Second Year Statewide Conference on LGBT Issues In Education Coming Up

SOGI Now Offers Credits for Continuing Ed At March 9 Gathering

by Crystal A. Proxmire

Last year's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Initiative Conference at Oakland University was such a hit that organizers are stepping it up for 2013, including offering Continuing Education Credits for education and counseling professionals.

This year's conference takes place on March 9 at the Oakland Center on OU's campus. It's an all-day event that includes continental breakfast and hot lunch. Tickets are $100 for general admission and $25 for students.

Tim Larrabee helped organize the conference as part of OU's commitment to diversity. The school set a priority for including sexual orientation and gender identity issues as part of their overall outreach to students in the School of Education.

"My charge was to make sure sexual orientation issues are infused through the school of education," Larrabee said. "What grew out of that was a taskforce of volunteers from every department to see what we could do. From that we created Michigan's first statewide conference on LGBT issues in education. We left it Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), instead of making it LGBT. Sexual orientation and gender identity are labels we all live with. What we understood, is this is a human problem no matter where you lie on those spectrums, because everyone is impacted by perceptions."

Last year 150 people attended. This year more are expected because the event takes place on a Saturday and credits are being offered.

"This year's keynote is Debra Chasnoff of Ground Spark Films. She and her company produce gender and sexuality based films about youth. One of her most recent films is "Straightlaced--How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up." It looks at how we all are confined by gender stereotypes. Stereotypes constrict everybody," Larrabee said. He also recommends previous films of Chasnoff's including "It's Elementary--Talking, About Gay Issues in School," where she documented attitudes of youth in 1996, and the follow-up documentary "It's STILL Elementary," filmed in 2007.

David Garcia, executive director of Affirmations Community Center will be emceeing the conference, and Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh will also be on hand to share a few words.

There are multiple sessions, including "Using Research for Messaging and Moving Toward Justice," by Emily Dievendorf, policy director of Equality Michigan, "Students with Transgender Identities," by Antonia Caretto, PhD; "Strategies to Enhance Conditions for Learning for LGBT Students," by Jeffrey Poirier of the American Institutes for Research and Dustin Miller of Dublin City Schools; and "Social Justice Issues: Helping All Students Reach Their Potential," by Larry Thomas of Oakland schools and R.J. Webber of Novi schools.

And of course there will be several other options for sessions throughout the day, including a networking hour after lunch and a general roundtable session where all facilitators will be available for questions. The day will conclude with a performance by Riot Youth, a group from Ann Arbor's Neutral Zone teen center. The youth dramatize real-world situations that teens in Michigan schools experience. "They performed last year and the feedback was this was really impactful. It's that immediate real-life, real-world connection they make that you can't do in a workshop," Larrabee said.

To learn more about the SOGI Conference visit their website at http://www.oakland.edu/sogi.

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+