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Professionals Symposium [clear filter]
Friday, July 25


Creating Gender Inclusive Schools
This presentation will provide an overview of Gender Spectrum’s model for establishing Gender Inclusive School Climates. Using a strategic and sequential process for building staff, community and student understanding of gender’s complexity, Gender Spectrum has developed a comprehensive program of professional development, curriculum and resources designed to create more accepting conditions in schools at all grade-levels. Participants will be introduced to many of the tools and best practices for creating an accepting school culture, including training materials for school leaders and staff, examples of parent and community education, student curriculum, and various policy documents.


Morgan Darby, MA, MAT

Education Program Director, Gender Spectrum
Morgan Darby, MA, MAT is the Education Program Director for Gender Spectrum, and is responsible for deepening the curricular, programmatic, and outreach efforts in order to make issues related to gender accessible to those who work with children and teens. Previous to this... Read More →

Friday July 25, 2014 9:30am - 10:55am
Soda Center – Orinda St Mary's College of California, 1928 St Marys Rd, Moraga, CA 94556


Not In Our School: Tools to Create Safe and Inclusive Schools for Gender-Expansive Youth
Words Hurt! Gender-expansive students and children who do not fit gender stereotypes are often teased and bullied on a daily basis. Not In Our School (NIOS) is a model offering tools and resources for student-led initiatives to eliminate bullying and all forms of intolerance. The NIOS website offers an array of free films and lesson guides to help educators support students, address homophobia, and create safe spaces for gender-expansive students. Learn strategies that build bridges of understanding across gender, race, and religious differences. Leave this session with a set of tools to help educators bring students together to identify issues at their schools and to launch a student-led Not In Our School campaign.


Becki Cohn-Vargas, EdD

Becki Cohn-Vargas, EdD is the Director of Not In Our School (NIOS), and is a mother of two lesbian daughters and a straight son. She has spoken on preventing bullying across the United States. Becki's book, “Identity Safe Classrooms: Places to Belong and Learn,” co-authored with... Read More →

Letitia Burton, MA

Letitia Burton, MA is a veteran educator with over 25 years of experience working with diverse populations of students.  Throughout her career, Letitia has been a champion for classroom inclusion, creating identity safe and inclusive learning environments in which all students can... Read More →

Cassandra Belson, MS

Cassandra Belson, MS is the Executive Assistant at Not In Our Town. Cassandra worked as a community organizer for migrant rights in Arizona before earning a Master of Science in Community Development in 2013 from UC Davis for a project titled "La Resistencia: Living Resistance in... Read More →

Friday July 25, 2014 11:05am - 12:30pm
Soda Center – Orinda St Mary's College of California, 1928 St Marys Rd, Moraga, CA 94556


Safe and Supported: Gender Transitions at School
For many caregivers and educators, even the possibility of a young person transitioning at school seems overwhelming if not impossible. However, some transgender students are taking this courageous step and successfully transitioning while remaining enrolled in their educational institution. What are the key elements of a positive experience? What preparation, training and conditions need to be considered as students and their families make the difficult decision to support a child's authentic gender in the classroom? After exploring key principles that must be considered when a student transitions, the session will present specific tools and resources for supporting a student to safely and successfully transition within the school community.

avatar for Joel Baum

Joel Baum

Senior Director of Professional Development, Gender Spectrum
Joel Baum is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Gender Spectrum’s professional development programs. He facilitates trainings, develops curriculum, consults with caregivers and professionals, and provides resources in service of a more compassionate understanding of gender... Read More →

Friday July 25, 2014 1:40pm - 3:05pm
Soda Center – Orinda St Mary's College of California, 1928 St Marys Rd, Moraga, CA 94556


Supporting Gender Creative and Transgender Youth in K-12 Schools: What We Can Learn from Their Teachers
This workshop will address how to help education professionals identify barriers and supports to creating safe and inclusive school climates. With an emphasis on gender and sexual diversity issues, participants will learn about strategies, long-term interventions, legal guidelines and resources to help you advocate more effectively for transgender and gender-expansive youth in schools. Interactive activities and group discussions will provide participants with experience and practice advocating for the needs of their students and various approaches that are preventive in nature.


Elizabeth J. Meyer, PhD

Elizabeth J. Meyer, PhD is a former high school teacher and an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at California Polytechnic State University. She completed her PhD in Education at McGill University and is the author of two books: Gender, Bullying, and Harassment: Strategies... Read More →

Friday July 25, 2014 3:15pm - 4:40pm
Soda Center – Orinda St Mary's College of California, 1928 St Marys Rd, Moraga, CA 94556