RAINBOWS OVER THE ROCKIES: Celebrating Diversity with Leadership and Learning
- Thursday, April 30, 2020 to Saturday, May 2, 2020, from 10:30am to 5:00pm
- WebEx - See http://msucommunitydevelopment.org/rainbows.html for link
Rainbows Over the Rockies is a free educational and networking summit for LGBTQ+ youth, families, professionals and allies with specialists from across Montana and the United States leading webinars and engaging the audience in leadership and learning events during the three days.
According to organizer Paul Lachapelle, MSU professor of political science and an Extension community development specialist, the goal of the summit is to provide citizens with information and resources that address issues and challenges experienced by LGBTQ+ youth and that can be used and applied in their own communities. Another goal, he added, is to develop a network of well-informed youth and adults across Montana who are motivated to access educational and supportive services for the LGBTQ+ community.
Lachapelle said the more than 30 summit contributors and partners recognize the importance of bringing the educational content to the citizens of Montana, particularly for the state’s youth. “The summit addresses the high suicide rates, which, according to the Trevor Project, are nearly nine times higher for LGBTQ+ youth who come from highly rejecting families,” Lachapelle said. “Our ultimate goal is mutual learning of the lived experience of LGBTQ+ community members and offering content and opportunities for greater understanding and discussion on sexual orientation, gender identity, pronoun usage, gender transition, coming out, civil rights, and physical and mental health issues for our youth, families and allies.”
The summit begins Thursday, April 30, with an opening conversation with Jeffrey Myers, a retired Extension professional from Baltimore with a passion for LGBTQ+ training focused on rural and agricultural audiences. His presentation will be followed by a slate of presentations discussing how Extension and 4-H can support LGBTQ+ youth and families, especially those from rural areas.
Presentations on Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2, will include sessions geared towards youth, parents and families, and professionals from the education, healthcare, an other communities. All information about the event including how to register, the agenda, speaker bios and presentation descriptions, is available at: http://msucommunitydevelopment.org/rainbows.html.
The summit will also be recorded and posted online