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LGBT Youth Conference Prepares Hundreds of Students to Transform their Schools

Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) hosts 10th annual Youth Empowerment Summit on Saturday, December 13, 2014  
 
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 13, 2014 – Hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally youth gathered in San Francisco today to connect, gain skills and share knowledge around transforming their schools and communities. The 10th annual Youth Empowerment Summit (YES), hosted by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network of California and planned and led by youth, drew high school and middle school students from across the state for a day of skills-building workshops, youth-led discussion groups, and a resource fair, followed by a youth-only dance hosted by LYRIC and Project More.
 
“Youth organize through GSA clubs and come to the Youth Empowerment Summit because we believe everyone should have the opportunity to get an education and to be their full selves at school,” said Rexy Amaral, a 17-year old youth trainer with the GSA Network of California and senior at Mission High School. “As an undocumented queer student, I know that queer and trans people hold multiple identities and justice for me as a queer student must also mean justice for me as an undocumented student. At YES, we get to talk about how GSAs can work to transform our schools and fight for racial, gender, and educational justice for all youth.”
 
Yosimar Reyes (pictured right), a nationally acclaimed poet whose work explores the themes of migration and sexuality, is the keynote speaker for this year’s conference.  In addition to programming for youth, the YES conference has workshops for adult allies, including GSA club advisers and parents and caregivers.
 
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The GSA Network of California connects, supports, and empowers youth leaders working for educational justice in over 900 Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in middle schools and high schools across the state. The GSA Network of California is run by Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), a national youth leadership organization. www.gsanetwork.org.
 
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