Hosted by Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Community Link
Info provided by the Gay/Straight Alliance Network:
On Saturday, March 24th, young people from across the Central Valley will join together for an annual youth-led conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight ally youth working to create safer schools for all students. Through workshops, a resource fair, and a keynote speech, the 2012 "Expression Not Suppression" conference, hosted by Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Community Link, will build skills to stop bullying and harassment at school based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
WHAT: 8th Annual "ENS" conference for LGBTQ youth & allies
WHEN: Saturday, March 24, 9am-7pm, followed by a youth-only dance
WHERE: The Big Red Church, 2131 North Van Ness, Fresno
"Youth in Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs throughout the Central Valley are determined to make their campuses safe for all students, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth who currently face harassment and discrimination at their schools," said Victoria Benevides, Gay-Straight Alliance Network's Central Valley Program Coordinator. "Expression Not Suppression offers these youth a supportive space to learn about their rights, gain skills, and become strong leaders in their schools and communities."
Yosimar Reyes, a two-spirit poet and activist will keynote the event. Workshops, several of which will be led by youth themselves, will include discussions about bullying, starting a Gay-Straight Alliance club, and students' legal rights.
"I got involved in Gay-Straight Alliance work because I have the right to be free from bullying and harassment, and I want other Central Valley students to know that they, too, can make their schools safer and more accepting places for everyone," said Brianna Navarro, a sophomore at Clovis East High School in Clovis and one of the youth organizers of the conference. "At Expression Not Suppression, we have created a support system to empower all Central Valley youth with the tools and information they need to not only protect themselves, but to change their communities."
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