3rd Annual Iowa Trans Education Summit

3rd Annual Iowa Trans Education Summit

WHEN: Friday, November 15th | 9:00pm – 3:00pm

WHERE: Iowa Events Center | 730 3rd St, Des Moines, IA 50309


HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: Comfort Inn Event Center | 929 3rd Street, Des Moines, IA 50309 | Click Here to Book Hotel Room

No matter who you are, you deserve a safe space to learn, work, and thrive. The mission of the 3rd Trans Education Summit is to discuss the ways we can create supportive environments for our transgender and gender non-conforming students, coworkers, and community members.  Attendees will hear from experts in the field – including mental health providers, doctors, education leaders, youth advocates, and community leaders – and the testimonials of students, parents, and community members. 


Educators, business professionals, youth-serving professionals, collegiate leaders, and community advocates are all encouraged to attend! Three separate workshop strands will provide attendees with a dynamic overview of the latest efforts to advocate for the trans community: Workplace Development, Support & Advocacy, and Students & Education.


Registration is open for you to bring your team of innovative leaders and colleagues to this event! The 3rd Annual Iowa Trans Education Summit will take place on November 15, 2019, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.


8:00-9:00am        Registration/Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:45am         Keynote Speaker
9:45-10:00am       Break/Meet with Exhibitors
10:00-10:45am     Workshop Session #1
10:45-11:00am      Break/Meet with Exhibitors
11:00-11:45am       Workshop Session #2
11:45-12:45pm       Lunch Session
12:45-1:00pm        Break/Meet with Exhibitors
1:00-1:45pm          Workshop Session #3
1:45-2:00pm          Break/Meet with Exhibitors
2:00-2:45pm         Workshop Session #4

Morning Keynote:

Councilwoman Aime Wichtendahl

Aime Wichtendahl is Iowa’s first transgender elected official. Elected to the Hiawatha City Council in 2015 for a 4 year term in 2015. In her first term she worked to increase the minimum wage in Linn County, increase new small business development, and reduced property taxes. During the recent Legislative Session she stood proudly with activists and allies from across Iowa against anti-transgender legislation.

We are excited to hear Councilwoman Wichtendahl speak on the power of embracing your identity and public advocacy!


Lunchtime Keynote:

Through their Eyes – The Stories of Trans Students in Iowa

Listen to their stories of trans students from Iowa and how they express their true identities and navigate through the schools and communities in which they live. These stories will be a powerful testament to the progress we have made in including trans and gender non-conforming individuals into our communities and the ways in which we can continue to make our environments more safe, supportive, and welcoming.

Workshop Descriptions:

The workshops have been tagged into specific tracks based on the backgrounds and interests of attendees. On the day of the event, you can decide whether you want to attend a combination of sessions from several tracks, or you can attend all the sessions of one specific track.


– Workplace Development Track –

Panel Discussion: Out in the Workplace

In this session, participants will listen to a panel of trans and gender non-conforming adults. They will share their experiences navigating through the coming out in their workplaces, and they will highlight the challenges and barriers that continue to exist. This will be a space where participants can ask questions and get meaningful information to take back to their organizations.


Transition Forward Project – Building Trans Inclusive Businesses and Organizations

Shea Daniels – DWOLLA

Have you thought about what you or your company would do if a co-worker came out to you as transgender? While some organizations have great policies and support in place, for a lot of folks this is a difficult space to navigate, and one that is only negotiated when personal stakes are at their highest. It doesn’t have to be this way – join us and learn how to do the work to build organizations that are inclusive of transgender and gender non-conforming employees!


Know Your Rights: Trans in the Workplace & Community

Andrew Greenberg & Alexis Rowe – Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Despite significant advancements within the LGBTQ community in recent years, there is still work to do in our communities and workplaces to advocate for trans and gender non-conforming people. In this session, specialists in civil rights will outline key rights for trans and gender non-conforming people inside and outside of the office. This will be a safe space to ask questions of experts in the field.


– Wellness and Advocacy Track –

“But Wait… You’re Trans?”

Morgan Dodge – Iowa Safe Schools
In this session, participants will learn about the basics of gender and gender identity, importance of names and pronouns, and experiences of trans students and adults. This will be a safe space for participants unfamiliar with the trans population to ask questions and get resources from an Iowa Safe Schools staff member.

Panel Discussion: The Perspectives from Parents

In this session, participants will listen to a panel of parents of trans and gender non-conforming children. Listen to their stories as they share about navigating through their child’s coming out, transition, and overall acceptance. This will be a space where participants can ask questions and get meaningful information to take back to their organizations.


Healthcare 101: Understanding Transitioning and Health Care Needs

Dr. Amy Bingaman – UnityPoint LGBTQ Clinic

Transgender people face numerous health disparities as well as stigma, discrimination, and a lack of access to quality care. In this session, participants will learn about the options for gender affirmation, and they will be able to navigate the needs to trans and gender non-comforming students and employees. This will be a safe space for participants ask questions and get answers from a practicing doctor from an LGBTQ health clinic.


Express Yourself – Supporting Identity Development in Trans Students and Youth Adults

Joby Holcomb – Licensed Mental Health Therapist

In this session, participants will review current research and trends in trans identity development. Through the lens of a mental health professional, participants will learn about the negative effects of social stigma, family rejection, and minority stress. This session will also include a conversation on how leaders can create safe spaces which support transgender identity development and increase personal resiliency.


– Educational Supports Track –


Law and You: Transgender Policy Considerations for Your Schools

Nicole Proesch – Attorney, Iowa Department of Education

Ensuring our trans and gender non-conforming students feel safe and supported is of utmost importance, and there are specific policies and procedures that schools should follow. In this session, participants will learn how state and federal law addresses gender identity in our schools.


Trans Youth Support at DMPS

Jake Troja – Director of School Climate Transformation, Des Moines Public Schools

Come here from Des Moines Public Schools as they explain the steps they have taken to ensure every student, including trans and gender non-conforming youth, feel safe and welcomed. From GSA supports to modifications in digital campus systems, participants will learn from district leadership the steps they have taken in LGBTQ supports.


Boys, Girls, and Being Yourself: Using Children’s Books to Advance Social Awareness

Mark Busch – Director of Education, Iowa Safe Schools

A majority of educators feel unconfident and ill-equipped to foster conversations on LGBTQ issues in the classroom. In this session, a professional development specialist will share lesson plans that provide elementary educators an opportunity to discuss LGBTQ issues in the classroom. Participants will have the time to reflect on their own teaching and gain access to dynamic classroom resources.


“Trans”-itioning into College: Navigating the Postsecondary Experience

Ric Tennenbaum – Queer Campus Coalition Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools

Unique challenges exist for trans and gender-noncomforming students as they navigate through their college and postsecondary training experiences. In this session, participants will learn how to best prepare students as they consider their postsecondary goals, and they will be able to get resources from an expert in the field.

More Workshops to Come!


Are you interested in exhibiting at the 3rd Annual Iowa Trans Education Summit? Click here to register as an exhibitor.