Gearing up for the 2016 Youth Leadership Summits!


Article by: Nat Duran, Youth Engagement Coordinator

With our Spring Youth Leadership Summit on Saturday, March 19th rapidly approaching in both Chicagoland and Springfield! The Alliance office is busy with excitement. Regardless, I can’t help but take a moment to reflect upon the process that got us here and thank those that have helped.

For those of you new to the Alliance and our work, the Spring Summit is a day-long youth leadership event that focuses on the Day of Silence which is on Friday, April 15th. The Day of Silence is a national student-led event that highlights the silenced voices of LGBTQ+ young people the world over through bullying and harassment. This year, the Alliance’s Youth Committee wanted to use Day of Silence to further encourage LGBTQ+ curriculum inclusion in schools by having their teachers speak out while students remain silent. Toward this goal, they have developed Day of Silence kits that include subject-based curricula focusing on the silencing of identities and developed a day of workshops to help students advocate for these lessons to be taught prior to the Day of Silence in April. We owe great thanks to the fierce (and newly formed) GSA at Baker Demonstration School (one more in an ever-growing list of Middle School GSA’s!) for so graciously volunteering to be our hosts for the day! For those attending the Chicagoland Summit, please join us at the theatrical debut of Totally True Voices, a play developed wholly on the lived experiences of Baker’s Middle School students!

The Alliance is beside itself with glee at hosting a second Central IL Spring Summit at Springfield High School! Thanks to the fierce advocacy of student leader extraordinaire, Gray Alexander, and the collaborative efforts of local organizations such as PFLAG, the Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL), the Phoenix Center, the UP Center and other community-based LGBTQ+ youth groups in the region, we will be attempting our first ever concurrent multi-regional summit experience! So whether you’re in Northern or Central IL, please come on out to collaborate with and learn from some of the most brilliant youth leaders and adult allies throughout the state!

If you would like to support the Youth Leadership Summit, please go to the Alliance's donation page and select "2016 Youth Summit." Thank You!