Dare To Stand Out Conference
The Vancouver School Board is pleased to announce that the Dare to Stand Out Student Conference, Vancouver’s first-ever anti-homophobia conference for students, will take place at Queen Mary Elementary School on Wednesday, March 24.
Steve Mulligan, VSB’s anti-homophobia and diversity coordinator has been working closely with Out in Schools, Gab Youth Services and Jer’s Vision, a National Youth Diversity organization based in Ottawa to produce the conference.
“The conference will focus on the experiences, needs and plans of students to address homophobia and gender stereotypes in their schools,” said Mulligan. The conference will include students from around the Lower Mainland (and as far away as Campbell River), who want to make their schools more inclusive.
While many participants will be part of a current Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club, Mulligan would also like to welcome students and schools who want to start a club or simply want to learn more about these issues and perhaps bring some ideas back to their school.
Mulligan points out that research has shown that homophobic remarks are the most commonly heard form of verbal bullying in secondary schools. 90% of students reported hearing them either “frequently” or “often”.
“Having a GSA club is an important step in communicating to staff and students that all students will be safe and free from this type of harassment,” said Mulligan. BC based research also demonstrates that about 35% of secondary students have been called homophobic names directly, and of these kids, 85% identify as straight. “In other words, this is an issue which affects many students,” he said.
Links to a conference outline, registration form and conference poster are included below.
Thanks for your support to ensure that all students are safe and welcome in our schools.
8:30 ‐ Registration
9:00 ‐ Welcome address – Patti Bacchus Chair of the Vancouver School Board
9:20 ‐ Keynote ‐ Performance of "Tassles" from Berend McKenzie's critically acclaimed play including Q&A with the performer
10:00 ‐ Speed Networking – get to know a little bit about those from other schools
10:20 ‐ Break
10:40 ‐ Workshop choices
A – GSA 101 – A workshop for adults and students who want to start a GSA at their school
B – Responding to Homophobia – A youth led workshop on being positive and assertive
C – Intersecting Identities – A panel discussion on ethnicity, religion and sexuality
D – Gender Identity – A panel discussion on gender identity and stereotypes
E – Advocacy Heroes – A panel discussion with adults and youth who have created change
F – BC’s Queer History Through Media – A local LGBT archivist uses film to recall our history
G – YouthCO Forum Theatre – Explore self esteem and healthy sexuality through drama
12:00 ‐ Lunch & Info Fair ‐ Many local youth organizations will showcase their programs and resources
12:45 ‐ WOW Talks ‐ 5 prominent LGBT leaders from various backgrounds will inspire us
2:00 ‐ Planning for schools – time for GSAs and school leaders to formulate initial plans for their school
2:50 ‐ Reflection/Sharing – time for students to share their vision or favourite moment from the day
3:00 ‐ Closing Remarks