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Diversity Awareness Office


Building Bridges ~ Creating Community

2009 Montana Queer and Allied Summit

Daring To Be Great

Saturday September 19, 2009

Montana State University, Bozeman

The 2009 Montana Queer & Allied Summit seeks to inspire action, participation, and engagement that will encourage the state and local stakeholders to take risks for the betterment of the community.

Morning Speakers will be focusing on four different areas:
  • Media and information literacy
  • Community and coalition building
  • Sustainable fundraising
  • Building strong/supportive relationships (Alcohol misuse prevention and interpersonal relationship skills development)

Afternoon facilitators will help focus the discussions on how you can use this information for your organization. Whether you are part of a non-profit, a queer organization, a government agency or a health professional, the 2009 Summit is a wonderful opportunity to learn some great information, meet new peers, or give you a chance to network with others in the state who are committed to making a difference with the LGBTIQ community.

Morning Keynote
Professor and Representative Franke Wilmer

Media and Information Literacy
Ken Spencer

Community and Coalition Building
Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer
Hopa Mountain

Sustainable Fundraising
Liz Harrison
Montana Outdoor Science School

Relationship building / Alcohol Misuse Prevention
D. Gregory Smith, M.A.

Schedule of Events

9:00am - 10:00am Registration opens
Continental breakfast in Ballroom B

10:00am - 10:15am Welcome - Ballroom B
John Olson, Acting President, Bozeman Gay & Lesbian Resource Center
Maria Brown, Current President, Queer-Straight Alliance at Montana State Uniaversity

10:15am - 11:00am Keynote Address – Taking Risks + Engagement - Ballroom B
Representative Franke Wilmer, Ph.D. – Chair, Montana Human Rights Commission (2005-2009)

11:00am - 11:15am Break

11:15am - 11:45am Sustainable Fundraising – Ballroom B
Liz Harrison – Executive Director, Montana Outdoor Science School

11:45pm - 12:15pm Community and Coalition Building – Ballroom B
Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Ed.D. – Executive Director, Hopa Mountain

12:15pm - 12:45pm Media and Information Literacy – Ballroom B
Ken Spencer – Past Editor of OutWords

12:45pm - 1:15pm Shame, Confusion, Reality – Ballroom B
D. Gregory Smith, MA – Counselor, Bozeman AIDS Outreach

1:15pm - 1:30pm Break, Walk to SOB Barn for Lunch
See map for directions

1:30pm - 2:30pm Potluck Lunch sponsored by Nova Café and Montana Pride Network
Keynote Activity: Taking Risks + Participation
Josh Hemsath, Past President of QSA-MSU (2006-2009)

2:30pm - 2:45pm Walk back to SUB, Break
Breakout Sessions Each session will be split into 3 groups, please refer to your packet or name badge.

Community Group – Ballroom C
Wellness Group – SUB Room 233
Emerging Leaders – SUB Room 235

2:45pm - 3:15pm Breakout Session - Community & Coalition Building

3:15pm - 3:45pm Breakout Session - Media and Information Literacy

3:45pm - 4:00pm Break
Hot beverages and water will still be available in Ballroom B

4:00pm - 4:30pm Breakout Session – Sustainable Fundraising

4:30pm - 5:00pm Breakout Session – Building Strong, Supportive Relationships

5:00pm - 5:15pm Groups report back to large group

5:15pm - 5:30pm Closing remarks – Taking Risks + Action

*Note: Each speaker will use the last fi ve minutes to answer brief questions while the staff prepares for the next speaker.



Franke Wilmer

Franke Wilmer received a PhD from the University of Maryland in 1990 and has been at Montana State University since 1991.  She is a full professor and has served four years as the Political Science Department Head. 

In 2005 Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer appointed Franke to chair the Montana Human Rights Commission.  In 2006 she was elected to a seat in the Montana State House of Representatives, re-elected for a second term in 2008, and elected by her colleagues to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore in the 2009-11 term. Most recently in the 2009 Legislative Session, Franke introduced the Domestic Partners Registry bill (HB 590).

She has published two books examining different aspects of human rights and political violence: The Indigenous Voice in World Politics (Sage 1993), and The Social Construction of Man, the State, and War: Identity, Conflict, and Violence in Former Yugoslavia (Routledge 2002). She has just completed an introductory textbook on International Human Rights to be published by Lynne Rienner Publishers later this year.

Franke has also served on the Board of Directors of the Gallatin Human Rights Network (1994-2000) and was one of its founding members; on the Board of Directors, of Congregation Beth Shalom (2006-09); and is Co-Chair of the Social Action Committee for Congregation Beth Shalom (2007-10).


Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer is the founder and executive director of Hopa Mountain, a non-profit based in Bozeman, Montana that is dedicated to investing in rural and tribal citizen leaders who are working to improve education, ecological health, and economic development in their hometowns.  In this capacity, she works with organizations and individuals throughout the Northern Rockies on innovative community education projects.  An educator by training, Bonnie formerly worked for sixteen years at Montana State University and the Museum of the Rockies.  She is married to Joe Sawyer and is mother to a cat named Hitchhiker.


Liz Harrison has worked in marketing and development for 20 years, spanning many states and many kinds of organizations. She was born and raised in New York City, and worked as VP of Marketing and PR for Random House publishing for 15 years, first in New York and then, in Los Angeles when she was invited to open their first West Coast office. Liz has worked exclusively in the non profit sector since 2000, including a stint as Executive Director of the AIDS project on the central coast of California and Director of Outreach and Marketing for a hospice in Boulder, CO, helping small and medium size organizations grow their fundraising and community outreach programs. She currently does development work for The Montana Outdoor Science School and Keystone Conservation in Bozeman. Liz has a passion for social justice, animals, and cooking — though not always in that order!


Ken Spencer is the former editor of several publications including Out Words, Prairie Star and Ag Almanac. He currently is a freelance writer and political gadfly. Kids and dogs like him.

D. Gregory Smith

D. Gregory Smith was born and raised in Montana. He has spent quite a lot of his life in school – not because he's stupid, but because he liked it. As a consequence of his love of education, he holds two Bachelor degrees and two Masters. He currently works as a therapist and facilitator in Seattle and throughout the State of Montana, sitting also on the Montana Community Planning Group for HIV Prevention and the board of AIDS Outreach. He deeply enjoys working to help LGBT people to take care of themselves and each other.


Josh Hemsath is in his final year at Montana State University as a Community Health major. For three years he served as the president of MSU’s Queer-Straight Alliance. As QSA’s president he coordinated two years of LGBT sensitivity training for Residence Life, organized LGBT speaker panels for psychology classes, and facilitated dialogue on homophobia with freshman seminar classes. Additionally, with QSA he helped to revive the Coming Out week “closet”, helped secure a $2000 Pride Foundation grant for Coming Out month activities, and brought nationally-acclaimed comedian Vidur Kapur to the MSU campus. He has participated in a Governor’s task force on methamphetamine abuse and the Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force. He blogs on leadership, writing, and social media at


John W. Olson is an openly gay bail bondsman and business owner in Bozeman.  Since February 2007, he has been an Outreach Worker for Montana Targeted Prevention, giving free and anonymous HIV and Hepatitis C tests.  In January of 2008, with a grant from the Pride Foundation--via the Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force--he created the online Bozeman Resource Center. The Resource Center includes a website, email updates, new local events, and opportunities such as the Queer Youth Support Group (which begins this September). Since its inception, John has helped the Bozeman Resource Center grow from a strictly online local resource to an organization with the capacity to lead conferences such as the 2009 Montana Queer & Allied Summit.


Maria R Brown is currently a Microbiology Medical Laboratory Science major at Montana State University. She is involved in several activities around campus, serving as President of the MSU Queer-Straight Alliance and a sister in the Chi Omega sorority on campus.


Hosted by: Montana Pride Network, the Queer-Straight Alliance of MSU,

Bozeman Resource Center and the MSU Diversity Awareness Office


Special Thanks to our sponsors:
MSU Department of Health & Human Development
Montana Gift Corral
Anonymous Donors
Cactus Records
Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force
The Leaf and Bean