The first Hampton Roads student gay-straight alliance conference, hosted by Kecoughtan High School, is scheduled this Saturday March 11 at the Warwick United Church of Christ in Newport News. Area high school and college GSA representatives, educators who are working towards starting a GSA and students are invited to attend.
Said coordinator and Kecoughtan High School teacher, Naomi Umstot, “This is a first-time event for all of Hampton Roads’ schools. Anyone willing to make the trip is welcome.”
“With all the attention lately on the role of GSAs, we thought it was time to pull everyone together from teachers who want to sponsor a GSA, students who want to participate to schools hoping to improve their GSAs,” she said.
Billed as Stand Proud! A Hampton Roads GSA Summit, the daylong event will feature workshops ranging from LGBTQ Health to How to Start a GSA.
Students and educators will also have several networking opportunities during the day.
“More than anything, this is a chance to meet new friends and have fun,” said Umstot.
The summit agenda covers a variety of topics. Representatives from the Cox High School GSA will conduct a workshop entitled How to Start a GSA. A panel discussion by college GSA members will discuss life after high school. Caden and Hayden Clore, a transgender male couple, will discuss issues unique to transgender students.
Sponsors and presenters include Eastern Virginia Medical School, the Warwick United Church of Christ, PFLAG, the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads, Vicky Greco from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Jessica Hawthorne from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
Lunch will be provided, and there is no registration fee. Attendees can register online.