BOSTON, Mass.— On October 4th and 5th, 2014, teens and young adults from across New England will gather on MIT’s campus to develop life skills, discuss critical social issues and deepen their knowledge of resources and opportunities at HBGC’s fourth annual LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference (YEC).
The conference, which was previously only a one-day affair, is now a two-day conference extended because of high demand and popularity of the previous years. Both days will be from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The conference includes over 30 workshops on topics relevant to LGBTQ youth and young adults with the newly added opportunity to follow a track: Health and Wellness, Intersectionality, Arts/Performance, Life skills, or the Organizing/ Movement Building. Additionally there will be a resource fair with information about programs, services, events and organizations geared toward LGBTQ youth of color. [pullquote]The conference includes over 30 workshops on topics relevant to LGBTQ youth and young adults with the newly added opportunity to follow a track: Health and Wellness, Intersectionality, Arts/Performance, Life skills, or the Organizing/Movement Building.[/pullquote]
Workshops for the 2014 conference include:
— Finding the Fierce Gaysian Within
— Actively Queer: Keys to Creating and Maintaining A Healthy and Active Lifestyle
— Life Is A Drag!
— Managing the Coins: Financial Literacy 101
— Self Care for Community Leaders
The full conference schedule and event details are available on HBGC’s website: www.hbgc-boston.org.
This year there are two keynote speakers. City Councilor Ritchie Torres of New York City, the first openly gay candidate to be elected to office in the Bronx, and the youngest member on the council will be speaking on Saturday. The #1 female ranked spoken word/award winning poet, lyricist, and educator, Denise Frohman will speak on Sunday. Her poem “Dear Straight People” went viral on Upworthy, and currently has over 500,000 views on Youtube.
There will also be special guests Patrik Ian Polk and Jamar Rogers. Polk is the creator of the beloved TV series and film Noah’s Arc, which explored the lives, relationships, and experiences of black LGBTQ communities. Polk will be screening his current film “Blackbird on Sunday, which deals with a young singer struggling with his sexuality in the church, and stars Academy Award Winner Monique. Rogers will be the featured performer of the conference who will be performing on Saturday. He is a talented singer and finalist on NBC’s “The Voice”. He is also a passionate advocate dedicated to demystifying and educating his community about HIV/AIDS.
The Youth Empowerment Conference (YEC) is the cornerstone of HBGC’s youth development programming. Combining the safe space and community building elements of the organization’s high school gay-straight alliances (GSAs) with the advocacy and activism approaches offered through the New Leader’s Institute, the conference encourages youth to gain skills, knowledge, connections and solidarity to create personal and social change.
Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) is one of few non-profit organizations in Boston dedicated to the unique and complex needs of the Black, Hispanic and Latin@ LGBTQ community. Founded in 2009, we work to inspire and empower Latin@, Hispanic and Black LGBTQ identified individuals to improve their livelihood through activism, education, community outreach, and counseling.
[From a News Release]