About the Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference
The goal of the Youth Action Conference is to create a positive, safe, and educational foundation for the development of LGBTQ youth leaders within Pennsylvania. For the 2017 conference, there will be a specific emphasis on securing economic opportunity and access for young LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, focusing on issues such as ending rural poverty and LGBTQ youth homelessness. The Youth Action Conference will provide the necessary tools to cultivate a generation of LGBTQ youth leaders to advance freedom and justice in our Beloved communities.
What is the Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference?
The Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference, or YAC (‘yack’), is an annual social justice conference run by and for young Pennsylvanians. The YAC is held over three days to strengthen and grow a coordinated LGBTQ youth movement in Pennsylvania. Hosted by the the Pennsylvania Youth Congress Foundation (PYC), the YAC is the first Pennsylvania LGBTQ conference for young people – by young people. PYC formed in 2011 as Pennsylvania’s first and only statewide LGBTQ youth advocacy organization and became the first youth-led statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization in the nation.
What will the sessions be like?
Sessions are selected by the Youth Action Conference planning team through established networks and proposals from youth and student leaders. All sessions are led by youth or adult allies working with young leaders. Each session is meant to be engaging and be based in group collaboration. While many session leaders will present information in the beginning of the workshop, each workshop is meant to encourage meaningful group dialogue to explore important issues facing LGBTQ youth and how we can strategically organize throughout the year toward advancing freedom and justice for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians.
How is the Youth Action Conference funded?
The conference will be made possible directly by registration fees, local sponsors, and fundraising efforts by the Youth Action planning team. As students and youth leaders, we are committed to executing a high-quality and as low cost per-attendee event as possible.
How was PYC, the host organization of the conference, formed?
LGBTQ student youth leaders began statewide organizing and coordinating together between GSAs in 2010. In early 2011, the student leaders realized the high importance of transitioning from an informal social network into a coordinated advocacy coalition, and incorporated the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) as an organization in Pennsylvania. In 2015, PSEC became the Pennsylvania Youth Congress Foundation, in recognition of its values as an organization working on behalf of all young LGBTQ Pennsylvanians through public policy and advocacy.
PYC has grown to be connected with over 100 LGBTQ student and youth organizations across the state. Every organization that affiliates with PYC has ample opportunities to direct the agenda of the organization. PYC leaders meet regularly and communicate on a daily basis to plan actions and programs, primarily toward the advocacy in support of the Pennsylvania Safe Schools Act.
The 2017 YAC will mark the 22nd statewide convening and sixth large-scale conference convened PYC.