Workshop Session #1
Trans and Queer Family Acceptance Workshop
This workshop will highlight the story of Joanne Lee, a mother who lost her transgender son and became an activist to encourage families to accept their children for who they are. She works tirelessly across the country to educate parents and support them so they don’t lose their child because of misunderstandings and not accepting them for who they are. Joanne will be speaking and telling her story which covers homophobia and transphobia of the church, her own struggle with accepting her two sons as transgender, the reality of suicide, the overlap of racism and LGBTQ issues, the specifics of Korean and Asian communities and how this relates to various cultural traditions, and her vision for moving forward. Z! Haukeness, a trans, queer, and racial justice organizer, will also speak about the intersections of racial justice, queer and trans liberation, and the need to take action in this historic moment and time of heightened violence. The talks will be followed up with a facilitated interactive discussion.
Presented by Joanne Lee and Z! Haukeness.
Challenges and Gifts of LGBTQ Seniors
This panel will discuss the challenges and gifts that come with being LGBTQ and aging. What are the long-term effects of homophobia? How do we manage health care as we age? What resources are available to us as we age? What does the post-Stonewall generation have to share with our youth? The panel will share insights into these and other questions related to aging as LGBTQ and allow time for questions and comments from those attending.
Presented by Milwaukee LGBT Community Center staff members Rev. Debra Trakel, Marissa Burns, John K. Griffith (“Griff”), and Shelley Gregory.
Violence in the LGBTQ Community
Learn about violence that is currently happening in the LGBTQ community. Discover how this violence impacts different identities within the LGBTQ community. Learn about how trauma impacts LGBTQ wellness. Develop tools to respond to violence. Attendees will have access to tips on how to stay safe and will learn needed prevention tips and helpful tools for healing after a violent incident occurs.
Presented by Kathy Flores of Diverse & Resilient and Devin Thomas of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.
Professors and Perversity: Wisconsin Academics Reveal Gay Wisconsin during the 20th Century
The prevailing narratives on homosexuality for most of the 20th century in Wisconsin were as a criminal activity and that the individuals were mentally sick. To contradict these narratives, gay people—primarily from sources so far studied—found ways to present non-homophobic counternarratives of their lives. Sometimes, in the early days, this was as guinea pigs in academic studies. Later academics would aid the effort for gay rights.
Presented by R. Richard Wagner.
You married for love, not money… but let’s talk about the money
Getting married affects finances and your financial plans. Just as two individuals become one, your finances need to work together toward a solid plan for your future. Learn about the basics of financial planning, estate planning, and learn how to address challenges and build a solid financial plan together as you begin this next chapter of your lives together. This panel discussion will address the basic financial planning issues and needs within the LGBTQ community: addressing the legal landscape, estate planning tools and documents needed, financial literacy, financial planning approach, and challenges that arise.
Presented by Northwestern Mutual staff members Matt Fleming, Sherri A. Mitchell, Ruth Driscoll, and Natalie Miller.
Workshop Session #2
Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition: What Does Thriving Health Justice Look Like?
We will first introduce the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition and give a brief summary of our history and our current work. Most of the time will be spent in large and small group discussion, clarifying current barriers to health care and naming what health care systems need to change to achieve health care equity and impactful practices. We will also envision and describe what thriving trans communities and health justice look like in Wisconsin. This workshop is intended for individuals with a basic knowledge of transgender experiences and vocabulary, and will not include a “Trans 101” component.
Presented by the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition (WTHC).
Trans Advocacy for Trans Families
As a non-trans trans advocate, Helen Boyd has been educating trans and non-trans people alike for many years on issues of concern to the trans community. Topics will include: Trans 101 education, political activism, community membership, and safe spaces. Special attention will be given to the diversity within the trans community—including partners, parents, and kids of trans people, as well as GNC and nonbinary identities.
Presented by Helen Boyd of Lawrence University.
Easier to Start and Harder to Quit: Menthol Marketing to Marginalized Communities Leads to Higher Smoking Rates
Tobacco companies have a history of marketing menthol cigarettes to marginalized communities, starting in 1965 when the Kool brand was marketed to African Americans. In the 1980s, Kool had vans drive through African American neighborhoods to hand out free samples. Other tobacco companies have a history of marketing to the LGBTQ community, including a marketing program in 1995 in San Francisco called Project SCUM (Subculture Urban Marketing). Menthol marketing has shifted to summer festivals, including at Milwaukee’s PrideFest and Oshkosh’s Rock USA. Such targeted marketing along with unique attributes of menthol have led to higher rates of menthol use in African American, Hispanic, low-income, and LGBTQ communities. Menthol cigarettes have been found to be more dangerous, with higher levels of tar, nicotine, and other poisonous substances. People who smoke menthol cigarettes inhale more deeply and keep the smoke in their lungs longer. These unique differences mean that menthol cigarettes are more addictive and harder to quit than regular cigarettes. We will provide an overview of marketing practices, outline health concerns, and share strategies that other cities and states have pursued to address the unjust toll that menthol takes on our communities.
Presented by Anneke Mohr of the City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance, Lorraine Lathen of the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network and the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Poverty Network, and Anthony Harris of Diverse & Resilient.
HIV Prevention Efforts in Milwaukee
While we have the tools to prevent the spread of HIV, new diagnoses of HIV have remained steady over the past decade, and HIV continues to disproportionately impact certain communities in Wisconsin. This panel will introduce attendees to the Wisconsin Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan 2017–2021, which was recently published by the state. The plan provides a comprehensive framework for ending HIV in Wisconsin. Attendees will also learn about what local community agencies are doing to put the plan into action.
Presented by Jacob Dougherty of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services AIDS / HIV Program, Ronnie Grace of Diverse & Resilient, Efrain Roberts-Ramirez (“Fredy Brooklyn”) of Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, and Martel Willis of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW).
Queering the Environmental Justice Movement
It is impossible for the recognition of LGBT rights as human rights to be fully achieved if we ignore the relationship between humans and the environment: is environmental justice and queer activism related? This workshop will explore the intersections and connections between the LGBT rights movement and the environmental justice movement. Within this exploration, presenters will highlight the relationship between the devaluation of nature—specifically our waters—and the devaluation of women, LGBT people, and racial minorities. The workshop will apply environmental justice principles to related struggles for sexual justice.
Presented by Milwaukee Water Commons co-directors Brenda Coley and Ann Brummitt.
Workshop Session #3
Wanted: Your Story
With the start of the New Year comes statements from state lawmakers about possible intentions to introduce legislation limiting the rights and freedoms of transgender and nonbinary Wisconsinites. More than ever, your story is needed. In this workshop you will learn how to craft an effective story about the impact this and similar efforts have on you and / or people you love and care about. You will have the chance to start composing and get feedback on your personal story in advance of possible legislative hearings, as well as hearings at your local school district, city, and county level. It will be facilitated by GSAFE and members of the Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition Policy Group.
Presented by GSAFE staff members Brian J. and Sawyer Johnson.
Navigating Life After the Closet for People of Color
So you’ve come out to yourself, and now you’re entering your new world in college, family, work, life, spirituality, social circles, and society. How do you do it? Come hear firsthand experience of a journey from self-discovery to being a part of the world as it is for LGBT/Queer People of Color!
Presented by Carmen Alicia Murguia.
Advocating for Trans Rights at the Local Level
We’ll explore some of the current threats to transgender individuals in our communities, as well as how to create meaningful and just policies for public schools, law enforcement encounters, and other areas of public life. This presentation will provide an overview of this fast-developing area of the law and will clarify potential legal obligations to transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals. It will also give practical guidance about becoming an advocate for these issues.
Presented by Emilio De Torre of the ACLU of Wisconsin and Livia Rowell-Ortiz of Genderqueer Milwaukee.
Intersectionality of Ethnicity & Gender: Where We Are Now, and Where We Need to Be
This session begins with participants interacting with each other to develop a mutual understanding of positive intent, and willingness to learn while in the workshop. This will be done by participants developing a personal understanding of LGBTQ* terms and assumptions. This activity is followed by participants having the opportunity to engage in discussion about the current activist movements, LGBTQ*, and racial terms as they have progressed over the years in relation to what we are trying to achieve. During this session, we will engage in conversation on how cisgenderism, racism, and heterosexism manifest in our society and the ways it can be persuasive amongst interpersonal interactions.
Presented by Annia Leonard of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
Get SASSy: Tapping the Power of Visible Allies at Work
Allies form an important contingent in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and workplace inclusion, and yet there are different levels of “ally-ness.” In this session, we’ll explore what it means to be an ally, how to be an effective ally, and why it’s critical that more allies be visible in their “ally-ship” to their LGBTQ+ colleagues, to their organization, and to their friends and family. At Northwestern Mutual, we talk about the need for allies to get SASSy: Support, Advocate, Speak out, and Stand up. Join us as we discuss what it means to be visible as an ally, what you can do to embolden allies to act in true ally-ship, and the impact visible allies can have at work and in our communities—as expressed from both an LGBTQ+ and an ally perspective.
Presented by Northwestern Mutual staff members Ryan Everson and Laura Martin and Diverse & Resilient staff members Kofi Short and Mark Silva.
Workshop Session #4
Medical Difficulties: Self-Advocacy in Health Settings
Accessing physical, mental, and sexual health care can be hard for transgender, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people. Anxiety and fear from past bad experiences, dysphoria, and the fact that these systems are inherently confusing and oppressive can make going to the doctor, finding a therapist, or getting tested feel impossible. Self-advocacy skills and planning can make this feel less overwhelming, help you get your needs met, and give you more control over your health care. Come and learn your health care rights, identify strategies to navigate health systems, and practice advocating for your needs in this workshop.
Presented by Jay Botsford of the Transgender Youth Resource Network (TYRN) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition (WTHC).
The Many Ways of Celebrating LGBTQ Spiritual and Religious Diversity
This panel will discuss some of the most sensitive issues of LGBTQ life. How do we celebrate our spirituality when we have been wounded by mainstream religion? How do we heal? What do various faith traditions have to say to us who identify as LGBTQ? How do we relate to the Judeo-Christian Bible? This panel will share insights from various spiritual starting points and will allow plenty of time for sharing and questions.
Presented by Rev. Debra Trakel of the Milwuakee LGBT Community Center, Rev. Kate Fields of Underwood Memorial Baptist Church in Wauwatosa, Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Mark of Congregation Shalom, and Rev. Suzelle Lynch of Unitarian Universalist Church West in Brookfield.
Communicating to Personal Styles
Be a leader! How many times have you heard that related to your passion for the LGBTQ community, as a member or as an ally? Occupying leadership positions magnify your impact in the corporations, nonprofit, community, and government organizations where you work. But what does it mean to be a leader? What skills are required, and how do you show others that being a leader is who you are? Join us to experience a key leadership training session that is a foundational part of our overall leader training curriculums at Northwestern Mutual. Learn how critical recognizing different communications and work styles are to interacting with your employees, peers, and managers.
Presented by Wendy Slusar-Mischler of Northwestern Mutual.
Moving Forward Together: Community-Wide Collaboration on Municipal ID and Why It Matters
Presenters will share the process and benefits of collaborating as part of the We Are All Milwaukee coalition to initiate and implement local government-issued identification for immigrants, trans* individuals, victims of abuse, homeless, and other individuals. Leaders from Voces will explain their organizing strategy. Presenters will discuss their work to be intentionally inclusive and to work with various public officials in multiple units of government. The impact of the federal elections and current status of the project will be shared.
Presented by Karen Gotzler of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Christine Neumann-Ortiz of Voces de la Frontera, and Livia Rowell-Ortiz of Genderqueer Milwaukee.
Digital Advocacy, Helping People Sift Through The Noise in 2017
Are you looking for tools that can step up your digital advocacy in the year 2017? If you answered yes, then enter into the world of “Getting Digital with It: Making Free Work for You.” In this session, you will walk away with tools perhaps you have never heard of and / or did not know how to use. We will take a deeper look into what will help you make free graphics without being a designer, what apps will help you design / work on the fly, and which tools will act as another member of your organization, saving you time and several sighs of angst throughout the day. Feel like people are depressed by their newsfeed? Well, they are. Wonder how you should do this? Enter the world of positive active feeds… but how? We will talk further on what the year 2017 means for nonprofits in the name of digital. We will learn how, as an activist, you can learn to unplug and take care of yourself first then the rest of your digital advocates through spreading the tools of self-care. Are you ready?
Presented by Katie Stuckenschneider of PROMO.