Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Gender and sexuality conference to focus on inclusivity in schools
Oakland University is set to host the first-ever statewide conference examining gender and sexuality issues in education.
Sponsored by the School of Education and Human Services' Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Initiative Taskforce, the conference will bring together pre-K-12 educators, teacher educators and community advocacy organizations to discuss ways to create an inclusive atmosphere for all individuals in education regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
"We are so excited that Oakland University is hosting this event," said Dr. Timothy Larrabee, director of the SOGI Initiative Taskforce. "We've received strong support from OU President Gary Russi and SEHS Dean Louis Gallien, and we are drawing lots of interest from across the state."
Conference participants will engage in an interactive dialogue, share resources and identify best practices through a series of workshops covering a diverse range of issues. Organizations featured in the event include the ACLU of Michigan, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, the Ozone House, Comprehensive School Health Coordinators Association, Equality Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education, PFLAG Detroit, The Neutral Zone of Ann Arbor and the Ruth Ellis Center. Dr. Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, will keynote the forum, which aims to advance the following goals:
- Promote pre-K through 12th-grade and university dialogue about important issues involving sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
- Provide pre-K through 12th-grade teachers and administrators with opportunities to inform and influence how schools/colleges of education are preparing pre-service teachers and administrators to effectively address these areas of difference.
- Identify ways that Oakland University and other schools/colleges of education can assist pre-K through 12th-grade educators to address these issues.
For additional information, or to register for the event, view the website at oakland.edu/SOGI
The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, in the Oakland Center on Oakland's campus. For more information, contact Dr. Larrabee at (248) 370-4614 or e-mail to email@example.com