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2019 Bridge Speaker Spotlight — Sexuality, Sustainability, & Supportive Spaces

by Clara Rosebrock | | Posted under Bridge Conference, School's Out News

How can we better support our youth in all spaces? Beyond building those one-on-one relationships outside of school and home, these inspiring speakers at the 2019 Bridge Conference truly transform how to build trusting communities and spaces. From a session on how we reconstruct what sustainability means within affordable housing organizations — to transformative conversations around queer sex education — you will not want to miss these incredible speakers!

Read the full workshop descriptions below! 

Many Hands Make Light Work from Jenny Hicks, and Vanessa Hernandez.

In this workshop, participants will be able to describe what sustainability means to them, and discuss its importance in terms of both monetary and in-kind contributions. They will look at the different strategies that support sustainability, define which ones they can engage with based on their role in the program, and identify which stakeholder partner can support their efforts. Outcome: Build the framework for a project-level sustainability plan.

Jenny Hicks is an expert in developing and scaling youth initiatives, and supporting adult learning. She serves as a key advocate for cross-sector collaboration adapting tools and quality improvement system for youth programs specifically in affordable and public housing. Jenny established and grew a affordable housing and education network, called HousED, from its inception in 2011 to its current status as a national model for collaboration and quality improvement. Jenny currently provides technical assistance to build the youth-serving capacity of affordable and public housing providers across the country.

Vanessa Hernandez brings a depth of experience in project management, facilitation and training. Her work has been focused on improving youth programming in affordable housing organizations, including training and supporting hundreds of staff in adult learning practices and quality improvement for youth programs. Vanessa also specializes in designing, strengthening and scaling youth programs in several positions in the Resident Services department in housing that include, Resident Services Coordinator, Resident Services Manager and Youth Programs Manager. Vanessa continues to expand her reach to support youth who live in housing across California and beyond.

LGBTQ (Listening, Good Boundaries & Treatment of Queer youth) from Jo Langford, M.A., therapist, author, and sex educator.

The population of children identifying within the LGBTQ spectrum is increasing, and despite our skills and best intentions, many professionals find themselves uncomfortable and/or uninformed when it comes to addressing the unique needs of non-straight youth. To provide dependable, comprehensive, sex education, we must be both willing and able to address the needs of our students & clients. Addressing queer issues & behaviors helps minimize the effects of harassment on gay and LGBTQ student —harassment, which has contributed to high suicide & dropout rates among queer teens. It is the responsibility of professionals working with this cohort to be as well-versed & sensitive to our non-straight/non-cisgendered culture as possible.

In this workshop we will:

Jo Langford, M.A. is a dad, a Master’s-level therapist, author and sex educator for tweens, teens and parents, in Seattle, WA. For the last 20 years, Jo has worked in the intersection of adolescence, sexuality, technology and behavior. From working in peer counseling and student outreach programs in high schools, to medical, residential and psychiatric settings, Jo now provides training for organizations and agencies as well therapy to adolescents and families around a gambit of sexuality themes - with an emphasis on LGBT issues, Internet safety, digital citizenship and comprehensive sex education.

He is the author of the Spare Me, ‘The Talk’! series – guides to sex, relationships & growing up for modern teens and parents. His first book is the first modern guide to healthy sexuality in print specifically written for boys (and their parents). The second book in the series is the first guide to growing up for girls (and their parents) written by a male. His third book, The Pride Guide, is an encompassing guide to sexual and social development, safety, and health for queer youth & their families. Covering all aspects of LGBT adolescence, both online and off, this book is the first puberty book written with queer (and specifically trans) youth in mind. Learn more at www.beheroes.net.

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