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GLSEN Connecticut Safe Schools Summit (2017)

Online Registration is Closed, but Walk-Ins are Welcome!
To View our List of Workshops, click here.
To View our Facebook Event Invite, click here.

What is the Safe Schools Summit?

GLSEN Connecticut’s third-ever statewide Safe Schools Summit is a student-led and chapter-coordinated effort to empower youth, educators, and other community allies with the knowledge, resources, and skills to make their schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. At this conference, middle and high school students, teachers, and other professionals from across the state of Connecticut will learn about LGBTQ+ issues, such as resisting homophobia and transphobia; how bias-based behavior and discriminatory practices in schools negatively impact LGBTQ+ students and their allies; and how to become the best ally possible. This youth-led and -focused conference will feature speakers, workshops, and even an after-party!

What are the goals of the summit?

During the Safe Schools Summit, GLSEN Connecticut is determined to:

  • Offer participants a safe and supportive environment to explore and utilize tools and resources for improving their school climates.
  • Provide participants with networking opportunities and strategies for promoting more inclusive and equitable environments for students in their school and community.  
  • Empower participants to change the climate of bullying and harassment in their schools.

Who is leading the summit?

GLSEN Connecticut’s SHINE Student Leadership Team and chapter leaders will facilitate workshops and activities for participants on how to make their schools safer for all. The summit will also feature an diverse array of workshops facilitated by our community partners (more information on this coming soon!). This year, we're honored and proud to host morning and afternoon keynote speakers Stonewall Speaker David Knapp and queer activist Seth Wallace!

Who is this summit for?

Everyone who wants to make schools safer and more affirming and inclusive for ALL students, especially LGBTQ+ youth. This includes Gr. K-12 students/youth, parents and families, educators, school administrators and staff, social workers, counselors, community leaders, and concerned citizens.

When and where is the summit being held?

The summit is being held on Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9am-4pm (After-Party/Social: 4-6pm) at the First Congregational Church (FCC) of Southington, 37 Main St., Southington, CT 06489. Registration is 8:30-9am. The schedule and list of workshops will be released in April. Parking is available in the municipal parking lot in the back of church or in the parking lot next to Bank of America. Anyone who is handicapped or needs special accommodations can park in the lot in front of the church.

What is the schedule for the summit?
(PLEASE NOTE: This schedule was updated May 9, 2017)

8:30am-9am: Registration/Breakfast/Tables (Memorial Hall – First Floor)

9am-10am: Welcoming Session, Community Agreements, and Morning Keynote Speaker David Knapp (Memorial Hall – First Floor)

10:05am-11:05am: Workshop Session A

  • What’s in a Relationship?, Joanna Flanagan and Janaina Bordigon (Room 201/202)
  • The “Bathroom Issue,” Kylar Maldonado and Emerson Mason Cheney (Room 203)
  • Using Transgender Friendly Picture Books for Young Children, Elizabeth H. Rowell, PhD, and Thomas B. Goodkind, PhD (Room 204)
  • Creating Safe Spaces in the Classroom, Megan DeMott (Room 205)
  • I Respectfully Disagree: Respectful Discourse in Social Activism, Jeff Bianco (Room 206)

11:10am-12:10pm: Workshop Session B

  • Here’s a Clue: Trans Day of Remembrance Isn’t a Game!, Jacki Alessio and Adrienne Baxter (Church Parlor - First Floor)
  • Queer Academy: Summer Camp at True Colors, Josh Chandler (Room 201/202)
  • Stir It Up: Political Advocacy and Action 101, Pat Comerford (Room 203)
  • QT Pies: Life While Trans, Aiden Ciaffaglione (Room 204)
  • DIY: Queer Zine-Making!, Katelyn Owens and Eddie Sourby (Room 205)

12:15pm-1pm: Lunch/Tables (Memorial Hall – First Floor)

1:05pm-2:05pm: Workshop Session C

  • Telling Our Stories with James Baldwin and Audre Lorde, Z Bell (Room 201/202)
  • Gender Geometry, Sam Golden (Room 203)
  • LGBT Faith and Communities, Rev. Rachel J. Bahr and Gabrielle M.W. Bychowski, PhD Candidate (Room 204)
  • Show Your Colors… In Photos!, Adrienne Baxter (Room 206)

2:10pm-3:10pm: Workshop Session D

  • Artistic Expressions of Trans Youth, Tony Ferraiolo (Room 201/202)
  • Queer History: Amazing True Stories to Learn and Teach, Sarah Prager (Room 204)
  • Preparing to Promote Social Justice by Exploring Your Own Racial Identity Development, Rachel M.F. Arnett, Andrew Carew, Paul Singleton II, and Victor Muratalla-Morales (Room 205)
  • The Need for GSAs to Support One Another (Panel Group), Jeff Bianco (Room 206)

3:15pm-4pm: Closing Session and Afternoon Keynote Speaker Seth Wallace (Memorial Hall – First Floor)

4pm-6pm: After-party with Pizza and Open Mic! (Peace Café)

For a detailed list of presenters and workshop descriptions, please click here.


Are there any costs or fees?

This summit is $10 for youth (Gr. K-12 students); $20 for adults (educators, community members not in Gr. K-12); and $100 for groups of 10 (includes youth and adults). This cost includes registration, programming, breakfast, refreshments, lunch, and the after-party.

However, this fee is optional, and we will not refuse entrance to the summit based on an inability to pay.

How do I register?

To register, please click here. After completing the Registration Form, please go to the payment page by clicking here if you're paying with a credit card. If you would like to pay by check, please send it to GLSEN Connecticut, ATTN: Summit, P.O. Box 2405, Stamford, CT 06906. Again, no one will be turned away because of inability to pay for registration. 

Please register online by May 5, 2017. Walk-ins will be accepted but online registration is preferred. If you don't register online, we may not be able to provide you with your preferred lunch option.

How can I submit a workshop proposal?
Workshops from our community partners and other organizations that believe in our mission to promote safe schools for all students are more than welcome! Please submit your workshop proposal by clicking here. All workshop proposals are due April 28, 2017.

Can I table and/or purchase an ad for my organization?
You certainly can! Just complete the form here.

  • Tabling will take place during the summit's opening and closing sessions as well as lunch. Tabling space is $25.
  • Quarter-page ads (4.25" by 2.75") are $25; half-page ads (4.25" by 5.5") are $50; and full-page ads (8.5" by 5.5") are $75. Please send ads to as a JPG or PDF by April 28, 2017.
  • All ad sponsors and tablers will be listed in our Summit Program and will be announced during the event.
  • To register for a table and/or ad, please click here.
  • If you're paying with a check, please send it to GLSEN Connecticut, ATTN: Summit, P.O. Box 2405, Stamford, CT 06906.
  • If you're paying with a credit card, please click here.

We appreciate your donation!


Who can I contact if I have any questions or registration issues?

Please contact GLSEN Connecticut co-chair Alberto Cifuentes, Jr., at