Schedule & Workshops

15th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth Schedule*

7:00-8:00AM: Registration

8:00-9:00AM: Opening Session and Keynote

9:00-9:20AM: Break/Exhibitors

9:20-10:10AM: Workshop Session 1

10:10-10:30AM: Break/Exhibitors

10:30-11:20AM: Workshop Session 2

11:20-12:20PM: Lunch Session and Keynote

12:20-12:40PM: Break/Exhibitors

12:40-1:30PM: Workshop Session 3

1:30-1:50PM: Break/Exhibitors

1:50-2:40PM: Workshop Session 4

2:40-3:00PM: Break/Exhibitors

3:00PM: Closing Session

Past Workshop Sessions Have Included…

Walk the Talk: Creating Inclusive Classrooms – Mark Busch, Iowa Safe Schools

As educators, it is important to not just claim allyship, but show it in the classroom. This workshop will discuss ways that teachers, paraeducators, and administrators can create more inclusive schools for LGBTQ youth on a daily basis. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and get direct answers from a former teacher.

Understanding Trans Student Rights – Nicole Proesch, Iowa Department of Education

Understanding the law can be intimidating, especially if you feel your rights have been violated. This session will cover in detail both state and federal law regarding protections for transgender students, how these protections have evolved over time, and subsequent guidance to schools, teachers, parents, and students on what rights transgender students have at school.

Stories of Acceptance and Love: A Parent Panel

When a student comes out as LGBTQ, their parent must also experience their own transformation. This workshop will feature Iowa parents telling their honest stories of their child’s coming out journey, and how their experiences have motivated them to fiercely support the LGBTQ community.

Intersectionality in GSAs – Iowa GSA Network’s Student Leadership Council

Student leaders will explore the importance of intersectionality in GSAs, and how diverse identities can impact how youth experience both privilege and oppression. Participants will be given practical tools and ideas to bring back to their groups that promote diverse and inclusive LGBTQ student groups. Come ready to learn, share, and put plans into action!

Healthy Relationships, Healthy You – Morgan Dodge, Iowa Safe Schools

Relationships, whether romantic or not, are an essential part of being human. However, that doesn’t always mean that every relationship is good for us. In this workshop, participants will explore what healthy relationships and personal boundaries look like, how to build a support network, and self-care.

Pride Camp is “Not Your Typical Gay Camp”! – Dana Van Renterghem, Iowa Safe Schools

The only LGBTQ youth summer camp in the Midwest, Pride Camp is an epic, life-changing program for LGBTQ and Allied youth ages 14-18 to learn, grow, and connect with each other…and it’s a FULL WEEK this year. This workshop will give participants the opportunity to ask questions and find out everything there is to know about Pride Camp, how to register and apply for scholarships, and get a sneak peek at some of the activities campers will experience!

HIV, STI’s, and PrEP, Oh My! – Greg Gross & Ashley Parker – The Project of Primary Health Care

1 in 4 people will be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by the age of 24 – do you have the knowledge needed to protect yourself? This workshop will dive into the basics of HIV, STIs, and PrEP. Presenters will discuss modes of transmission, risk reduction strategies, and resources available at the Project of Primary Health Care, Inc.

Let’s Talk About it: LGBTQ Mental Health – Joby Holcomb, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Ending the silence around mental health and being LGBTQ is one of the many ways students can support each other. This workshop will explore common mental health concerns of LGBTQ youth, and what resources are available. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions in a safe and supportive atmosphere and get honest answers from an expert in the field of mental health.

Advocacy – It’s Everyone’s Job: Legislator Panel

This workshop will feature Iowa legislators and their perspective on creating a safer and more inclusive community for all students. Come with questions on getting involved in different movements around the state and hear directly from leaders on those issues.

Enough is Enough: Gun Violence in Schools & Communities – Moms Demand Action & Students Demand Action

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. Students Demand Action is an initiative launched by Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund. This initiative, led by the students of America – has turned outrage into action.  Participants will leave the workshop with tools and ideas to take back to their community on creating a safer school for all students.

…But is this College Gay Enough? – Ric Tennenbaum, Iowa Safe Schools

Sure, maybe the campus has a pretty library or interesting classes…but is it gay enough?! We’re asking the hot questions, and we’ll chat about what to look for in an LGBTQ-inclusive campus, what to avoid, and how to ask the important questions. Everyone will leave the workshop with a checklist and a bump of confidence for finding the right campus for you.

Queering the College Experience – Queer Campus Coalition’s College Leadership Board

This interactive panel of queer college students will discuss being LGBTQ on Iowa’s college campuses. Topics of conversation will include student organizing and activism, finding community, and being out in college programming. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panel and get real answers from real Iowa college students.

Ain’t No Lie, Baby… Bi, Bi, Bi – Drake Rainbow Union

How can we as a community discuss what it means to be the largest group within the LGBTQ community? This workshop will focus on the often invisible majority of the LGBTQ community, and how students and educators can build inclusive spaces for all students! Come ready to learn from college students about their success in building movements around creating positive change.

A Discussion of Faith and Identity: Interfaith Panel

Many faiths and denominations have become reconciling communities, meaning they have made a commitment to being in loving ministry with all people without prejudice, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, to truly have “open hearts, open minds, and open doors.” Come to this workshop to hear from three leaders of different faith communities about their efforts to welcome and include all people into their congregation.

How Do You Know If You’re Ready? Careful consideration before consensual coupling: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

Have you ever made a really tough decision and even after you made the decision, you weren’t 100% sure it was the right one? Making decisions about sex can be even more difficult since everyone has different values and beliefs about the topic. This session will look at some questions a young person might consider before taking that step with a partner. The session will provide an opportunity for participants to think of respectful and caring language and actions, what it means to engage others in consensual and non-exploitative behaviors, and consider how to protect their own and their partner’s sexual health.