposition focused on shifting the debate using stereotypes and scare-tactics, LGBTQ people and allies need to know how to resist these efforts and how to reframe the conversation so that colleagues, friends and family understand the need for true equality.

Jamie Curtis, Field Manager, East Region, PFLAG National/ Straight For Equality

Things I Wish My Youth Service Provider Knew, Room: Balcony A
Hear directly from multiple LGBTQ+ youth as they discuss things they want you to know so you can be a culturally competent youth-serving professional. Particular attention will be spent on gender variance and ways to support gender nonconforming youth. At the conclusion of the formal presentation, there will be a panel featuring youth members who will answer questions from attendees.

Laura Ingram, L.M.H.C., Youth Program Director, Bloomington PRIDE’s Prism Youth Community; Prism’s Education and Training Committee, Youth Leadership Team, Bloomington PRIDE

Unconscious Bias – The Missing Link for Effective LGBTQ Inclusion, Room: Harding
The majority of diversity programs today (LGBTQ specific and otherwise) largely fail in their effectiveness because they do not focus on behavior change.  This workshop takes a deep look at the role of Unconscious bias and how an educator’s attitudes, values and beliefs influence and shape their behavior in the classroom and educational settings.  This workshop first helps educators identify the ways in which LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth experience classrooms, school environments, and communities.  Educators will then be asked to unpack and internalize their own stigma, prejudice, discrimination and bias and understand how all of these constructs affect LGBTQ-identified youth, and examine the five most common types of bias.  Educators will identify and develop new behaviors and habits that can be incorporated into their everyday classroom activities.

Cory Schneider, LMFT, Educational Consultant, Inclusion, Affirmative Foundations

What Do I Do? A Workshop for Understanding Health & HIV, Room: Virginia A

Even as we make tremendous progress in the fight for LGBTQ equality, who you are and where you live still has an enormous impact on how HIV is likely to affect your life. This workshop will explore the current realities of HIV — including new prevention strategies such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) — through the lens of supporting LGBTQ youth. Participants will leave this workshop more knowledgeable about HIV and better equipped to connect the youth in their lives with LGBTQ-affirming resources about HIV.

Noël Gordon Jr., Senior Program Specialist, Human Rights Campaign

Sunday, April 30, 2017
8:30 am to 9:30 am - Workshops E:


Amp Your Advocacy (Youth Only Workshop), Room: Delaware B
How and why should young activists use social, digital, and traditional media? This workshop teaches young people tips and tools to share their stories, experiences, and advocacy in the media to build stronger LGBTQ and ally youth communities.

Clare Kenny, Youth Engagement Strategist, GLAAD; Leah Juliett, Campus Ambassador, GLAAD

From Roadblocks to Bridges, Room: Balcony B
This workshop is for all participants of this conference in working at meeting the needs of youth and teens who have experienced sexual violence. This workshop will assist all professionals and significant others in their understanding of what sexual violence are for those from the LGBTQIAH+ youth. It will assist those in creating strategies for building bridges and making supports for these youth and their families/loved ones.

Eric Stiles, Lifespan Project Manager, The National Sexual Violence Resource Center; Taylor Teichman, Online Resource Specialist, The National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Health Disparities and Risk Behaviors among Gender Expansive Students, Room: Hoover
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 data from a new report based on the available Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data using an optional gender expression question.

Alison Gill, Esq., Consultant; Mary Beth Szydlowski, Senior Program Manager for School Health Equity, Advocates for Youth

Inviting LGBTQ+ Families as Fierce Advocates in Schools, Room: McKinely
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.

M. Clark Hoelscher, PhD, LGBTQ+ Program Specialist, Saint Paul Public Schools; Jason Bucklin, Coordinator, Out4Good

Navigating the "Human Barrier" When Seeking Trans Student Inclusion in Schools, Room: Virginia B
Many schools are resistant to training addressing the transgender student inclusion without understanding the reasons why. These barriers aren't unique to schools/districts considered conservative. Common questions include: “Why do all this for one student?” “We are concerned about the discomfort/safety of other students.” “An alternative restroom sounds like a great compromise.” “We have to consider the concerns of other parents.” “We can’t ensure the trans child’s safety.” We'll explore the origins of this resistance and provide concrete, tested ways to navigate a successful student transition.

Aidan Key, Executive Director, Gender Diversity

Our Family! A film for young children about family diversity, Room: Balcony A
Visibility is important! Children who see themselves reflected in the classroom feel more welcomed and included in learning. "Our Family" is a short film, which showcases elementary students sharing about their families: some with a mom and dad, a single mom or dad, or two moms or two dads. This session shows teachers and care providers how to use the free film and discussion guide to start conversations with young children about family diversity, including LGBTQ families. Participants will also receive a list of the latest inclusive children’s literature.

Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Director, Not in Our School, Not in Our Town, A Project of the Working Group; Tarah Fleming, Education Director, Our Family Coalition

Promoting Health for Adolescent Sexual Minority Males, Room: Virginia A
Broward County Schools and the CDC are part of a cooperative agreement that focuses on the education and health of Adolescent Sexual Minority Males (ASMM). This group is 13-19 years old. They are identified as ASMM because they either identify as gay, are attracted to other men or are sexually involved with other males. Their rates for HIV and STI infection are higher than other populations. We will review data collected and programs that are in place in our schools to provide services.

Kevin O’Connor, Ed.D., and Dominic Grasso, Ph.D., Instructional Facilitators, Broward County Public Schools, CDC/Dash Cooperative Agreement: "School-Centered HIV/STD Prevention for ASMM"

Safer Sex for Trans Bodies, Room: Maryland A-B
For too long, trans people have been left out of conversations about sex. No longer with Safer Sex for Trans Bodies, a first-of-its-kind resource guide to help trans people talk about their sexual health needs with people in their lives. This workshop will explore safer sex practices and other related topics through a moderated panel discussion with the team of advocates, providers, and community health workers who helped put the guide together. Participants will leave this workshop with copies of the guide and actionable information.

Noël Gordon Jr., Senior Program Specialist, Human Rights Campaign; Jewel Addy, External Affairs Manager, Whitman-Walker Health

"Stand Up and Stand OUT": Youth Risk Behavior Data as a Call to Action for School Administration, Room: Harding
The 2015 youth risk behavior survey illustrates that school settings for LGBTQ students is not getting better fast enough. With more than 40% of LGB students have seriously considered suicide, 29% reported having attempted suicide during the past 12 months, and 60% of LGB students reported having been so sad or hopeless they stopped doing some of their usual activities, students queer and trans students need to be front and center in the conversation around cultural and curricula change in schools.

Louis “Louie” Ortiz-Fonseca, Senior Program Manager, Advocates for Youth

The Paradox of Equality and the Journey Toward Equity, Room: Virginia C
The purpose of this workshop is to bridge the gap between queer adults and queer youth. Older generations do not necessarily think about the experiences of the younger generation, and sometimes the younger generation is unsure how to use what the older generation has learned and left behind. Many queer adults are skeptical about equal rights while queer youth feel entitled to be who they are and love who they love. Lessons learned and shared will result in a stronger and more cohesive community.

Colleen Logan, PhD, Program Director, Walden University; Dr. Michael Chaney, Associate Professor, Oakland University; Dr. Tonya Hammer, Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University; Dr. Jane Rheineck, Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University

The Teachable Moment: Responding to LGBTQ and Gender Comments and Questions, Room: Maryland C
Effectively responding to the teachable moment--in particular, related to LGBTQ, gender, and race topics--models for all students that the classroom will be a safe and respectful space to learn and thrive. Welcoming Schools knows what questions and comments elementary students often ask, and have suggested, age-appropriate responses to share with you. During the session, we will review and practice responses, so that participants are prepared to respond when the teachable moment occurs!

Johanna Eager, Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign

Wellness Among LGBTQ Young People: Exploring Voices from Focus Groups, Room: Delaware A
This workshop presents findings from five focus groups conducted with LGBTQ young people. We will explore focus group participants’ perspectives about what wellness means to them, the impact of stigma and intersecting identities on wellness, and what they need from adults to support them in being well. We will explore the benefits of focus group methods for meeting needs of LGBTQ young people and building community. We will also discuss implications of these findings in the provider setting and ways to build on insights shared.

Jenn Kwait, PhD, MHS, LGBT Research Manager, Whitman-Walker Health; Timothy Elliott, LICSW, Whitman-Walker Health

9:45 am to 10:45 am - Workshops F:


A School’s Duty: Respecting the Rights and Identities of LGBTQ and Gender-Expansive Youth, Room: Balcony A
From respecting the identities of LGBTQ and gender expansive youth to addressing anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment, there are a number of issues that schools must address when seeking to provide equal educational opportunity to LGBTQ and gender expansive youth. Public schools’ duties to LGBTQ and gender expansive students arise not only from state and federal statutes, but also from the U.S. Constitution. This workshop will tackle a number of the hot button issues schools face on a daily basis, including: bullying and harassment; formation of GSAs; freedom of expression in schools; participation in the Day of Silence; respecting the identity of transgender and gender expansive students; and access to sex-designated facilities and activities by transgender youth. Particularly, emphasis will be paid to legal landscape surrounding schools’ responsibility to treat transgender and gender expansive students with dignity and respect.

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal

Advocating For and With Transgender Youth, Room: Virginia B
Join Rebecca Kling, Community Storytelling Advocate at NCTE, for information on how to advocate for and with transgender youth. This workshop will provide updates on Title IX, suggestions for working in both supportive and non-supportive school environments, and ideas for responding to parental or administrative pushback.

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

Bearing the Cross: How to support LGBT youth through spiritual struggles, Room: Hoover
Though more and more LGBT adults are finding liberation through personal spiritual exploration and expression, the majority of young people are still under the religious guidance and mandates of their parents and guardians. This workshop is designed to equip adult allies with the knowledge and best practices to best support their young people dealing with religious oppression within their homes and/or faith communities. Participants will learn methods of providing comfort and peace of mind while maintaining professional boundaries.

Tiffany Adams, Founder & Senior Pastor | Transformational Speaker, Kingdom Outreach Fellowship | Faith Life Action

College Prep for the LGBTQ High School Students, Room: Balcony B
Campus Pride provides many services to help high school counselors, families and young people prepare for post-secondary education. Learn what resources are available ranging from the Campus Pride Index to LGBTQ-friendly college fairs to helpful guides. This session will review what is most important for LGBTQ youth in the college search process and ways to prepare for the first day of class. Individuals will also learn about the Campus Pride Scholarship Database.

Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director, Campus Pride

Connecting & Protecting Our LGBTQ Youth Through Tech, Room: Virginia A
Years before coming out, most LGBTQ youth have identified with, searched online for and in a lot of cases connected with someone who resembles their sexual orientation or gender identity through social apps, TV shows or other online connections. As supportive education professionals, family or friends, we are often on the front lines to support LGBTQ youth who face rejection or difficulties in their immediate family home but how do we make sure we are providing the best advice for accessing tools and networks online? We will empower you with resources and best practices to help LGBTQ youth connect and protect themselves around tech with experts who have lived and currently work at the intersection of tech and LGBTQ.

Christopher Wood, Executive Director, LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute; (Youth) Mary Hicks-Pope, Incredible LGBTQ Youth, Powerful Storyteller; (Youth Supporter) Sultan, Executive Director, Lost-n-Found Youth ATL; The Trevor Project Representative

Foster family acceptance: Understanding its role in the lives of LGBTQ youth, Room: McKinely
This workshop will examine the role that foster family acceptance plays in the lives of LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system. Specific attention will be given to a recent study comparing the experiences of LGBTQ youth with accepting foster families to those with rejecting families. The experiences of youth in care will be shared to emphasize many of the challenges that LGBTQ encounter as they navigate the foster care system. A framework with strategies for recruiting, assessing, and training affirming families will be explored.

Adam McCormick, Assistant Professor of Social Work, St. Edward’s University

Intersectionality & Privilege: Showing Up for LGBTQ Youth in More Ways Than One, Room: Delaware A
What does it mean to be intersectional? Critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term to mean that each person has multiple, intersecting identities within the web of oppression and privilege that shapes each person's individual experience. In this highly interactive session, we will explore this term and others in order to provide an opportunity for youth-serving professionals to unpack how our privileged identities, in particular, may sometimes limit our ability to show up for LGBTQ youth in all areas of their lives. Specifically, participants will explore how their own socialization has had an impact on their understanding of who LGBTQ youth are and what it is they're facing. The workshop will close with a focus on developmental next steps appropriate to each participant, many of which can be applied immediately at the conference and the next day at work.

Johanna Eager, Director, Welcoming Schools, Human Rights Campaign; Noël Gordon Jr., Senior Program Specialist, HIV Prevention & Health Equity, Human Rights Campaign

Responding to School and Community Concerns about Gender Inclusive Schools, Room: Maryland C
Have you worried about having the “right” response if a parent questions actions to embrace all genders in your school? Are you concerned that district administrators think efforts to be gender-inclusive conflict with other fundamental goals of your school? Have you seen colleagues let fear of backlash stop them from “doing the right thing”? This interactive workshop will provide a framework to respectfully address these and other common concerns and provide an opportunity to develop and practice language related to gender-inclusive schools.

Kim Westheimer, MA, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Gender Spectrum

Socialize and Mobilize: How queer youth are shifting the media paradigm for social good, Room: Virginia C
Many of today’s LGBTQ youth are unapologetically out online and are creating new spaces for education, engagement, and action. Together, they are leveraging social media to form and re-form their own identities publicly, and shift the greater LGBTQ advocacy landscape into a broader, more intersectional movement. Our workshop will provide attendees with student-activist case studies that provide insight into how Gen-Y and Gen-Z LGBTQ youth are accelerating acceptance online, and what they want and need from their support systems, allies, and leaders in advocacy.

Clare Kenny, Strategist, Youth Engagement, GLAAD

Supporting for Success: Guiding & Coaching Young LGBTQ Job-Seekers, Room: Maryland A-B
Entering the workforce is a rite of passage for many Americans and one that involves unique challenges for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender job-seekers. In the absence of federal laws prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, LGBTQ youth face practical concerns as they begin their careers. This workshop will explore best practices for practitioners and youth development professionals on how to best support young LGBTQ people in navigating the intricacies of entering the workforce.

Leslie Hall, MSW, Senior Manager, HBCU Program, Human Rights Campaign; Beck Bailey, Deputy Director, Employee Engagement, Human Rights Campaign; Lynn E. Linde, Ed. D., Senior Director, Center for Counseling Practice, Policy and Research, American Counseling Association

Supporting students who are LGBTQ and People of Color in the K-12 environment, Room: Harding
The majority of our teaching force in America remains white and straight, despite the diverse student population in terms of ethnicities and LGBTQ orientations. White teachers have a great responsibility to meet the needs of all of their students. This workshop will look at the doubled oppression many students who are both LGBTQ and non-white face, how schools contribute to this, and how educators can be change-makers. You'll leave with concrete strategies for influencing change and a sense of urgency to better support students.

Blair Mishleau, Technology Specialist, KIPP DC Heights Academy; Raymond Crenshaw, 2nd Grade Lead Teacher, KIPP DC Heights Academy

The Inner Activist in You! (Youth Only Workshop), Room: Delaware B
Have you ever wondered how you can use your voice as a youth? Have you wondered what it takes to be an activist in your school or community? Are you passionate about social change within the LGBTQ youth community? Then this workshop is for you!

Addison Moore, Youth Fellow, SMYAL; Tiara Gendi, Youth Fellow, SMYAL

Have questions?

Contact us with questions or to request additional information.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who attended our fourth annual Time to THRIVE Conference! Be sure to save the date for our next event—Feb. 16-18, 2018 in Orlando, Fla.