12th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth Workshop Sessions

Be Brave: The Dru Project
Brandon Wolf, Vice-President of The Dru Project, Survivor of Pulse Shooting
This featured workshop will hear from Brandon Wolf, who survived the Pulse shooting, and lost his best friend Drew Leinonen that night.  Brandon along with Drew’s other friends started an organization called The Dru Project which helps support Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).  Drew won the Anne Frank Award for his work starting a GSA when he was in high school.  Brandon continues to advocate for the LGBTQ community and honor the 49 victims of the Pulse massacre.

Be Engaged: Legislative Roundtable
Senator Matt McCoy
Representative Liz Bennett
This roundtable conversation with Iowa’s out elected leaders – Senator Matt McCoy and Representative Liz Bennett is your opportunity to discuss issues impacting LGBTQ youth and possible legislative solutions.

Be Supportive – Creating Safe Spaces for All Students

Stephanie Brennan, Des Moines Lincoln High School
2016 Educator of the Year, Iowa Safe Schools
Are you supportive, but not sure how to be an ‘out’ ally for LGBTQ youth? This workshop will present information on how adults can be effective allies to LGBTQ students. Ideas like confronting homophobic and transphobic language and promoting gender-inclusion are just some of the takeaways from this workshop.

Be Aware: Understanding the State of LGBTQ Rights
Naomi Goldberg, Policy & Research Director, Movement Advancement Project
Alex Sheldon, Research Analyst, Movement Advancement Project
State and federal laws that cover schools, healthcare and the child welfare system impact the lives of LGBTQ young people particularly transgender and gender nonconforming people. Join us to compare laws in Iowa to those in other states and across the country. We will discuss pro-LGBT legislation and areas for more progress.

My Name’s what Counts
Taylor Teichman, Online Resource Specialist, National Sexual Violence Resource Center
This interactive workshop will explore the intersections between LGBTQ youth and sexual violence; and how to assist youth in thriving during their lived experiences. The presenter will share research, information, and tools for providing a trauma-informed environment and approach to support.

Understanding Intersectionality
Members of the Iowa Safe Schools Student Leadership Council
This workshop will explore the issue of intersectionality and provide basic information on this important topic.  The multiple identities LGBTQ may have impacts the experiences for students.  This is a great 101 session for those seeking a basic understanding of this critical topic.

Exploring Intersectionality
Members of the Iowa Safe Schools Student Leadership Council
This workshop will expand the topic of intersectionality and provide more detailed information on the topic.  Issues to be discussed include privilege and overlapping identities.  This session builds upon a more basic understanding of this issue.

Be Revolutionary: Building, Sustaining, and Growing GSAs in Iowa
Becky Smith, Iowa GSA Network Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools
Participants will learn about Gay-Straight Alliances, and the important role they play in school climate across the state. Leave with knowledge of how to start a GSA, why they are important, and the benefits of being a part of the Iowa GSA Network, a new program from Iowa Safe Schools.

Be Empowered: Standing Up Against Bullying 
Joshua Merritt, LGBTQ Youth Advocate, Iowa Safe Schools
LGBTQ youth continue to experience bullying and harassment disproportionately compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers.  This workshop will explore the unique challenges facing LGBTQ students and discuss ways to create a more inclusive school environment.  Topics will include the Iowa anti-bullying law, reporting procedures for bullying, and ways to develop a more inclusive environment.

Be Informed: Ask the Doctor
Dr. Joe Freund, Franklin Family Medical Practice
This workshop is designed for students to have an opportunity to ask a doctor any question.  It can be intimidating asking questions to adults about health topics and this session is designed to answer any question you may have in a supportive and safe environment.

Pledge of Aloha
Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu
Hinaleimoana has spent the last 30 years in various positions of leadership primarily connected with education and the Hawaiian community.  She worked formally as an outreach worker within the transgender community and as a teacher of 13 years to K-12 students that attended Halau Lokahi Public Charter School.  Her story is the focus of the documentary Kumu Hina.

Fats, Fems, & Asians Welcome
Kim-Chi, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8
Kim Chi is a 7′ tall, live-action anime character and high-fashion model. Born in the U.S., raised in South Korea, and currently based in Chicago, Kim is a cultural hybrid with a preternatural understanding of style and conceptual fashion.  Her story of acceptance on RuPaul’s Drag Race caught the attention of many fans and she became a fan favorite.  In particular her commentary on the often used phrase on social media “No Fats, No Fems, No Asians” resonated with many.

Lady Valor
Kristin Beck, first female Navy Seal
Kristin Beck, born Christopher Beck is known to be the first female Navy SEAL.She was interviewed by Anderson Cooper in June of 2013 and quickly became known throughout the world. Soon after she became a civil rights activist giving speeches nation wide.  Her story was featured in the CNN documentary – Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story.

Queering Consent and Relationships
Kimberly Andresen-Reed, Mobile Advocacy Specialist, Transformative Healing
Marissa Gordinier, Prevention & Outreach Specialist, Transformative Healing
We’ll be navigating consent, healthy relationships, and aspects of unhealthy relationships through a queer lens. Our goal is to create space for queer identities and give you tools to practice consent in your everyday life. We use an activity zine—so you can take consent with you!

Knowledge is Power: Be a Sexual Health Advocate
Conner Spinks, CLEAR Counselor/Prevention Specialst at The Project of Primary Health Care
Jacob Linduski, BA  Prevention Specialist at The Project of Primary Health Care
Do you know the basics about HIV and STDs?  Can you dispel the myths that are widely propagated in your schools?  Knowledge is fundamental to empowering ourselves and others to be healthy individuals in body and mind.  This fun and interactive session will cover the basics and allow plenty of time to answer your questions and clear up any misconceptions.  We’ll end by highlighting how you can take the information back and advocate for healthy behavior with your peers and create change in your school communities.

Fundraising for Your GSA
Scott Heldt, Director of Development & Communications, Iowa Safe Schools
This workshop session will explore activities to help fundraise for your GSA.  We will explore how to plan for your fundraising needs for the year and give proven ideas other GSAs use!  Come prepared to learn and take away an activity or two you can use at your school.

Where to Begin? Starting a GSA
Becky Smith, Iowa GSA Network Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools
Starting a GSA can be a difficult task.  Where do you begin?  How do you get started? Where do you go for more information?  This workshop session will provide information for any student or potential advisor on how to get started on a GSA!