EXAMPLE YAC SESSIONS
Saturday, April 9
Session I (10:45 AM – 12:00 PM)
There’s No Such Thing As A Single Issue Struggle
In a world of #blacklivesmatter, gay marriage, and Laverne Cox, what exactly does it mean to be an LGBTQ youth of color who sits at the intersection of heterosexism, cissexism, racism, and adultism? How do we experience the world? What does the world we wish for look like? And how can we get there? Led by the Justice League from The Attic Youth Center, this workshop dives into our lived experiences as queer youth of color in a world that sometimes feels like it’d rather we weren’t. Through provoking activities, participants will explore their own understanding of intersectional queer youth identities and social justice in the 21st century. And you won’t leave empty handed! We’re going to collectively dream up ways of creating the change that’ll disrupt oppression and bring freedom to us all – and set plans to put those dreams into action!
Hazel Edwards – Justice League Member, The Attic Youth Center
Pau’laijha Sparrow – Justice League Member, The Attic Youth Center
Rahsaan Galloway – Justice League Member, The Attic Youth Center
Creating Safer Communities: Harm Reduction, Access, Advocacy
Staff and Members from RHD’s Morris Home, the only residential drug and alcohol treatment program for transgender individuals will explore how we could support safer communities for trans folks in recovery. We will explore health disparities in this community, how a harm reduction approach can increase safety for substance users and people working in the sex industry and other survival economies, and commit to action plans to create more inclusive, informed, and safe spaces. We will talk about how our innovative model provides trauma informed, empowering services, and learn from the lived experiences of Morris Home members.
Laura Sorensen – Director, The Morris Home
Andrew Spiers – Therapist, The Morris Home
Kade Collins – Interim Program Supervisor, The Morris Home
How We Win: Securing LGBTQ Justice in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania remains a difficult place to be openly-LGBTQ under the law. There are no laws currently in effect that have been adopted by our state legislature to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination or violence in our schools and communities. In order to demand our full equality under local and state laws, we must be strategic in all our efforts. This session will provide you with a clear understanding of LGBTQ civil rights in Pennsylvania – our history, present, and future agenda from Harrisburg. Through collaborative work, you will learn about important tools you can use in your communities to advance critical social and economic justice work.
Jason Landau Goodman – Executive Director, Pennsylvania Youth Congress
Transfeminism: Activism vs. Academia
From Greek life to dormitories, almost every aspect of higher education is gendered. This divide creates a challenging situation for transgender students both inside and outside of the classroom. Often, trans students can feel torn between their commitment as students and as activists. This workshop will explore how transfeminism can be a tool for linking academia and activism to benefit transgender students. Drawing on my own experiences as a trans student and activist, as well as examples from my research, this session will look at both the lived experiences and the theoretical framework of this relationship. Additionally, perspectives from participants will be encouraged to create a dialogue around the intersection of trans activism and academia.
Taylan Stulting – Bucknell University ’16
Session II (2:45 PM – 4:00 PM)
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Doing Something Powerful With Your Privilege
When a conversation about societal privilege arises, some complain that they can’t change the circumstances of their birth, others may feel they are being attacked for who they are, and some just become uncomfortable and decide to leave a conversation. Privilege can stem from a person’s socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, personal ability, and so many more places! It is not unknown that people with certain privileges listen to those they perceive as similar to themselves. This is especially true in terms of hiring practices, for example, people in hiring positions will unconsciously see someone similar to them as more qualified for a job than someone they perceive as dissimilar. In terms of queer advocacy efforts, once one acknowledges their own privileges, and becomes comfortable owning them, they can start using them to spread acceptance that can benefit individuals in the queer community directly. Some specific topics to be discussed are political correctness, stereotypes, teachable moments, and using empathy to meaningfully impact others’ opinions. This workshop is intended for anyone interested in having more meaningful conversations about positive change in society, delivered with a specific focus on queer advocacy!
Quentin Cruz, Widener University – Human Sexuality Masters of Education Student
Advocating for Inclusive Mental Healthcare
Many LGBTQ+ individuals face mental health challenges and are unable to access the mental healthcare they need, especially as youth and young adults. Within this session, we will discuss the necessity of inclusive mental healthcare, define our expectations for healthcare providers, and learn together how we can advocate for improved mental healthcare within existing systems and steps LGBTQ+ individuals have taken to support their peers. Through group brainstorming and discussion, we will map out action plans to improve the quality and accessibility of care on our campuses and in our communities.
Victoria Martin-Nelson, West Chester University of Pennsylvania ’15
How to be an Ally to Trans Survivors
Sexual assault and intimate partner violence are prominent problems in the trans community. Trans survivors face significant barriers to receiving support navigating the healing path, and often experience multiple instances of violence. This session will go over why trans people are more vulnerable to sexual assault and intimate partner violence, and the particular challenges that they face. There will be an overview of legislative protections and challenges, and what Pennsylvania is and is not doing to provide adequate services to trans survivors. We will also engage in a dialogue around how to support the unique needs of trans survivors, both on an individual and institutional level.
Taylan Stulting – Bucknell University ’16
Session III (4:15 PM – 5:30 PM)
Gotta Catch Em’ All
The purpose of this presentation is to inform youth participants and youth coordinators on how to continuously keep youth motivated and excited for activism. It demonstrates technique from queer artists and personal experience. Art is powerful! Art is change!
Emmanuel Coreano – Youth Mentor, GALAEI
Being Trauma Informed: Considerations Pertaining to Behavioral Healthcare for the Trans Community
The session looks at the effects of trauma on the brain, with specific attention to traumatic experiences in childhood and to traumatic experiences commonly experienced by members of the trans community. In addition, we will identify some of the emotional, cognitive and behavioral manifestations are that a therapist, peer counselor, other healthcare provider or anyone else who may be a support may see from someone who has experienced trauma. Finally, we will provide some suggestions on how to create a more safe and comfortable environment and some approaches that may help someone be supportive to a trans person who is experiencing the effects of trauma.
Lisa Pozzi, LPC – Therapist, JFK Behavioral Health Center
Advocating for a Trans Friendly Campus
Transgender people within higher education continue to be an invisible, often forgotten community. In the last decade, however, a number of campuses have become stalwart leaders in creating trans-friendly policies, programs, and practices. At West Chester University the Trans Policy Committee including students, staff and faculty has been very progressive in improving the campus climate for its Trans community. Although we still have a long way to go, we have demonstrated our commitment to the Trans community by implementing many trans-supportive policies; including offering gender-inclusive bathrooms, locker rooms, and just approved gender inclusive housing. This workshop will highlight our accomplishments, the obstacles we have faced and the steps we have taken to achieve our goals. Participants will be able to assess their campus climate, identify action steps and set goals to help make their campus more Trans friendly. Join us in this interactive and informative session.
Jake Muscato – President, West Chester University LGBTQA
Session II + III (2:45 PM – 5:30 PM)
Penn Non Cis Presents: Loma– Poetry Performance and Emotional Labor of Poetry Workshop
Poetry Reading: Queer Homeless Youth Against the Police From San Francisco to New York City, before Stonewall or the Compton Cafeteria Riots, homeless queer youth have been vital in the struggle against the police violence, against gay assimilation, and towards collective queer liberation. This reading and lecture will discuss the histories of resistance against the police state which were lead by queer homeless youth. We will then move into a poetry reading by Christopher Soto (aka Loma) and discussion about the work in their debut chapbook “Sad Girl Poems.” Workshop: The Emotional Labor of Narrative Poetry From their informational pamphlet: “How can we use writing as a healing practice and refrain from triggering ourselves when recounting traumatic experiences? What is the obligation of the poet for self-care?
Loma – Independent Artist
Sunday, April 10
Session IV (10:00 AM – 11:15 AM)
#CouchesDontCount as a Home
While approximately 5 % to 7% of the general population identifies as LGBTQ, national studies show that 40% of youth experiencing homelessness fall into that same category. The session will explore factors that lead LGBTQ youth to experience homelessness and housing instability, how the youth population differs from typical adult homelessness, and the continuum of programming that can support these youth as they transition to independence.
Shani Meacham – Director of Philadelphia Housing & Emergency Services, Valley Youth House
Sarah Morrison – Life Skills Counselor II – Pride Program, Valley Youth House
Operational Excellence: Principles of Managing High-performance Organizations
Student organizations and registered non-profit companies fail almost exclusively as a result of mismanagement, not (as common narratives suggest) as a result of limited funding or unengaged constituents. Implementation of best practices from the field of management can unlock the potential of any organization to better serve its target audience and improve its visibility. In the first 15 minutes of this session, Victor Galli will share an overview of management best practices for any type or size of operation. The remainder of the session will be conducted as a master class for attendees who have wish to work through how they can take their teams to the next level or how they can best move forward with their organization in stagnation.
Victor Galli – University of Pennsylvania ’12, Healthcare consultant
Change: It’s More Than What’s In Your Pockets
Young transgender and gender non-conforming Pennsylvanians have unique and often challenging experiences in affirming their gender under the law. Adopting effective policies, as well as ensuring their successful implementation, can be crucial for trans youth to have a positive social development. This session will educate participants on the local, state, and federal laws that have direct impact on trans youth. Participants will gain valuable skills to use in their home communities in the push toward trans justice. We will also examine several case studies of anti-trans discrimination involving youth in Pennsylvania.
Jason Landau Goodman – Executive Director, Pennsylvania Youth Congress
The Civil Rights of Identity Intersectionality and the Relationship to Religious Freedom
Today, many on the far right of the political spectrum as well as many within the “evangelical” Christian community are claiming that the actions to end discrimination against marginalized communities violate their religious freedom. This seminar will provide the attendee with an introduction to the following, 1) What the founders really thought about the formation of our democracy; 2) The Constitutional background for LGBT equality; and, 3) Existing laws providing discrimination protections.
Joanne Carroll – President, TransCentral PA