The GLBT Youth in Iowa Schools Task Force is pleased again this year to host the 5th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBT Youth on February 18th, 2010. The Conference is a statewide gathering of educators, parents, policy makers, and students, exploring multiple aspects affecting the safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students in Iowa.
Lt. Dan Choi will headline the 5th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBT Youth on February 18th ,2010 at Drake University. This year’s conference is expected to gather several hundred educators, parents, students, policy makers, and others concerned about the safety of LGBT youth in Iowa. Last year’s conference attracted well over 200 participants from over 75 communities across Iowa.
Lt. Choi has garnered national fame when he said on the March 19, 2009 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show; “I am gay.” Since coming out, Lt. Choi, a West Point graduate and Iraq veteran fluent in Arabic, has been notified that discharge proceedings have been brought up against him. He was only of only eight soldiers from his graduating class who majored in Arabic.
In addition to Lt. Choi, Governor Chet Culver, Lt. Governor Patty Judge, and Congressman Leonard Boswell have been invited to address the conference. During his first legislative session as Governor, Culver was successful in advocating for and ensuring the passage of both the Safe Schools Law which protects all students including those that are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender, and extending the civil rights code to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
The 2010 Conference is themed Proud to Change the World, Creating an Accepting Future. LGBT students and students from LGBT families have many different barriers that do not allow them to join such career fields as the military, politics, or business. While in school and at home, we often times teach our children that they can become whatever they want to and that they will change the world. It is important to address the different barriers facing LGBT students including discriminatory policies, homelessness, HIV risk, bullying and harassment, and suicide risk.
“The Governors Conference has become the gathering of individuals concerned about the safety of Iowa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth for the past five years now,” said Nate Monson, Executive Director. “It’s a great time to connect with other educators, social workers, parents, and students to show how many people in this state truly care about creating safer learning environments.”
The mission of the Annual Governors Conference on LGBT Youth is to a) engage and educate students, educators, parents, community leaders, youth-serving professionals, policy makers, and others concerned about issues relevant to the LGBT community, and b) encourage networking and activism to inspire our communities to promote diversity, equality, and social justice.
The GLBT Youth in Iowa Schools Task Force (Iowa Safe Schools) is the statewide organization dedicated to educating Iowa’s teachers, administrators, counselors, social workers, parents, students, and anyone involved in the education process about the needs of Iowa’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) population. Through educational trainings and policy work, the Task Force strives to create a positive and healthy learning environments for all students.
To register for the conference click here or for more info email Nate Monson at firstname.lastname@example.org.