9:00 – 9:30 Registration; Breakfast, Workshop Sign Up, (workshops listed on lavender pages), Resource Tables

9:30 – 9.40 Welcome and moment of silent remembering

9:40 - 9:55 Icebreaker getting to know your tablemates

9:55 – 10:15 Housekeeping details and opening performance

10:25 – 11:35 Workshop Session 1

11:40 – 12:50 Workshop Session 2

12:55 – 1:30 Lunch, Resource Tables, Networking, Songwriting     Presentation

1:30 – 1:40 Special Guests, GSA Gift Basket Awarded

1:45 – 2:15 Keynote: Sonia Guiñansaca

2:20 – 3:30 Workshop Session 3

3:35 – 4:00 Grand Finale – Youth Presentation, Closing Remarks, Evaluations Collected, Raffle Basket Awarded


SIGNING UP FOR WORKSHOPS – Workshop titles and descriptions will be on the lavender pages of the Forum booklet. At this time they are listed here in groups for session 1, Session 2, and Session 3.  Please choose one workshop in each session and sign up at the tables marked WORKSHOPS. If you need help or want to talk about what to sign up for, ask any volunteer.  For student groups that are attending together, you are encouraged to spread out and attend different workshops so that you will be able to bring as much as possible of the inspiration and information from this day back to your home space.


TAKING PHOTOS – In order to protect the confidentiality of those who may not feel safe outside of this space, we ask that you do not take photos of other people in workshops and other group gathering spaces. Be mindful of the backgrounds in your selfies and always ask for consent to photograph others. Persons who have agreed to be available for photographs will have a green dot on their nametag. 


EVALUATIONS – We need your feedback! What worked/didn’t work about today’s event? Please complete and return an evaluation at the end of each workshop and at the end of the day to the workshop monitor.

Session #1 (10:25 am to 11:35 am)

A ) **We’ve been here: Improving Your Allyship for Non-binary Latinx

Arlene B. Gamio Cuervo

Come get your allyship on! This workshop is a beginner-level introduction to gender inclusive language within the Latinx community through a social justice lens. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to pronounce and define terminology related to Latinx non-binary identity, identify the history and importance of each term, and set goals to improve their allyship to the non-binary/transgender Latinx community.


B ) Let's Write a Queer Friendly Song!

Hayden Greyson

Drawing from our experiences in the queer community, we creatively brainstorm ideas to write a group queer friendly song from start to finish and then, YES, we perform it!  The focus is on the expression of queer voices through truth, humor, social justice, emotional release or a combination thereof, in a song that can be rapped or sung in a variety of styles!


C ) Sex Ed 201 for LGBTQ+ Youth

Mindi Herman

This workshop caters towards LGBTQ+ youth and will discuss topics such as healthy sex and sexually transmitted infections along with significant information about the human anatomy.


D ) Creating Safe Space and Living Authentically,

Jiselle Madison Parker

This workshop starts off with five minutes of guided meditation and leads into a personal, in-depth conversation about navigating school, home and social life.  Through community building exercises, we will build connections among the participants as well as establishing greater individuality for everyone.  This is a great workshop for anyone who is looking to build more self-confidence and self-esteem through talking about trust, vulnerability and faith - the three principles necessary for creating safe space.


E ) Sexuality & Social Media,

Sally Manneh

This workshop focuses on how social networking impacts sexuality, relationships, body image, gender stereotypes and perceptions about sexual behavior.


F ) Coping with Bullying: Finding Your Power,

Elian Rubin

We’re told that bullying is a terrible thing and has to be stopped. Unfortunately, the emphasis on stopping bullying doesn’t stop its effects on the person being bullied. To be prepared for life, in addition to working to stop bullying, kids must learn to live and cope with it. The ideas we will explore will help us shrug off bullying and decentralize it. 


G ) Radical Narratives: Change Your Body's Story,

Kelli Dunham

It's not always easy as LGBTQ+ and gender-nonconforming people to have loving relationships with our bodies. Change Your Body's Story is a writing workshop designed to help us consider another narrative for the stories we hold in and about our bodies. Using storytelling prompts and careful pacing, we'll write, share and hold our collective stories and consider the possibility of different endings.


H ) Find Your Allies, Take Your Power, (2 Session Workshop),

Rich Wilson, Stefani Hite

When you are in a school, how do you find like-minded individuals and then come together in a way that can harness your power to make change? This is the key question to be explored in a two hour world cafe style hosted conversation.  Come ready to share and learn from others, because the answers are in the wisdom and knowledge found in those participating in the conversation.


I ) ABC's of Zen: Meditation as Loving Kindness Across the Gender Spectrum

John Marron

This workshop will teach the basics of meditation: breathing, posture, soft eyes & belly, half smile, learning to let go of negative thoughts, creating safe spaces to practice, cultivating a heart of wisdom, community service, & tips for staying in the here & now with quality attention.


J ) ** Somos Latinx

Daniel Fernandez and panelists:Walter Saravia, Zeena Hazuri, Nathan Rodriguez, Davida Sjtm Alexandra Barillas

A panel comprised of Latinx (Latino./a  queer leaders from various age groups, addressing important issues facing the Latinx community still today.  Topics include the following: What is Latinx, intersectionality, complexities of being Latinx and LGBTQ, Brown Lives Movement, machismo, language, higher education, migration, citizenship, breaking stereotypes, Somos Orlando campaign, colorism, and more,  Latinx and QPOC audience participation strongly encouraged


Session Two (11:40 am to 12:50 pm)


K ) In or OUT, Parent, Child or Educator…PFLAG Can Help

Abby Maisonave

Imagine a place that is without judgment… Everyone understands what you are feeling, and you can get answers to all of your questions. Anxiety, fear, worries, and shame can disappear. This place exists… and it is called PFLAG. As the nation’s largest family and ally organization, we provide monthly support group meetings for the LGBTQ community and their families and friends. Join us to see what PFLAG can do for you!


L ) Queer Body, Proud Body,

Dr. Heidi Dalzell


Body and identity are intimately connected. Societal messages about ideal bodies often give us ideas about how we “should” be. This experiential workshop will allow you to better understand body image and to explore and enhance your sense of who you are.



Tyree Oredein

There are definitely challenges when you identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. There also are challenges when you identify as a person of color. What happens, when you identify as both? This workshop will focus on issues facing people of color who also identify as LGBTQ+.


N ) **Poetry as Radical Healing

Arlene B. Gamio Cuervo

This workshop will focus on the following objectives: (1) diversifying our image of poetry to include LGBT+ folks, especially queer and/or trans people of color, (2) learning writing techniques to combat writer's block, (3) covering names of popular poets who identify as LGBTQIA+, and (4) discovering how to feel through trauma/pain through poetry.


O ) INSPIRE: Writing to Move People.,

Pandora Scooter

INSPIRE: Writing to Move People is a spoken word workshop designed to help participants write engaging, compelling, passionate performance poetry to be performed in front of the entire assembly at the end of the day.  The theme of the writing exercise will be RISE UP!  and what that means to you!


P ) OMG The Future is Almost Here!

Seth Rainess, MS    

Are you a high school student and anxious about your future once you graduate?  Let’s talk about turning failure into success while also finding your purpose in life. Learn the essential tools needed to help you make the right decisions for yourself which will guide you into feeling secure about what, who and where you want to be.


Q ) **Taking Charge of Your Health: A Guide to Navigating Transgender Healthcare

Nathan Rodriguez

This will be a highly informative breakdown of how to navigate the too-often confusing healthcare system in relation to Trans-specific health needs. We will go over everything from choosing the right doctor/surgeon, to talking to your insurance carrier, to enhance your healthcare experience and help you take care of yourself!


R ) Break The Silence: HIV/AIDS Prevention

Susan Lembo and HiTOPS Teen Council

After over 30 years, there is still no cure. Yet, HIV education has decreased in the U.S., and myths such as “only gay people get HIV” persist. This interactive youth-led workshop uses skits and small group activities to explore the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Come discover how HIV is transmitted, identify high risk behaviors, and learn risk reduction skills including abstinence, protection and barriers, negotiation and refusal techniques."


S ) Makeup 101 For Everyone

Z Murphy

Are you a boy that wants to wear makeup? A girl? A transboy, a trans girl? A wannabe drag queen? A genderfluid adventurer? Come on down to Z's makeup workshop for tips and conversation about the basics, and the importance of accepting yourself with and without make-up.


T ) Smash the Bi/Pan Phobia – The Truth is Out

Laura Fenster-Rothschild

Do you identify as Bisexual or Pansexual?  Have you experienced some kind of bias in the LGBTQ because of that identification?  Have you noticed the "jokes" about Bi/Pan folks being "greedy" or "on the fence?"  In this workshop we'll hear from Bi/Pan folks and discuss how to dispel these unfavorable biases.


U ) Making a Spiritual Path & Being LGBTQIAP+

John Marron and panelists: Michelle McKenzie Creech, Tina Mummela, Tedford J Taylor, Louise Walpin (TBD) and Marsha Shapiro (TBD

Whether you are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, Tribal, or None, being LGBTQIA is a blessing but a challenge in making a spiritual path that works for you, especially in a conservative faith-based family and community.  This interactive workshop will explore your questions and provide resources to form effective responses to challenges basedon faith and being LGBTQIA


V ) Check Yo’self

Melanie Pasignajen-Pormentilla and Alex Akins

Participants will use this opportunity to learn about the distinction of privilege between various social groups including members of the heterosexual and queer community.  The idea is to get real, get uncomfortable, and recognize what others may be facing in their daily lives!  This workshop will also focus on the concept of intersectionality and draw attention as to how different facets of one’s identity can impact the experience of an individual as a whole. 



Session #3 (2:20 pm to 3:30 pm)

  1. W) GLSEN Days of Action

Alexandra Lawrence and student leader (TBA)

Check out the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network (GLSEN) National Days of Action that happen throughout the school year: Ally Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, MLK Organizing Weekend, No Name-Calling Week, Day of Silence and others.  Learn about resources for each Day of Action that will empower you to create  more positive school climate.


X ) LGBTQ Lit Story Time

Megan McCafferty

Readers of all ages can find comfort in characters and stories that reflect or represent their own experiences. In this relaxing session led by HiTOPS volunteer and New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty, book-lovers will have an opportunity to “borrow" from our LGBTQIAP library and introduce themselves to the best of YA literature for and about queer youth. Quiet 10-minute browsing periods will be interspersed with read-alouds of select titles. Limited to 30.


Y ) Generation Trans

Seth Rainess and panelists: Jamie DiNicola, Barbra Siperstein, Mason Khan, Julia Chen (TBD) Alix Canciello, Julian Radici

A panel comprised of transgender and gender non-binary queer leaders from various age groups, addressing important issues facing the transgender community still today. Topics will incldue: Trans history, what it means to transition, navigating coming out, resources, intersectionality, past, present and future movements, privilege, impact of social media, language, breaking stereotypes, bridging the gap between generations, and more.  Transgender and non-binary audience participation strongly encouraged.


Z ) The Real World

Austin Morreale and panelists: Megan Picurro, Lily Sanchez Ruiz, Will Nunn, Antonio Fernandez

What's it like to be out in a professional setting?  Do you announce you're queer at the Interview?  On your first day?  Do you put a picture of your loved ones on your desk for people to see?  Come listen in as professionals in the workplace talk about what it's like to be out at work and answer your questions about the whole experience.


AA ) Black Queer Lives Matter

Jon Priester and panelists: Z Murphy, Alyssa Hargrove, Tyree Oredein, Gary Paul Wright, Jade Wynne

A panel comprised of Black, Black American, African American, Afro American LGBTQ+ leaders and allies from various age groups addressing important issues facing the community still today.  Topics include: Black Queer history, intersectionality of race, sexual orientation, gender, Black Lives Matter movement, language, breaking stereotypes, privilege, Feminist Movement, racism in the Queer community and more.  QPOC audience participation strongly encouraged.


BB ) Breaking the Barriers of "T" in the workplace,

Jackie J. Baras

As the world continues to recognize the emerging issues of transgender individuals in the workplace, we have seen more companies and employers diversifying their spaces. In attempts to become more inclusive, companies have extended their policies to not only reduce the risk of lawsuits, but ultimately to protect their LGBTQ+ workers. This workshop will discuss ways in which transgender folks can break the many barriers set in their workplaces.


CC ) Not Just the Birds & Bees: Sex Education for Young Gay/Bi Men

Jonathan Ruberte / He/Him/His

"For youth, comprehensive sex education plays a critical role in promoting safer sex practices, and preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.  LGBT youth disproportionately experience negative sexual-health outcomes compared to heterosexual youth. In particular, young gay and bisexual men are affected by HIV and STI's at greater rates than their peers. Come learn how to be safe, have fun and stay clean!


DD ) Sex Ed 201 for LBPD Cis Women

Mindi Herman

This workshop is catered towards cisgender female health, and discuss topics such as healthy sex, and sexually transmitted infections and other significant information about the human sex system. This will be an in-depth exploration of sexual health for the cisgender female.


EE ) Self-Care:  Self Preservation Not Self Indulgence!

Tracey Post

Life can be stressful. School, relationships and figuring out who we are take time, energy and self- awareness.  Sometimes these characteristics are explored in our families, schools or external support groups but often they are ignored.  This workshop will offer time and space to reflect upon your individual stress profile (what are your triggers, your positive and negative stress relievers) and to explore a variety of self-care techniques to add to your tool box. 


  1. FF) How to start a GSA or how to keep one going

Sue Henderson, Laura Fenster-Rothschild

(This workshop is for all advisors and interested persons and will break into two groups for beginning advisors and those with experiences to share in a roundtable format.)

Are you interested in starting a GSA and/or keeping one going? Sue Henderson has lots of great ideas to start this conversation up and then participants will get to share their experiences in their GSAs and how they keep them dynamic and engaged with the student body.  This is a great workshop for anyone thinking of being or who is an officer in their GSA.


GG ) Legal Rights and Issues for LGBTQIA Students

Paula Rodriguez Rust

This is an Interactive presentation/discussion of legal issues affecting LGBT youth in schools. Updates on any recent legal developments will be provided.  This workshop will also include information about New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Title IX, NJ law against conversion therapy, Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, and more


HH ) **Mindfulness and Self- Regulation

Maria Santiago

This workshop will explain and will give the participants a chance to experience the practice of Mindfulness.  Especially important is the scientific evidence supporting Mindfulness and the benefits for emotional self-regulation.  Attendees will learn breathing techniques, some tools for what they can do when they start to get nervous and coping mechanisms and how to relate differently to stressors.


II ) Rehearsal for Spoken Word

Pandora Scooter

No sign up for this.  —- Chosen spoken word writers from the INSPIRE workshop will rehearse their spoken word piece in preparation for the presentation in front of the assembly after the third workshop session.