2021 Time to THRIVE Workshops

Take a look at our workshop schedule from our 2021 conference. The topics covered in the 2021 workshops were carefully chosen in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance data, and focusing on evidence-based actions youth-serving professionals can take to improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth. The CDC’s YRBS survey is the only national tool designed to monitor a wide range of priority health-risk behaviors among representative samples of students, including LGBTQ youth.

The data shows that LGBTQ youth continue to live in a state of crisis. LGBTQ young people are still experiencing disproportionate rates of bullying and discrimination, poor mental health outcomes, including a greater risk of suicide, higher rates of tobacco and substance use, and many other challenges as a result of not feeling safe and affirmed. The selected workshop topics are tied to directly addressing the issues outlined by the YRBS data. By focusing on these topics, we hope our attendees will have the attitudes, knowledge, and skills to advocate for and to create safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth everywhere!

Take a look at HRC’s analysis of the CDC’s 2019 YRBS data and a new checklist created to guide youth-serving professionals on research-based practices that make a positive difference for LGBTQ young people. Our Time to THRIVE workshop topics will further guide our attendees on these actions so they can create equitable opportunities for LGBTQ youth to thrive!

Time to THRIVE is strongly committed to an intersectional approach in all plenaries, workshops and conversations. To learn more about putting intersectionality into practice as a youth-serving professional, take a look at our free webinar by clicking here.


1:00 - 3:00 PM PT/4:00 - 6:00 PM ET:


Are you interested in building support for LGBTQ+ youth, but don’t know where to start? Then join SMYAL for a deep dive into the world of LGBTQ+ terminology and best practices, and leave with a toolkit of tangible next steps for building a safe and inclusive space at your school, center, or workplace. This workshop is designed for youth workers, teachers, and other youth-serving professionals who are beginning their journey in understanding LGBTQ+ identities.

Addison Moore, After School Programs Manager, SMYAL

3:15 - 4:00 PM PT/6:15 - 7:00 PM ET:

Post Bostock: 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've 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 particularly in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock and the recent White House Executive Order.

Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director, Human Rights Campaign

WORKSHOPS A: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

9:30 - 10:15 AM PT/12:30 - 1:15 PM ET

Creating LGBTQ-Inclusive Spaces

Creating a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ youth can greatly impact their mental health and well-being. By using inclusive language and making a visibly safe space, LGBTQ youth are more likely to seek out the support they need and thrive. This workshop will cover practical suggestions on creating a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ youth, including visual aids and suggested language to use when speaking with colleagues, youth and parents/guardians.

Jennifer Becker, Vice President of Programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County

Developing Policies That Promote Safety and Inclusion

Human Rights Campaign

School policies don’t always reflect the experiences or needs of LGBTQ youth resulting in unsafe and even hostile environments. This workshop will cover what policies to consider for youth-serving organizations, including model language that promotes safety and inclusion for LGBTQ youth. Practical suggestions on advocating for LGBTQ inclusive policies will also be discussed.

Alison Delpercio, Director of All Children All Families, Human Rights Campaign

WORKSHOPS B: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

10:45 - 11:30 AM PT/1:45 - 2:30 PM ET

Creating LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive Elementary Schools

Welcoming Schools

In this workshop, we will share concrete strategies and actionable steps to create LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive PK - 5 schools. Hear directly from students in our short video about what they wish teachers would do to create a more inclusive environment. Participants will leave this workshop with tools and resources to create safe, affirming school environments where students and their families feel welcomed.

Cheryl Greene, Director of Training

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Substance Use Prevention

Truth Initiative

According to recently released data from the CDC, 30% of LGBTQ youth have tried smoking cigarettes and 33% have used other substances such as cocaine, meth, and steroids. Comparatively, only 16% of non-LGBTQ have tried cigarettes and only 6% have tried other substances. This workshop will cover the reasons behind the higher rates of substance use among LGBTQ youth using the latest data, and effective tools for preventing substance use from successful programs.

Alex I. Parks, Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships and Programs, Community and Youth Engagement

WORKSHOPS C: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

12:00 - 12:45 PM PT/3:00 - 3:45 PM ET

Creating LGBTQ-Inclusive Classrooms Through Anti-Bias Education

Anti-Defamation League

In this workshop, participants will learn actionable steps for creating LGBTQ-inclusive classrooms through anti-bias education. Attendees will learn about recognizing bias and the harm it inflicts, build an understanding of the value and benefits of diversity, improve intergroup relations skills, and confront anti-LGBTQ bias, racism, and all other forms of bigotry.

Caterina Rodriguez, Director of PreK-12 Education Programs

HIV Education and Prevention

Washington DC Public Schools

This workshop will address the risk factors contributing to increases in HIV infection rates among LGBTQ youth, the latest options available to youth to prevent or treat HIV and how best to help LGBTQ youth access affirming and confidential health care, treatment or prevention.

Wesley Thomas, Manager, LGBTQ & Sexual Health Program, District of Columbia Public Schools

WORKSHOPS D: Thursday, February 11, 2021

9:30 - 10:15 AM PT/12:30 - 1:15 PM ET

LGBTQ-Inclusive Sexual Health Education

Advocates for Youth

Sexual health education standards vary across the country, which can often result in the exclusion of experiences of LGBTQ youth. Without accurate comprehensive sexual health education that is reflective of their life experiences, LGBTQ youth often don't have the necessary tools to make safe, healthy, informed decisions. This workshop will cover why LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health education is critically important for all youth, what should be included, and what to do when facing pushback from administrators or community members.

Caitlin Viccora, Program Manager, Healthy & Supportive Schools

Addressing LGBTQ Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, estimates that more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S. Research demonstrates that LGBTQ youth face unique mental health challenges and are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their straight/cisgender peers. This workshop combines research, case studies, and practical steps for preventing suicide and promoting resiliency among LGBTQ youth.

Chris Bright, Director of Public Training

WORKSHOPS E: Thursday, February 11, 2021

10:45 - 11:30 AM PT/1:45 - 2:30 PM ET

Creating Active and Sustainable Gender and Sexuality Alliances


Gender and Sexuality Alliances, or GSAs, offer LGBTQ youth a crucial space for affirming support to express themselves and discover their identities in a safe and welcoming environment. Educators have the opportunity to provide this space by sponsoring a GSA as an advisor and acting as an advocate for safe and inclusive environments. This workshop will cover how GSAs contribute to a safe and inclusive school for all students, the key features of an active and sustainable GSA, and how to respond to potential pushback from district officials or members of the community.

a.t. furuya, Senior Youth Programs Manager

Working with Parents and Guardians to Support Their LGBTQ Youth

PFLAG National

Family and guardian acceptance directly impacts the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth. Rejecting behaviors from family members increases the risks of suicidality, substance use, and depressive symptoms for LGBTQ youth people. This workshop covers the importance of family acceptance and how to support parents/guardians on the journey to supporting their LGBTQ child, including helpful resources.

Jamie Curtis, Director of Chapter Engagement

WORKSHOPS F: Thursday, February 11, 2021

11:45 - 12:30 PM PT/2:45 - 3:30 PM ET

Effectively Responding to Resistance or Pushback

Welcoming Schools

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to review typical scenarios in which schools and school districts persevered and continued to support LGBTQ youth despite pushback. Talking points and strategies for effectively addressing resistance and pushback will be included in this workshop. Relevant tools and resources will also be covered in this workshop.

Michele Hatchell, Welcoming Schools Expert Trainer

What Affirming Support Looks Like for Parents and Guardians of LGBTQ Youth

Parents for Transgender Equality National Council

Parent or guardian acceptance is a pivotal factor in health outcomes for LGBTQ youth. For parents or guardians of transgender and non-binary youth, it can be difficult to know what affirming and effective support looks like or what resources exist to provide further guidance. In this workshop, parents and guardians of transgender and non-binary youth will discuss their journeys, including helpful examples of how best to support and advocate for their transgender or non-binary child.

Stephen Chukumba, PTEC Member; Ellen Kahn, Senior Director, Programs and Partnerships; Heather Kester, Parent of an HRC Youth Ambassador; Jennifer Solomon, PTEC Member; Lizette Trujillo, PTEC Member