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2012 Equality Conference Workshops

The best place for learning and sharing lessons learned from North Carolina's pro-equality movement is the 2012 Equality Conference!

It's the best lineup yet! Don't miss it. Register TODAY.

Check out a sampling of this year's exciting workshop lineup, including the latest on the fight for second-parent adoption, time-tested techniques for achieving safer schools, the very best lessons for organizing in rural areas, campus, faith communities, communities of color, and much more!

2012 ENC Conference Workshop Titles

  • Letter to the Editor: A How-to Guide (NCAAN: Claire Hermann) Wish people would listen to what you had to say? Join the North Carolina AIDS Action Network to learn basic strategies for making your story an effective tool for policy and community change, and apply these lessons as you write a letter to the editor about a state policy issue.
  • Organizing an Effective Gender Non-Specific Housing Campaign on Your Campus (UNC Housing: Dr. Terri L. Phoenix, Kevin Claybren) These presenters organized a successful campaign for Gender Neutral Housing (GNH) at UNC-Chapel Hill during 2011-2012. The campaign convinced the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Chancellor of the need to implement GNH. They committed to educating and gaining support from external stakeholders. This workshop will provide participants with materials necessary to run similar campaigns on their campuses as well as information about how to connect with the state-wide campaign for GNH that is now in progress.
  • Building Safer Schools: Using Local Grassroots Efforts to Build Safer Learning Communities in NC (Neighbors For Equality: Abby Nance, Hailey Spearman, Dr. Shea Stuart, Collyn N. Warner) Educational environments help grow our communities in North Carolina; these settings need increased safety for LGBTQQIA individuals. This interactive, collaborative workshop employs Neighbors for Equality’s grassroots approach to provide the audience with tools to craft safer schools. The workshop will include a variety of topics such as analyzing school and school board policies, meeting with school officials, writing educators, and fostering LGBTQQIA inclusivity in one’s classroom or school.
  • Organizing and Advocacy in Your Own Community, In Your Own Way (PFLAG: Michael Clawson, Brandon Major, Pat Baker, Rosemarie Walston) This panel discussion will help attendees improve their existing advocacy skills around community organizing. Panelists will share experiences with a specific type of community organizing and provide tools, messaging talents and ideas for each type of community advocacy. Attendees will leave with practical advice for organizing their own communities, in their own special way.
  • Connect, Accept, Respond, Empower: How To Support LGBTQ Youth (The Trevor Project: Wes Nemenz) This interactive workshop will provide an overview of suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and the different environmental stressors that contribute to their heightened risk for suicide. After reviewing current research, there will be an emphasis on best practices and practical steps that service providers, educators, and LGBTQ non-profit professionals can take to promote a positive environment for all youth.
  • Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Youth (Time Out Youth: Micah Johnson, Laurie Pitts, Ngoc Loan Tran, Nathan Gedney) The climate for LGBTQ youth is improving, but it is still difficult for many of them to find spaces or individuals that they are able to readily identify as safe in terms of presenting issues of sexual orientation or gender identity. This workshop will provide participants with concrete ideas and methods of creating safe spaces in schools, non-profit agencies, houses of worship, and healthcare facilities in our communities.
  • A Business Case for Bringing Activism Inside a Corporation (GlaxoSmithKline: Kenneth Gray, David Brown, Gail Fletcher, Sherman Alfors) This panel discussion will provide insight from LGBT and Ally leaders from GlaxoSmithKline about challenges corporations face when it comes to advancing equitable workplace policies and practices. Corporations can play a unique role in educating, informing, and influencing change in America. The panel will provide practical, real-world insights about how change agents in the workplace can build an effective business case to influence alignment of corporate decision-making processes, and demonstrate alignment with company values and behaviors.
  • "Making Lemonade:" Learning how to use what we do have in North Carolina to continue to fight for what we don’t have. (Carolina Family Law: Angela L. Haas, Jennifer S. Tharrington, Thom Nguyen) The overall message of our workshop is intended to be a message of hope- that although we don’t have currently have marriage or second-parent adoption in North Carolina, there are things that LGBT people can do to protect themselves and their families that are a lot better than nothing. We are seeking to provide information and “action items” regarding the legal and financial planning options available to LGBT people that, if implemented, can provide them with significant rights that they would not otherwise have.
  • Faith Based Reconciliation: Reaching Out and Reaching In (Rev. Cindy Austin, Rev. Linda Maybin, Rev. Sandi Rice, Devon Jackson, Jen Phipps) This workshop will help develop the leadership skills necessary to change faith communities at the congregational, regional, and denominational levels to become more welcoming of LGBT people. Participants will have an opportunity to hear from those who are involved in various stages of ecumenical reconciliation ministry as well as actively engage in lively discussion and networking with those who are currently utilizing innovative outreach tools to reach the most marginalized and oppressed. These opportunities will build the capacity of participants to gracefully engage members of our faith communities to not only support inclusive faith communities, but create justice in our faith communities.
  • Overcoming Diversity Challenges in the LGBT Community (Minister Michelle Mathis) This workshop will focus on current diversity challenges in the LGBTQ community, how we can address them from within and outside our community. Topics to include transgender issues, race, bisexuality and religion.
  • Bakersville is for Gays: Rural Organizing in the South (Mitchell County GSA: Laura Meadows, Allison Bovee, Amy Waller) Most of the information about the LGBT rights advocacy movement comes from urban areas, and too often the historical and political narrative of LGBT rights is urban-centric. In this presentation, Allison Bovée will present on building a rural movement in your area. The presentation will touch on use of social media, ways to organize in rural areas and how to make political advances in less populated areas.
  • How to be a Great Trans Ally (Madeline Goss, Rebecca Chapin) You care about issues that affect transgender people and you want to support them. So...what can you do? Join us for an interactive workshop about the role trans allies can play in supporting their trans friends and the community as a whole. This session will cover what you can do to support their rights and how you can take your role as an ally to the next level.
  • Developing Activist and Leadership Skills to Create Change in Your Community (Sammi Kiley, Keren Salim) Where you are going and how you are going to get there? This hands-on workshop will give you the tools you need to build and create a strong, effective grassroots movement. Develop your advocacy and community organizing skills in areas of: goal setting ; building a strong, supportive constituency; and making the most of your time and resources within your community. Participants will be guided through identifying actions and tools that actually work to create change. This interactive workshop moves through the different steps needed to achieve your goals through a strategic planning process.
  • Building LGBTQ Community for Social Justice Across Race, Culture, Gender and Sexuality (SONG: Caitlin Breedlove, Bishop Donagrant McCluney) Within our own LGBTQ community, many of us continue to be unsure about how to talk to each other, respectfully understand each other's communities, and build across different communities for social justice. How do we build strong multi-racial, inter-generational, and multi-classed groups? How do we craft work in our state that leaves a legacy of being about Justice, not 'Just Us'? Since 1993, SONG (Southerners on New Ground) for social justice for all, as a LGBTQ organization that works across race, class, culture, gender, ability, and sexuality. Join us for a discussion and to share tools around allyship and cultural competency.

Lunch Panel: The Struggle to Obtain Second Parent Adoption Rights in North Carolina (ACLU NC)
Presenters from the ACLU of North Carolina will discuss the ACLU's federal lawsuit challenging the state's ban on second parent adoption as a violation of Equal Protection and Due Process rights for same-sex couples and their children. Come learn about this issue as well as our strategy for the passage of legislation authorizing second parent adoption, and find out how folks at the grassroots level can get involved and help win this fight!

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